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Winter Warmth When the Grid is Down

 by Sarah Duncan

I live in a Northern climate in a home without a fireplace.  The heat in my home is totally dependent on the grid [1].  Since the weather is cold here at least 8 months out of the year, much of my prepping attention is focused on keeping the family warm.

In years gone by, most Northern homes had either a fireplace or a woodstove for heat.  Our society has become so certain that the grid is permanent that many homes built over the past 50-60 years have been designed without those vital elements.

The first and best choice for alternative heating is wood.  If you don’t have that option, don’t despair – there are many other ways to stay warm if the grid goes down.

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1.)    Propane Heaters:  There are several propane heaters on the market that do not require electricity.  I own a Little Buddy heater [3].  These small portable heaters are considered safe for indoor use in 49 states.  They attach to a small propane canister and use 2 oz. of fuel per hour to make 250 square feet extremely warm and toasty.  A battery operated carbon monoxide detector provides an extra measure of safety when using these heaters indoors.

2.)    Kerosene/Oil Heaters:  Kerosene heaters burn a wick for heat, fuelled by the addition of heating oil.  An antique “Perfection [4]” oil heater can be a charming addition to your decor that can be called into service during a grid-down situation.  Click here [5] to read more information about the different types of kerosene heaters that are available.

Of course, the above options require fuel that may not be available after an extended disaster.  Use a combination of these keep-warm strategies to extend your fuel provisions.

In your search for warmth make certain that you also maintain safety.  Keep fire extinguishers handy and invest in a battery operated carbon monoxide detector.  Keep children and pets away from items that could burn them or that could tip over, causing a fire.  Be sure to store all flammable materials (such as propane and kerosene) according to manufacturer’s instructions.

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