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Keeping Warm in Freezing Weather

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There are lots of reasons to be prepared. What if you lose power for a day or days in freezing cold weather? Would you know the best way to stay warm?

In February 2021 Texas had a big freeze, Many people lost their lives from hypothermia and frostbite. The power grid could not keep up, leaving many without heat, electricity, water and burst pipes caused by the freezing temperatures.

I remember crying at the news when I heard that a family put their son to bed and, in the morning, he had passed away. As a mom of four kids, this just broke me. An elderly person froze to death in their recliner.

Here are some tips that could help you and your family not only survive but thrive if you were to find yourself in a similar situation.

  1. Pick the warmest room in the house. This room is often south facing. During the day open the blinds or curtains and let the light in. Keep the doors closed on the other rooms, if air comes under the door put towels down.

  2. Gather your warmest clothing and layer, layer, and layer. Don’t be afraid to have looser layers since that helps keep the body heat in. Hats for your head and thick socks and gloves.

  3. If you have a gas stove, then see if that is working. If so, get some water boiling on the stove. Turn on the oven to 200 to 250, this will keep that area warm.

  4. Get your candles or create an emergency candle kit and other supplies for lighting, ready flashlights and extra batteries. If you have those solar lights, bring them in before it gets dark, and they make great light indoors. If you don’t have those, think about purchasing some. Make sure the next morning to take the solar lights back outside so they can recharge.

  5. If you don’t have a south warm facing room, then find a smaller room. You can put bubble wrap up on the windows to help insulate them or add more curtains or other things to block the cold. If using bubble wrap, spritz water on the window and place bubbly side to the window. It should stick. If you have an open doorway, you can place a blanket to block the cool air.

  6. Camping tents work great for an indoor shelter. If you don’t have one, then think blanket fort. This is called a micro-climate, and it is lifesaving. But fun too, who doesn’t like to camp out indoors?

  7. Blankets and sleeping bags are the next things to add to your tent. If you have exercise mats or even couch pillows to make a comfy bed. The more pillows and blankets the better. But if you have a mattress you can use it to put the camping tent on top. Make this fun for the kids, tell them you are camping in the living room or whichever room you are using. Read books, play board games, color, do puzzles and in general, reconnect.

  8. Power for your cell phone is important to keep updated on weather reports. I heard many would start their vehicles to charge their phones, that would work, but having a power bank to charge your phones is important. There are solar options that you can place in the window during the day to charge. This is important, do not use games or such on your phone, ensure you have as much life as you can for an emergency. Remember if using your car to charge, keep the exhaust clear of snow, this is a must!

  9. Having water stored is important, to be able to drink and flush the toilet if needed.

  10. Having baby wipes to clean your hands to keep water use down. Keep hand sanitizer too.

  11. If you do not have a working gas stove, you need to see how else to heat water or soup or whatever it is you need to warm up. A Sterno will work, so add this to your list of stuff to purchase for your kit.

  12. Solar energy is a wonderful way to ensure you have power. Of course, there are gas and diesel options, but some states are limiting sales of these two options (CA in 2024). These two options must be placed outside, because of the deadly exhaust they produce. You must not use indoors, however the solar option is safe to use indoors. Remember to charge with the panels during the day.

  13. Freezer goods can be stored in coolers outdoors if you need to keep them frozen.

  14. Cook simple meals, canned soups, scrambled eggs, and such. Using the heating options that are safest. Having snacks and treats for you and your family (granola, chips, and sweet treats), helps with stress and such. This is especially helpful for younger kids.

  15. Further note, never use a BBQ indoors, they create carbon monoxide and if needing to use one only do it outside.

  16. Remember your animals and their needs, whether you have dogs, cats, or outdoor chickens or such, putting extra hay and checking their water and even extra tarp to protect them during these bad storms. Bring in animals like horses and cows to the barn if possible.

There are portable heaters like little Buddy Heaters, those should be safe to use indoors, but always read the instructions first. I personally will use a space heater with our solar as needed, but the tent will work great to keep you warm at night and snuggling on the couch during the day will be enough to keep me warm.

When it is safe, checking on your neighbors, especially those alone or elderly is something I will do. During the recent Buffalo storms, people helped neighbors and even perfect strangers, really warmed my heart.

Happy prepping,

Ola Griffin

Pandemic Prepsters (18) Pandemic Prepsters - YouTube

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