Winter Warmth When the Grid Is Down

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Recently by Sarah Duncan: SHTF Planning Gets You Ready for Life's Unexpected Emergencies


I live in a Northern climate in a home without a fireplace. The heat in my home is totally dependent on the grid. 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.

1.) Propane Heaters: There are several propane heaters on the market that do not require electricity. I own a Little Buddy heater. 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” oil heater can be a charming addition to your decor that can be called into service during a grid-down situation. Click here 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.

  • Seal off a smaller area to heat. When our furnace went out one winter, we huddled into a small room with just one window. We closed the door to the bedroom and used a folded quilt at the bottom to better insulate the room. You can also hang heavy quilts in the doorways of rooms with a heat source to block them off from the rest of the house.
  • Insulate your windows. You can use a plastic shower curtain and duct tape, topped by a heavy quilt to keep the wind from whistling through your windows. This has the added benefit of keeping the windows dark if you are concerned about OPSEC.

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