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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Keeping Warm During a Power Outage

Winter storms are responsible for many electrical power outages. These outages present a problem for us when we are trying to keep warm and comfortable in the cold weather, but it can be done.

The thing to remember is that you need to keep as much heat from escaping as possible and not trying to heat the whole house. It is much better to designate a warm room for the whole family to stay in while the power is off.

Choose a small, well-insulated room with least number of windows as your emergency living quarters. If there is a room in your home with a wood stove or a fireplace that is properly vented, that would be the one to pick. If your home does not have a wood stove or fireplace, you can still make your warm room comfortable.

Block your warm room off from the rest of the house and put blankets over the windows at night to minimize heat loss.

Then seal off all drafts from entering. If your windows are drafty, apply a window insulation kit. This is the clear plastic sheets that you adhere to the window frame with double-sided tape.

Insulation is the key to keeping warmth in and keeping out cold. Besides the windows, you also should seal your entrance doors and the doors to the unused rooms in the house. A rolled up towel will help stop drafts from under the doors.

The whole family, including the family pets, should group together in the warm room to benefit from the combined body heat.

If there is sunshine during the day, open the window coverings to let the sun in.

Put on several thin layers of clothing and don't forget to wear a hat. As much as 80% of a person's body heat can be lost without one. Thermal underwear is also very effective.

The body burns food to produce calories, which in turn keeps you warm. Prepare meals regularly and make sure everyone eats something.

If you have a propane BBQ outside, food cans could be opened inside and heated in the BBQ outside. Hot food is always preferable to cold and helps warm you up. You may prefer to cook most meals outside on the gas grill or BBQ, then bring them back inside.

Always try to keep an extra full propane tank in safe storage for these emergencies. Of course one family member will have to go outside to accomplish this.

A supply of emergency food bars or freeze-dried meals in self-heating packages are an excellent alternative, if no other cooking source is readily available.

At night use a couple of layers of blankets to cover you. If it is still too cold, wear some clothes and a hat to bed. Sleep with two or three people together under the blankets to maximize body heat.

Emergency survival sleeping bags retain as much as 90% of body heat, are inexpensive and easy to store. They would make an excellent addition to your emergency preparedness kit.

Above all, DO NOT USE kerosene or propane heaters, BBQ's, or any outdoor type heater inside your home. These appliances generate poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless gas that is given off by combustion.

Allan Wright is a qualified writer with a keen interest in Family Health and Safety. He is presently the Project Manager for First Aid Kit Products, his articles reflect many of his thoughts and views concerning all avenues of Family Health and Safety.

Be Prepared for a power outage with a Black Out Emergency Kit from First Aid Kit Products


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