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Hurricane Drinking Game: Rules and How to Play?

Have you ever wondered how people pass their time while they’re waiting out a giant storm? One of the options is the Hurricane drinking game – a straightforward yet wildly amusing way to turn a scary experience into fun.

The Hurricane drinking game is a simple game for a group of friends, relatives – or even complete strangers who got stuck together during a windstorm. You don’t need a lot to play it, making it easy to enjoy the game without any prior preparations.

It probably won’t surprise you that this game was invented in Florida. I learned it from a friend who lived in Naples. She said the game was so popular among the students they almost seemed to be looking forward to the hurricane season.

Despite its original concept, the game is similar to movie drinking games (like the Princess Bride drinking game or others).

The main difference is that you don’t need to watch a movie to play the game because you are kind of a part of a (catastrophic) movie yourself.

What You’ll Need to Play Hurricane Drinking Game?

As mentioned, you don’t need much preparation or materials to enjoy the hurricane-drinking game. Just ensure you have the following:

  • A TV, mobile phone, tablet, or any other device with access to live news.
  • A good amount of alcoholic beverages of your choice (you can use wine, beer, spirits, mixed drinks, etc.)
  • A couple of friends to join you
  • A safe indoor place

Why Playing Games During Hurricane?

Does playing a drinking game when a hurricane rages behind the windows sound crazy to you?

Taking into account what the people in affected areas typically do when they’re locked down due to the storm, the game just takes people’s standard routine during these dreadful moments, transforming it into something rather joyful.

In fact, playing games at this time can have numerous benefits:

  • It’s a good source of distraction and stress relief
  • It helps you pass the time
  • You’re bonding with your friends or relatives
  • It helps to reduce cabin fever when you’re stuck together for a longer period
  • It keeps your mind engaged and alert

In this particular case, the game also helps you stay on track with all the latest developments, which can be crucial if the situation worsens.

But let’s not waste any more time. We’ll start with the initial setup.


The Hurricane Drinking game can be set up pretty quickly. All you have to do is:

  • Gather your friends or whoever wishes to participate.
  • Bring everyone’s favorite alcoholic drinks.
  • Turn on the news channel or live feed of your preferred media covering the hurricane situation.

Besides preparing for the game, don’t forget to make all the necessary preparations for the storm itself. Let me remind you of some of the basics below:

  • Stay indoors.
  • Stock on food, drinking water, and any essential medication.
  • Shut and secure the doors and windows.
  • Ensure all your pets are safe and taken care of.
  • Sit away from the windows.
  • Turn off propane and any potentially dangerous appliances.
  • Fully charge all your devices (including a few power banks).
  • Communicate with your friends and relatives to ensure someone knows your location.
  • Familiarize yourself with the local evacuation plan and emergency contacts.

When you’re done with the checklists and the storm is already approaching your area, you’re ready to start playing.

How to Play Hurricane Drinking Game? Rules and Gameplay

How to Play Hurricane Drinking Game? Rules and Gameplay

In the beginning, I’ve mentioned that the game is very similar to the popular concept of movie drinking games. While playing one of these, people watch a film or a TV show of their choice and look out for specific “signs” (sights, plot twists, situations, phrases, interactions) indicating they should have a drink.

When you’re playing the Hurricane drinking game, the rules are identical, but instead of a movie, you’re watching the live news coverage of the hurricane situation in your area.

Here are the “signs” to look out for:

Have a drink (or a sip of a drink) whenever:

  • A flash of lightning appears (continue drinking until it’s followed by thunder).
  • Someone says “flood“.
  • Someone says “catastrophe“.
  • Someone says “storm.”
  • Someone calls the hurricane by its name (e.g., Irma, Idalia, Andrew).
  • Someone compares the current hurricane to other hurricanes.
  • A newscaster is struggling with the weather during the live report.
  • The hurricane’s category is mentioned.
  • A new area of evacuation is announced.

Have a double drink (or two sips of a drink) whenever:

  • Someone calls or texts to make sure you are okay.
  • You receive a push notification with emergency instructions or a warning.
  • It’s announced that the hurricane set a new record in some regard.
  • The hurricane’s category is changed (in either direction)
  • You spot something flying across the air outside.

Have a full shot/glass in case if:

  • Power shortage occurs.
  • You remember something valuable you forgot to secure properly.
  • The storm passes away.

Of course, there are many ways to customize the game. You can add your preferred catchphrases or something typical for the current storm or your local area.

You can also divide the abovementioned “drinking triggers” among the players so that everyone has to rely on their own eyes and ears.

Alternatively, each of you can focus on some different source of information. It will be interesting to see how differently various media can cover the same situation.

Additional Tips

Playing drinking games always requires some sort of mindfulness and moderation. However, you should be extra cautious and responsible with the Hurricane drinking game.

If the situation becomes more dramatic than anticipated, and you suddenly have to evacuate or assist someone in need, you certainly don’t want to be completely wasted.

Here are a few tips that can help you make the game as enjoyable and safe as possible:

  • Discuss everyone’s tolerance level and pick alcohol you can all agree on – or let each player pick their own drink of choice.
  • Eat well before engaging in the game, and keep some snacks around during the game, too. Your body will be in a much better position to cope with all the alcohol.
  • You don’t have to empty your glass with each trigger. Some of them will appear often, and there’s no point in getting completely drunk before the game even starts to be fun. Just sip and continue playing.
  • If you or some of your friends do not want to drink any more alcohol, pick a non-alcoholic beverage instead and continue enjoying the game.

Who Wins?

The Hurricane Drinking game is usually played just for fun, non-competitively. Given the tense circumstances, everyone who makes it safely through the storm can be considered a winner, right?

Still, there are some ways to adapt this game into a competition. You can, for example, bet on the “signal” phrases or situations you think would occur the most often. Or penalize players when they forget to drink when they’re supposed to. In any case, there are also many other competitive drinking games to try while waiting out a hurricane, including King’s Cup or Ride the Bus.

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