With wind speeds of 140 mph, Hurricane Florence is now a powerful Category 4 hurricane as it churns toward the Carolinas.

NBC Charlotte Forecaster Larry Sprinkle said there's still a chance the storm continues to strengthen before making landfall. In fact, Sprinkle said Florence still has a chance to become a Category 5 storm. As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, the storm was about 410 miles south of Bermuda and 975 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

NBC Charlotte has compiled a list of 'life hacks' to help those in the storm's path prepare for the potentially life-threatening event.

Lifehack #1

Your washing machine can be used as a cooler

Before the storm hits, fill your washer with ice. You can put water and other drinks in the washer to keep them cool -- the ice will just drain out once it melts.

Lifehack #2

Fill your bathtub with water

Fill your bathtub with water before the storm hits, that way if you lose power you can use the water in the bathtub to flush the toilet and wash cooking utensils.

Lifehack #3

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Fill Ziploc bags with water and freeze them

To ensure your fridge stay cooler a little longer during a power outage, freeze some Ziploc bags, fill them with water and then freeze them standing upright. Pop a quarter in the top of one of the ziploc bags, this way you'll know if your fridge lost power. (The quarter will be sitting at the bottom of the bag.)

Lifehack #4

How to stay cool if the power goes out

Freezing your washcloths can be a handy way to keep yourself cool during a power outage. First, wet the washcloth, and then place it in your freezer. If the power goes out, you can use the frozen washcloths to keep cool -- especially at bedtime.

Lifehack #5

Not really a lifehack, but make sure you keep important documents and valuables with you. If you evacuate -- take them with you. You'll also want to snap photos your belongings before the storm hits, that way you have pre-damage photos (for insurance.)

Lifehack #6

Phone Charging Trick

Did you know you can keep a cell phone charged with a car charger, a cable, a 9volt battery and a spring from a pen.

Now, the 9volt battery isn't going to fully charge your phone, but it could keep it alive enough for you to send the text messages you need to or make that call.

Do you have any helpful hacks that we haven't mentioned? Send your hacks to newmedia@wcnc.com

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