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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

Do Not Freeze to Death! How to Stay Warm in a Power Outage- Get Ready NOW!

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

Our heating system is not something to take for granted. An ice storm or other unforeseen circumstance, like a power outage, can be perilous if one is not prepared. Keeping your family warm when the lights go out will be much easier with these simple tips.

Step 1: Find your warm room. This room could be a small area with south-facing windows, a room with a fireplace, an interior room, or any spot that's comfortable for everyone. The room shouldn't be too large as you want what little heat you do generate to stay with you. During nighttime hours or for days that are cloudy, be sure to cover windows with extra sheets, blankets, tarps, or even plastic to help reduce heat loss. If the room doesn't have a door, create one using similar items previously listed.

Step 2: Set up your sleeping area in a tent. Like the warm room, a tent will hold in heat, and it will be cozier for sleeping. Even bunking in a closet might work! The idea is to find a small space that doesn't allow the heat to escape as fast. Place rugs, sleeping pads, and even cardboard under your sleeping bags to help insulate you from the cold floor. Try to keep sleeping bags on hand with the best possible weather rating because you might need more than a 65-degree bag in January. If your sack isn't designed for frigid weather, consider purchasing or making a sleeping bag liner for added comfort and warmth. A good sleeping liner will add anywhere from 5-15 degrees of increased coziness to your bag.

Step 3: Store some hand warmers in your emergency kit. These can be one-time use hand warmers like Hot Hands or hot water bottles that you can refill. A good 72-hour emergency kit should have a little camp stove and plenty of water. First, heat the water and then fill the bottle. When placed in the foot of your sleeping bag, a hot water bottle will keep you comfortable.

Step 4: Food and water! Your body uses a lot of energy to stay warm so, eat! Lots of high energy, easy to prepare, or better yet, ready-to-eat snacks are imperative to keeping you satisfied. Canned goods, jerky, and protein bars are good examples.

Step 5: Have plenty of clothing to layer. You must stay dry! Wool socks, beanie hats, mittens, and moisture-wicking clothing of all kinds can be the difference between life or death.

Step 6: Huddle around a few candles. The flame isn't that large, but the little heat can take the edge off. Use extra care when burning candles, especially when you have small children or stir-crazy pets. Remember, emergency responders might be stretched a little thin during a power outage, so take extra precautions when using candles to heat a small room.

Warning! If you're planning on using a Buddy Heater indoors, you will need ventilation!

Staying warm during a power outage is manageable as long as you take the time to prepare ahead of time. Getting ready now means that you aren't racing to the store for items when everyone else is doing the same. Items critical to your survival will sell out quickly if people start to panic. Even if you can't complete a kit today, start with a few bucks and buy what you can, when you can. If your budget holds you back, look for survival gear on local buy-sell-trade sites, buy-nothing sites, thrift stores, and even garage sales. Your local dollar stores are also a fantastic place to build survival kits on a shoestring budget.

Did we forget anything here? How is your family prepared for power outages? If you found this post helpful, please show us a little love and click the heart! Thanks for reading!


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