Emergency Heat Sources

Keeping warm is essential for survival. Loss of body heat, Hypothermia, is very dangerous and can lead to loss of body parts and even death. Wet conditions quickly increase the loss of body heat. When traditional heat sources are not available, below are a few ideas to help you keep warm:

dry
If you get wet from rain, snow or sweat, change into clothing that is dry. Wet clothing loses its insulation value and extracts body heat 240 times faster than dry clothing. Wool clothing and blankets are preferred. Cotton clothing, particularly denim, retains water. Woll clothing is insulating, water resistant, and keeps your body warm even if it is wet.

hats
Covering your head is vital as you can lose up to 80% of your body heat through your head. A knitted wool stocking hat is good.

insulated
Feet can be kept warm by wearing wool socks and wearing two pair if your shoes are large enough. A towel could also be wrapped over shoes and duct-taped on.

layered
Several thin layers of loose-fitting clothing retain body heat and can be removed easily if body starts to perspire and/or you are chilling. Water & wind resistant outer clothing with a hood. Also, scarf or towel to cover your mouth to keep cold air from your lungs.

sleeping
Two or more people huddled together inside two sleeping bags zipped together will be warmer than each in separate sleeping bags. A smaller bag can also be placed inside a larger-sized one.

car
If trapped in your car during a snowstorm, run heater 10 minutes every hour. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow and open one window a crack to allow ventilation.

mylar
Good in wind or rain. Put a wool blanket between you and the Mylar blanket, if possible.

survival

rice
You can also use socks filled with rice/beans and tied shut. Heat the packs/socks in a fire or coals. They will maintain heat for a period of time. Rocks or bricks can also be heated thoroughly, then carefully wrapped in towels or newspapers.

thermal

inscl
Leaves, newspaper, straw, etc. (stuffed between two layers of clothing). Tie your shoe laces around the cuffs of your pants to hold material in. If you were trapped in a car during a snowstorm, use the stuffing from the seat cushions.

plastic
This can be worn as a rain jacket or can insulate the body if stuffed with dry leaves or grass

Do you have any more ideas for alternate heat sources? Share them in the comments below!
***Modified from a church handout, no sources credited***

  • Anonymous

    I am investing in a wood burning stove. This a great way to heat a house and use as a stove top oven. Wood burning stoves remain warm up to 10 hours. Compare this to Natural Gas/Propane Furnaces. Once Furnace temperature reaches thermostat temperature, furnace turns off. The temperature in a home drops immediately. A quick way to heat but not efficient and costly.

    With top of Wood burning stove one can cook food, make or warm coffee, soups, water and the list goes on. You can even dry wet clothing but one must be very careful in doing so. I wouldn’t want to burn down my home while drying my long johns!

    My advice to all that read this website, become self sufficient and do not rely on utility company’s for you Heating, Cooling or Electrical. Grow a garden in the summer so you don’t have to rely on grocery stores and soaring food costs. Grow Berries and certain fruits depending on your Climate Zone.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

      Great tips, thanks!

  • james

    ive heard that the dutch use news paper as inselation in there shoes

  • Leeja1

    I noticed there wasn’t any ideas for cooling–

    If there is no power, the easiest way to cool your home is to cover all windows in direct sunlight with dark cloth or pieces of cardboard. You can also create cross-drafts by opening windows on opposite sides of your home. Make sure you have screens on your windows to prevent insects from coming inside.

    If you have power, room fans, and ceiling fans can move air to give you relief. A simple evaporative (vap) cooler (in areas of the country with low relative humidity) can give as much relief as an air conditioner. Vap coolers cool by forcing air through a water saturated mesh–it removes heat by evaporation.

    Putting cool water in a spray bottle and spraying yourself, will help keep you comfortable, especially when working out of doors.

  • KatyDidItAgain

    Have used these before in emergency. They work great! If you open the oven door and slide out the rack, you set the burner on the door and the pans on the oven rack and can cook a meal this way.

  • KatyDidItAgain

    Have used these before in emergency. They work great! If you open the oven door and slide out the rack, you set the burner on the door and the pans on the oven rack and can cook a meal this way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Rebecca Honeyman

    Yes, if it's over washed cotton (frayed). The chemicals used to permpress cotton are also fire retardant.

  • http://www.facebook.com Rebecca Honeyman

    Yes, if it's over washed cotton (frayed). The chemicals used to permpress cotton are also fire retardant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1448581120 Brenda Joyce Garner

    Interesting, useful, and some unusual and thought-generating ideas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1448581120 Brenda Joyce Garner

    Interesting, useful, and some unusual and thought-generating ideas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tifanie.willis Tifanie Willis

    For those of us with kerosene lanterns (and wanting to one relatively safe fuel source around) a good option is to keep a kerosene heater in the house. These provide heaps of heat at a relatively low price if you can find someone to deliver kerosene to fill a tank.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tifanie.willis Tifanie Willis

    For those of us with kerosene lanterns (and wanting to one relatively safe fuel source around) a good option is to keep a kerosene heater in the house. These provide heaps of heat at a relatively low price if you can find someone to deliver kerosene to fill a tank.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Aaren Humpherys

    We got the portable buddy heater from emergency essentials. It can be used inside and has a CO2 sensor. We also have the #10 can with roll of TP.

  • http://www.facebook.com Aaren Humpherys

    We got the portable buddy heater from emergency essentials. It can be used inside and has a CO2 sensor. We also have the #10 can with roll of TP.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Kim Lingerfeldt

    Can cotton cloth be used on place of toilet paper inside the coffee can heater as the wick?

  • http://www.facebook.com Kim Lingerfeldt

    Can cotton cloth be used on place of toilet paper inside the coffee can heater as the wick?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Linda Harriman Tremmel Sorden

    Anna just remeber the point of this site just take baby steps and do not get overwhelmed! Do a few things each week and before you know it you willl look around and be impressed with yourself.

  • http://www.facebook.com Linda Harriman Tremmel Sorden

    Anna just remeber the point of this site just take baby steps and do not get overwhelmed! Do a few things each week and before you know it you willl look around and be impressed with yourself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Michelle Linford

    #10 can w/ a roll of TP (cardboard tube taken out), stored w/ a bottle of rubbing alcohol. This can be used as a small space heater for car or a small room. Pour alcohol on 'wick' (roll of TP) and light w/ a match. Window must be cracked open to let oxygen in. While this burns clean, it does use up oxygen. (Going from memory, so Google to double-check details.)

  • http://www.facebook.com Michelle Linford

    #10 can w/ a roll of TP (cardboard tube taken out), stored w/ a bottle of rubbing alcohol. This can be used as a small space heater for car or a small room. Pour alcohol on 'wick' (roll of TP) and light w/ a match. Window must be cracked open to let oxygen in. While this burns clean, it does use up oxygen. (Going from memory, so Google to double-check details.)

  • Erin

    Let’s not forget one of the most obvious…. a generator. They range in price and yes can be expensive but also can be picked up for a reasonable sum if you are not set on a granddaddy do-all model.

    We recently turned off the breakers for a day for a trial run and were surprised that our little generator ran both the refrigerator, chest freezer and several space heaters along with most lights and electronics in the house. The more load you put on the generator the more gas you will use, so be careful. If the power is off a generator is the next best thing to keep you comfortable.

  • Erin

    Let's not forget one of the most obvious…. a generator. They range in price and yes can be expensive but also can be picked up for a reasonable sum if you are not set on a granddaddy do-all model.

    We recently turned off the breakers for a day for a trial run and were surprised that our little generator ran both the refrigerator, chest freezer and several space heaters along with most lights and electronics in the house. The more load you put on the generator the more gas you will use, so be careful. If the power is off a generator is the next best thing to keep you comfortable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Anna Craven Teis

    Thanks! You ladies are so helpful. Guess I have my work cut out for me :)

  • http://www.facebook.com Anna Craven Teis

    Thanks! You ladies are so helpful. Guess I have my work cut out for me :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Nola Johnson Cockerham

    Anna, if you google 72 hour kit, you will get over a million hits and that will give you great ideas. Basically it is what you would need to have if you had nothing after some sort of disaster. The Red Cross and other such organizations figure that it would take at least this long to get themselves set up and running well after a disaster. They have a suggested list at their site, too. These items are put in back packs or rolling suitcases or whatever you choose to have. Then, they are put in a coat closet or somewhere as close to the exit of your home as possible. Many also put a smaller such kit in their car and at their work place. This is because you don't know WHERE you'll be when a disaster happens. Good luck!

  • http://www.facebook.com Nola Johnson Cockerham

    Anna, if you google 72 hour kit, you will get over a million hits and that will give you great ideas. Basically it is what you would need to have if you had nothing after some sort of disaster. The Red Cross and other such organizations figure that it would take at least this long to get themselves set up and running well after a disaster. They have a suggested list at their site, too. These items are put in back packs or rolling suitcases or whatever you choose to have. Then, they are put in a coat closet or somewhere as close to the exit of your home as possible. Many also put a smaller such kit in their car and at their work place. This is because you don't know WHERE you'll be when a disaster happens. Good luck!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Anonymous

    http://beprepared.com/ lists supplies, preparedness kits, ideas, and even a state map to get an idea of what to do

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Cindy Sorenson

    http://beprepared.com/ lists supplies, preparedness kits, ideas, and even a state map to get an idea of what to do

  • http://www.facebook.com Anonymous

    http://beprepared.com/ lists supplies, preparedness kits, ideas, and even a state map to get an idea of what to do

  • http://www.facebook.com Cindy Sorenson

    http://beprepared.com/ lists supplies, preparedness kits, ideas, and even a state map to get an idea of what to do

  • http://YSAlife.blogspot.com/ Bethany

    Take a cleaned out tuna can and pack in strips of cardboard tightly in a swirl pattern then pour in melted unscented candle wax ( you can get it at a craft store) to just under the cardboard like a candle wick, about 1/16 inch let cool and you have a small cheap heater. Just light the cardboard on fire, the wax will make it burn slowly. My friend makes one of these for every tuna can she emptys and adds them to her food storage. Also If you take a #10 can and cut a LARGE whole in the side you can put one of these inside for a small stove. *** Be careful to do this away from other flammable objects and surfaces****

    • http://YSAlife.blogspot.com/ Bethany

      when I said “to just under the cardboard” I meant “to just under the TOP of the cardboard.” Hope this helps.

    • http://YSAlife.blogspot.com/ Bethany

      Compleat instructions can be found here

      http://www.justpeace.org/buddyburner.htm

      please read carefully before making.

    • Anonymous

      Have used these before in emergency. They work great! If you open the oven door and slide out the rack, you set the burner on the door and the pans on the oven rack and can cook a meal this way.

      • Frogs

        Great idea! I have made “Buddy Burners” with Girl Scouts but had not thought how to use them in the home. I have several on hand in storage but had not thought how to use them in the home. Thanks.

  • http://YSAlife.blogspot.com/ Bethany

    when I said “to just under the cardboard” I meant “to just under the TOP of the cardboard.” Hope this helps.

  • http://YSAlife.blogspot.com/ Bethany

    Take a cleaned out tuna can and pack in strips of cardboard tightly in a swirl pattern then pour in melted unscented candle wax ( you can get it at a craft store) to just under the cardboard like a candle wick, about 1/16 inch let cool and you have a small cheap heater. Just light the cardboard on fire, the wax will make it burn slowly. My friend makes one of these for every tuna can she emptys and adds them to her food storage. Also If you take a #10 can and cut a LARGE whole in the side you can put one of these inside for a small stove. *** Be careful to do this away from other flammable objects and surfaces****

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Anna Craven Teis

    Thank you Tabitha. You have been helpful. Different areas of the US will have very different needs that are required. Where do we begin to get this information?

  • http://www.facebook.com Anna Craven Teis

    Thank you Tabitha. You have been helpful. Different areas of the US will have very different needs that are required. Where do we begin to get this information?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Tabitha Marx

    Anna, a 72 hour kit is a bag, backpack or container with all the necessities to get you through 72 hours of no water, no food, no heat, no electricity, no gas (stove), no TV, that you might experience after a disaster. It should have water, food, tent, sleeping bags, first aid, radio & batteries, flashlight, etc.. Everyone's ideas of what those necessities is different, of course. And after Katrina and Haiti, we realize it probably needs to be a 2 or 3 week kit, ha ha ha.

  • http://www.facebook.com Tabitha Marx

    Anna, a 72 hour kit is a bag, backpack or container with all the necessities to get you through 72 hours of no water, no food, no heat, no electricity, no gas (stove), no TV, that you might experience after a disaster. It should have water, food, tent, sleeping bags, first aid, radio & batteries, flashlight, etc.. Everyone's ideas of what those necessities is different, of course. And after Katrina and Haiti, we realize it probably needs to be a 2 or 3 week kit, ha ha ha.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Anna Craven Teis

    Forgive me, I am new to this page. Would you give me a little info. on what a 72 hr. pack is? Thank You.

  • http://www.facebook.com Anna Craven Teis

    Forgive me, I am new to this page. Would you give me a little info. on what a 72 hr. pack is? Thank You.

  • Anonymous

    Hot potatoes were used by my family.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Linda Harriman Tremmel Sorden

    old memory foam pads make great insulators against ground cold either underpadding for bag or (best) inside the bag between you and the round.Use a waterproof tarp ubnder the bag to protect from moisture. Do you have a tarp in your 72 hr pack they are often on sale for a few $$$ in Menards and Lowes watch the sale fliers.

  • http://www.facebook.com Linda Harriman Tremmel Sorden

    old memory foam pads make great insulators against ground cold either underpadding for bag or (best) inside the bag between you and the round.Use a waterproof tarp ubnder the bag to protect from moisture. Do you have a tarp in your 72 hr pack they are often on sale for a few $$$ in Menards and Lowes watch the sale fliers.

  • Anonymous

    For alternative heat at home (if you don’t have a fireplace), I like the propane Mr. Heater indoor heaters. They have an automatic low oxygen shut-off and also turn off if tipped. You do have to vent them slightly but the large heater will heat up to 400 sq. ft., which might allow you enough heat to stay in your home in a power outage.

  • preppermom

    Hot potatoes were used by my family.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Food Storage Made Easy

    We got this info from a church handout as well. We have no problem with you sharing it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com Food Storage Made Easy

    We got this info from a church handout as well. We have no problem with you sharing it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Leslie Peterson Hobbs

    This is great Jodi and Julie. Would it be o.k. to use this information as is in a Relief Society Newsletter? I so appreciate all your information. I printed off your binder last week and I am enjoying reading and learning or relearning a lot of great information! Thank you!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com Leslie Peterson Hobbs

    This is great Jodi and Julie. Would it be o.k. to use this information as is in a Relief Society Newsletter? I so appreciate all your information. I printed off your binder last week and I am enjoying reading and learning or relearning a lot of great information! Thank you!!!

  • kathycolmer

    For alternative heat at home (if you don't have a fireplace), I like the propane Mr. Heater indoor heaters. They have an automatic low oxygen shut-off and also turn off if tipped. You do have to vent them slightly but the large heater will heat up to 400 sq. ft., which might allow you enough heat to stay in your home in a power outage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Karen Rivera

    We had an impromptu preparedness last night. The power went out when we were making dinner, and stayed out for about an hour and a half. Dinner got moved out to the grill (in the rain) under the carport, and we had a salad on the side, rather than a cooked vegetable!

  • http://www.facebook.com Anonymous

    We had an impromptu preparedness last night. The power went out when we were making dinner, and stayed out for about an hour and a half. Dinner got moved out to the grill (in the rain) under the carport, and we had a salad on the side, rather than a cooked vegetable!

  • http://www.facebook.com Karen Rivera

    We had an impromptu preparedness last night. The power went out when we were making dinner, and stayed out for about an hour and a half. Dinner got moved out to the grill (in the rain) under the carport, and we had a salad on the side, rather than a cooked vegetable!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Anonymous

    Good to know Ladies! We all need to be prepared!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ Tammi Witt-Bess

    Good to know Ladies! We all need to be prepared!

  • http://www.facebook.com Anonymous

    Good to know Ladies! We all need to be prepared!

  • http://www.facebook.com Tammi Witt-Bess

    Good to know Ladies! We all need to be prepared!