Staying Warm When the Power Goes Out
A wood burning stove or fireplace is an ideal secondary source of heat for a home.
How do you stay warm when the electricity fails or you run out of propane? When the power goes out and candles are not heating a room, much less a home, what do you do? Recently faced with this challenge, we realized our winter preparation was not up to par. I do have some hints on staying warm until electricity is restored. In no particular order:
Keep your head and your feet warm. Like Grandma always reminded us, we really do loose the majority of our body heat from cold feet or an uncovered head. Put on warm socks and shoes and a cap to help retain your body heat. Small heat packs like those used by hunters are helpful too.
Dress in layers. Not only should you keep your head and feet warm, but keeping the rest of your body warm enough is important too. Once you are warm, it’s easy to take off that top sweatshirt.
Invest in a good sleeping bag. Waking up freezing cold is not enjoyable. Trying to sleep or to relax while cold isn’t either. An insulated sleeping bag can do double duty during the daytime hours and sleeping hours, as well as give you extra piece of mind regarding the next power outage.
With the possibility of a power outage and no other heat source, we slept all together in the smallest room located the closest to the furnace with the door closed for the evening. This did 2 things; firstly, we shared body heat. Even without touching, the heat in the room rose because our internal temperature was warmer than the air around us. Secondly, we chose the most interior room which is the smallest and warmest and closed the door to retain the heat. It worked. We also brought along a couple flashlights, extra blankets, bottled water and granola bars so that we could stay cozy for as long as possible. After a few hours, we heard plows and were able to head to town.
The moral of this story? We all need a secondary source of heat if we live where the temperature drops low enough for blizzard conditions and we don’t want to rely on our nearest city resources in an emergency situation. No one wants to worry about freezing! For us, that means re-thinking our ability to prepare by purchasing and installing a wood burning stove for another source of heat for staying warm when the power goes out.
Nicole Lorenz is slowly learning the many facets to self reliance through new challenges and seasons and climates, and encourages you to do the same.