Monday, January 2, 2012

Cold Weather Emergencies At Home Kit

You need to be prepared for cold weather emergencies in your home as well as in your vehicle. If the power goes out to your home you need to be able to survive until it comes back on.

Unusual weather has been occurring all over the world.  Even if the area you live in has never experienced very cold weather, you need to be ready for it now. The weather systems in the world have changed and you can no longer expect to depend on getting the weather you are used to.

The east coast of the United States has experienced cold weather emergencies that have never been seen before. People have died as a result of these emergencies because they were not prepared. Some of these people got a lot of snow and had never dealt with freezing temperatures before.

Even if you think you live too close to the equator to get cold weather, you need to be prepared for cold weather emergencies now. Here are things you need to get ready:

Winter Survival Kit for Your Home

Keep several days’ supply of these items:
• Food that needs no cooking or refrigeration,
such as bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods,
and dried fruits. Remember baby food and
formula if you have young children.
• Water stored in clean containers, or purchased
bottled water (5 gallons per person) in case
your water pipes freeze and rupture.
• Medicines that any family member may need.
If your area is prone to long periods of cold
temperatures, or if your home is isolated, stock
additional amounts of food, water, and medicine.

Emergency Supplies List:
• an alternate way to heat your home during a power failure:
- dry firewood for a fireplace or wood stove, or
- kerosene for a kerosene heater
• furnace fuel (coal, propane, or oil)
• electric space heater with automatic
shut-off switch and non-glowing elements
• blankets
• matches
• multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher
• first aid kit and instruction manual
• flashlight or battery-powered lantern
• battery-powered radio
• battery-powered clock or watch
• extra batteries
• non-electric can opener
• snow shovel
• rock salt
• special needs items (diapers,
hearing aid batteries,
medications, etc.)
Do not use any of the heat methods mentioned above without a way to vent them adequately. If you cook, you need to vent your cooker adequately. If you are not sure how to do that, you will need to cook outside. If you have to cook outside, you can heat bricks and bring them inside to heat your bed area.

This list came from the Center for Disease Control, USA. I think you also need something to cook or heat water on. A small barbecue or hibachi would work. 

My preference is a rocket stove. I like rocket stoves because they do not take much fuel and you can burn almost anything in them. A few twigs can cook an entire meal. 

I am going to do blog posts on how to make your own rocket stove. There will be two kinds. One will be a metal one using tin cans. The other will use bricks. I will also include links to videos on how to make the metal rocket stove. You can buy these already made. The metal ones do not last very long because the metal eventually burns up. Since you can get free tin cans to make these, and make them yourself, you may think it is worthwhile to simply make a replacement when one wears out.

You need a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector near where you will be using an extra heater. If you are not used to needing to heat your home or using a non-electrical heater, you especially need these.  The batteries must be replaced at least yearly. You can use something like daylight savings time or a holiday, to remind you to do this. 

If you are not used to cold weather and you do not have much money, you can build a shelter around your bed to stay warm. It needs to be small so that it will trap your body heat inside to keep you warm. I am going to do a blog post about this next.

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