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Emergency Warmth


fireplace insert


Some emergencies require warmth, while with others, warmth is the problem.

Hurricanes usually occur in warm areas. Keeping warm is usually not a problem. On the other hand, wind storms and ice storms can leave you exposed to hypothermia. If your home is not warm, you may have to leave it and go to a emergency community shelter.




Fireplaces are the first source of emergency heat for most people. Gas fireplaces will work during a power outage. The gas fireplace fan won't work, but you should be able to turn them on the fireplace without electricity.


If you have a wood fireplace, be sure and keep enough wood stored to last a few weeks, and a good supply of matches.  You may also need a hatchet or saw to cut up wood.


Fireplaces without screens are not very efficient. They draw room air up and out the flu. If you can purchase an insert for your fireplace, with a cooktop, you can use it for both emergency cooking and warmth.


Other options are an Indoor-Safe heater that uses propane, or a Kerosene heater.  Kerosene heaters are widely used in the Orient.  You must be careful with them as they build up carbon monoxide gas.  It is best to use them with a chimney.


Indoor propane heaterPortable propane heaters work well, but you must use them in a small room that is closed off from the rest of your house to warm up the room. Don't try using them in a great room or they won't be effective.

Small portable propane heaters, often called Buddy heaters, use small propane canisters for fuel.  However, with a special hose you can connect them to a large propane tank such as the one that is typically used for barbecues.


You can store propane, but you must exercise caution, as fumes can build up in the garage.  Many cities have ordinances as to how to store propane.


One thing to remember is that houses were not always so warm. My husband's mother grew up in Germany. They did not have central heat. She slept under several quilts, and there was always frost on the top quilt when she woke up in the morning.


My three sons are all Eagle Scouts. They had a wonderful scoutmaster, who took them out every month, regardless of the weather. We live in the Pacific Northwest, which means they were building snow caves, and camping in the snow in the winter. They kept warm at night using sleeping bags designed for below freezing temperatures, and by layering their clothing during the day.  It is also important to keep your head covered, and to wear as much wool as possible.


Finally, you can purchase hand warmers, which temporarily will keep your hands warm and protect them from frostbite.  You can also find emergency reflective blankets that hold in your body heat.


Prepare for the day when your lights go out.  See The Day the Lights Went Out in Seattle, and keep your family warm and comfortable at home.







Emergency Preparation and  Prepping Articles

More tips and perspectives on how to prepare and cope with natural  disasters and other emergency situations.



Recipes Using Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Foods

Recipes using long term food storage -  freeze dried and dehydrated food


Easy Recipes Using  Canned Food

Recipes that are easy to make and use items that you can purchase in the supermarket and store in your pantry.





Resources for Frugal Living


Like Frugal Living?  Visit these Sites...


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Squirrel for

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Be warm, be safe;  save time and money. 


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