Surviving a Winter Energy Outage – How to Keep Warm


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heating your home during a power outage

Let’s face it, heating your residence through a lengthy-term energy outage is almost certainly one particular of the largest challenges that a homeowner facing the cold winter has to overcome. You have to preserve your physique temperature in the standard variety i.e. above 95 F (35 C) or hypothermia will start out to set in.

When your physique temperature drops, your heart, nervous technique and other organs can not operate generally. Left untreated, hypothermia can ultimately lead to comprehensive failure of your heart and respiratory technique and ultimately to death. From: The Mayo Clinic – Hypothermia.

In other words, you need to have a shelter and to be in a position to preserve that shelter warm sufficient to preserve your physique temperature above 95 F (35 C) and you need to have to be ready to do this for as lengthy as the disaster that triggered the grid to go down lasts and based on the severity and length of the circumstance you will need to have to be in a position to do this without having attracting unnecessary focus to your place.

Not an effortless process to say the least – but it can be completed with right organizing, preparation, and work… Let’s get started…


One particular of the initial items to take into consideration when organizing approaches to heat your residence through a energy outage or lengthy-term grid-down circumstance is exactly where you are situated. Exactly where is your residence/survival retreat? No, I’m not asking you to inform me or to post it in the comments section, I’m just asking you to take into consideration exactly where you are or program to be and the winter climate in that region.

For instance, if you are a prepper living in Sanders Montana or in Terrific Falls exactly where the coldest recorded Temperature was a bone-chilling 43 degrees under zero then you would have to place additional believed and work into maintaining your residence heated through the lengthy winter months than you would if your location was in the redoubt of the east (Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau region).

Hold your place in thoughts when reading the rest of this report and program accordingly… the warmer the typical winter temperatures are in your selected region the much less of an problem heating your residence in winter will be. This is so important that I assume that winter temperatures ought to be a significant consideration when deciding upon a survival retreat place.

Your Property

Your second consideration for heating your residence through a energy outage or lengthy-term grid-down circumstance ought to be the residence itself. My suggestions is that if you are developing your residence your self or remodeling then more than-insulate, which means go above the suggested residence insulation requirements for your region.

If your residence is currently constructed and you are not organizing a complete remodel then do what I did and add added insulation inside the attic. My attic was currently effectively insulated for my region, on the other hand, I decided to have a contractor add added blown-in insulation to the attic to a rating of R-60.

Also, make positive all doors and windows seal tight when shut and are the finest that you can afford. If your windows are old, worn out and not power-effective then have these replaced with superior windows if your finances will permit it.

Also, take into consideration adding a clear plastic sheeting, heavy insulating curtains and window shades to aid preserve the cold out and heat in. The heavy curtains will also aid to hide any light inside the home from anybody passing by outdoors which could be a safety threat.

Right here is an superb report on power-effective windows with strategies to make yours additional power-efficient… Study it and then implement all the strategies and suggestions that you can and you will see a large improvement now and when the grid goes down.

Dress For The Cold

To survive the cold through a quick-term energy outage or lengthy-term grid-down conditions you will need to have to dress appropriately for the atmosphere. And preserve in thoughts that you will almost certainly be sleeping in your winter clothing so be positive to assume of comfort as effectively as warmth when shopping for your cold-climate clothes.

When dressing for cold climate the crucial is layering. Commence with thin layers initial and then leading it off with a protective outer layer that insulates as effectively as traps air and stops the wind. This outer protective layer ought to also shield your other clothing from rain and moisture when you are outdoors.

For instance when indoors without having heat or when possessing to conserve heating sources in the residence you could put on heavyweight thermal underwear as a base layer, and leading it off with RefrigiWear Iron-Tuff Hooded Coveralls or equivalent outerwear.

If you are like me then no matter how effectively dressed your physique is your feet nonetheless get cold. I can be warm and comfy everywhere else and nonetheless have cold feet. To aid with this use the exact same layering principle that you did with your other winter clothes.

To preserve my feet warm in cold climate indoors and outdoors I start out with ultra-lightweight liner socks to preserve my feet dry and then a cold-climate boot sock and then effectively-insulated winter boots. My leading option for a winter boot is the Sorel Men’s, Conquest Boot.

The exact same layering principle ought to also be utilised to preserve your hands warm i.e. thin gloves or glove liner like the Terramar thermasilk glove liner covered by a thicker insulated pair of winter gloves will preserve your hands warm through a energy out lengthy-term grid-down circumstance.

Let’s not overlook about the face and head, take into consideration a skull-cap or stocking cap for cool climate and a Russian style earflap hat for colder climate.

Final but not least invest is a great cold climate sleeping bag (or two) for each and every member of your household or group, or superior but have them to acquire their personal. I favor the Military Modular Sleep Method – you can study a complete assessment right here.

The Urban (or rural) Igloo

It is much easier to preserve a smaller sized space warm then a bigger one particular so if fuel to heat is restricted it is a great notion to only attempt to heat element of the home. For instance, if the major heat supply is in the living area region as is frequently the case then you can preserve the interior doors that lead into the other rooms closed. You can also hang heavy blankets or equivalent insulating components more than these doors to preserve the warm air from the heat supply in the confined space and the colder air out.

Undertaking this will aid to concentrate the heat into a smaller sized region which will preserve you keep warmer though at the exact same time conserving fuel sources.

Taking this a step additional is what I contact the urban igloo. This notion will operate in the nation as effectively but would almost certainly be additional most likely to be place to use by people who have been caught in the city or apartment or public housing exactly where possessing option lengthy-term heat sources are not an choice.

The urban igloo is a easy notion and just about everybody ought to have the components required for its building.

The Initial step is to take the mattress off the bed and location it underneath the kitchen table or equivalent table or frame. Subsequent drape heavy blankets, quilts, rugs and what ever else that is on hand more than the leading and down the sides to make what is basically an indoor tent or igloo. Hang the insulating components all the way down to the floor becoming positive to leave a little gap in one particular corner edge close to the floor to preserve condensation to a minimum.

Physique heat and your exhaled breath will aid to heat the “igloo” somewhat and if you have dressed for the cold and have a great cold climate sleeping bag as detailed above you can keep comfy even when it is very cold outdoors the residence.

The additional men and women you have in your indoor igloo the warmer it will be.

Heating Your Property

heating home in winter
Portion of my firewood supply…

This is the most tricky element of staying warm through a lengthy-term grid-down circumstance since there are so a lot of items to take into consideration. You will need to have a way to heat, you will need to have a way to resupply your fuel sources, and you will need to have to not draw undesirable focus to your place.

Not an effortless process to say the least but there is hope…

One particular of the finest conditions to be in is to have your personal gas effectively and have your heat, cook stove, water heater, generator, and so on hooked up to that resource – right here is a fantastic instance of a best prepper home with two gas wells and every thing else required to reside off the grid for a huge household or prepper group. On the other hand, at a listing of almost two-million dollars most (almost certainly none) of us could afford such a location, I know I couldn’t even come close.

The finest or at least the most sensible heat supply for most of us is propane. If you have your personal home you can have a 500-gallon or even a 1,000-gallon propane tank installed (or do it your self) and use that to energy an effective ventless propane heater. The tanks can be coated with roofing compound and buried out of sight.

The subsequent most sensible choice for most preppers would be wood, on the other hand, the major downside to heating with wood through a lengthy-term collapse is the smoke and smell which below the proper circumstances can be noticed or smelt from a mile away or additional. This can be a issue if you are attempting to not attract undesirable focus to your place.

On the other hand, there are companies who claim to be making smokeless wood-stoves, on the other hand, I’ve in no way noticed one particular of these in operation and so I can not vouch for their effectiveness or efficiency. If you are handy then you can almost certainly make your personal smokeless wood-burning stove, right here is a hyperlink to an MIT report that has some tips that may be of use.

And under is a great video with directions on how to turn an current wood stove into a almost smokeless wood stove…

At any price heating with wood may demand some tools and capabilities that you do not at the moment have like a chainsaw. Yes, I know it is loud and would attract focus and it also needs gasoline, mixing oil, bar oil, chains, and other spare components to preserve it operating appropriately, but go on ahead and attempt to reduce a winter’s worth of firewood with a human-powered crosscut saw…

Yes, it can and has been completed prior to, but it is not effortless and will take a lot additional time and power compared to employing a chainsaw.

But if you are ready to heat your residence with wood then this would not be an problem for the initial year or 3 since you will have a one particular to 3 provide of seasoned firewood currently reduce down, reduce up, split and stacked.

And yes, you can just acquire the firewood now and use and rotate like meals storage on a initial in initial out rotation so that you often have a fresh provide. On the other hand, firewood that is kept dry and out of the components will retailer for a lot of years.

But, you definitely do need to have to have the tools required and to discover how to reduce your personal firewood if you program to use firewood as a heating supply. The additional you know the additional independent you will be and that is a great point.

Do not overlook to have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors installed and functioning anytime you are heating with wood or any other combustible fuels. Be positive to have added batteries for these as effectively. And final but not least assure right ventilation for the residence and closed in regions.

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Any thoughts, or suggestions… then please add these in the comments below…

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