Keeping Warm During Power Outages



Power outages stink at any time of the year. They are especially horrible when it is freezing outside. This article will hopefully give people ideas on how to stay warm.

One of the first things a person can do to stay warm is to add layers. Wearing several layers, including a jacket, gloves and hat can help keep a person’s body temperature up. Making sure not to open the door to the outside unless it is absolutely necessary — will help keep out extra cold air.

It is also a great idea to wear a couple of pairs of socks and a pair of slippers. By doing this a person should feel warm and cozy soon.

Next, a person should block all cracks and crevices. This can be done by using a thick blanket or a small blanket. A person will need to roll the towel up and place it in front of the area where the cool air is drafting inside. Then all one has to do is use some tape to keep it in place. This should help keep some warmth in the house.

Cold air can draft in from under doorways or around windows. Some people choose to use clear plastic around windows to keep down cold drafts. This will assist in keeping a person warm.

Speaking of windows, it has been highly recommended to open blinds or curtains to allow sunlight to warm up the room. Sunlight has always been a great natural way to warm things up. However, once the sun goes down a person needs to close those blinds and curtains. This will help keep in the sun’s warmth.

Another way to help heat up the body is to use thick blankets. Curling up under one of these can help keep in the body warmth. It also helps to cuddle up with pets or loved ones.

WarmOf course, one can buy a generator, kerosene heater, or propane heater. However, not everyone has the money to be able to purchase one of these things.

There are a few ways to make a personal heater with a few simple items. For the first emergency heater, one will need a tin can — a large soup can or a clean gallon paint can works nicely — toilet paper, and 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.

Next, remove the cardboard from the inside of the toilet paper. Then stuff the toilet paper into the tin can — making sure the toilet paper is below the lip of the can. Now, all that needs to be done is pour the alcohol over the toilet paper until it is thoroughly saturated.

Place the tin can onto a tile that is one foot by one foot or a little bigger, All that is left to do is to light the toilet paper up. This emergency heater can last around an hour — maybe a little longer — and does a great job of warming up the air.

The only part of the alcohol that is on fire is the stuff on top. The rest stays nice and cool at the bottom of the can. Setting up a few of these around a room will warm up an area quickly. This heating method produces very little carbon monoxide and burns very clean — this is due to the alcohol.

Of course, a person will still want to have a window cracked slightly. However, a flue is not needed. Just keep the container away from flammable items and on a flat, stable surface.

Another way to stay warm is to build a terracotta — flower pot — and tea light emergency heater. For this project a person is going to need:

  • Four tea light candles
  • One smaller terracotta flower pot
  • One larger terracotta flower pot
  • A metal pan and a grill rack to set on top of it
  • A small piece of aluminum foil

First, a person will place the teal light candles onto the metal pan. Then the candles will need to be lit. After this has been done, place the grill rack on top of the pan.

Now set the smaller flower pot — upside down — onto the grill rack. Then use the aluminum foil to plug the small hole at the bottom of the pot. Now place the larger flower pot over the smaller one. The hole at the bottom of the larger pot is not to be covered.

The smaller flower pot acts as a convector to gather heat from the candles. The larger pot then becomes the radiator to warm up the air around it.

A person could substitute bricks for the metal pan and grill rack. If they do this they will need additional bricks to prop the flower pots above the candles.

Of course, this heater will need to be placed on a flat, sturdy surface. It will also need to be kept away from flammable objects. Having a few of these around a room should warm up the air quickly.

Hopefully, these ideas will be able to help keep a person warm as they wait for the power to come back on. Remember many cities and towns have designated warming centers to assist people in keeping warm.

Written by Sheena Robertson


Primal Survivor: 5 Emergency Heaters You Can Make with Everyday Household Items; by Diane Vuković

Click 2 Houston: Electricity off? Here are 8 ways to stay warm if your power is out; by Amanda Cochran

Featured Image Courtesy of Tiffany Silva’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inline Image Courtesy of Toshiyuki IMAI’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

One thought on “Keeping Warm During Power Outages

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