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Emergency Heat Source

Our power grids are the most vulnerable part of our infrastructure. Almost anything can cause a power outage. From cyber hackers to natural disasters, our electric grid can easily go down.  When our electricity gets knocked out, we also lose our furnace, our main source of heat. The challenge of no heater for days in the middle of winter or storms is a real problem. How will you heat your home and take care of your family?

INSULATE AND CONDENSE

First, try to move your family into one or two rooms in your home. Normally heating an entire house is fine, but in an emergency situation you need to simplify and condense. One or two rooms is a lot easier to heat than an entire house. Those designated rooms will be where you do everything in; sleeping, eating and playing. Bring in blankets, extra clothing, sleeping bags, food and anything else you may need.

Next, start insulating your rooms. Use space blankets or emergency blankets to keep the heat in. Do this by covering your walls with them. You can even cover a door with an emergency blanket. They are super warm despite their appearance and feel. NASA created them for space, so I’d say they’re pretty reliable. By insulating your rooms, you help your heat stay in that area. Use clothing to layer up and stay close together to increase body heat. Refrain from tight clothing so air can circulate and be able to heat your body. Layer socks using thin ones first and working toward your thicker pairs.

CHOOSE A BACK UP HEAT SOURCE

Make sure you have a back up heat source. What source of heat will you use when an emergency arises?  Think about what you can afford, what’s practical for you and what you can store. Here's some ideas to get started.

  1. Wood Burning Stove: From a permanent standing wood burning stove to a temporary wood burning stove they produce an ample amount of heat. Make sure you choose a wood burning stove versus a pellet burning stove because wood is usually more available than pellets. You can even toss big rocks into your fire, as our ancestors did, to heat up and then place the rocks near you for more warmth. You can also use them as a way of cooking your food on. Make sure you have some heat resistant gloves to move the rocks with.
  2. Flower Pot Heater: These are simple to construct and very inexpensive. You essentially need a terracotta flower pot, tea candles, and a base of some sort. There's videos available on how to make them. It would be wise to write down the instructions in case you don’t have access to the internet during an emergency. They take little effort to set up and take up minimal storage space. We haven't tested this one out, but would love to hear if you personally tried it.
  3. Kerosene or Propane Heaters: Both options are relatively inexpensive. However, you need to have ample amounts of fuel in storage for them to work. They are clean burning and produce a lot of heat.
  4. Gas Catalytic Heater: Is an effective, clean burning heat source solution. You do not need to stock pile fuel. They start within a few minutes and no power is required. It works on heating without a flame principle.

Include a plan for heat in your emergency preparedness plan. As winter temperatures decrease, your worries will not have to increase. Get prepared today and share with us what other heat sources could be used.


Posted Feb 4, 2016
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