Emergency Heating / Cooling

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Depending on what time of year you experience a natural disaster, planning for heating and cooling can literally save lives and at the least can help limit discomfort. For heating, if having a generator is not an option, make sure to at least have lots of extra blankets, and perhaps some sort of wood-burning stove or fireplace to use for extra warmth. Plan to sleep in a central area of the home, bundled close together for added body heat. You may find some more ideas for Emergency Heat Sources here

For cooling, it is a good idea to have multiple hand fans in your home. Also consider what type of clothing may be best for reducing heat. Research the direction of prevailing winds in your area so you can open the correct windows in your home to get drafts flowing. You can also cover windows with dark blankets to minimize the sun heat.



  • Richard

    there are alot of battery solar chargers out there now that will charge your batteries, also check into trinkle chargers for autos and motorcycles to charge an auto battery and get an electrical invertor. For heat and cold I would check into lining one room in your house with 3-4 inches of styrofoam them cover it with drywall or what ever. Styrofoam sheets are very low priced now.

  • Mercedes

    I am also concerned over the cooling system. I live in Las Vegas Nev is the best thing to do is buy a generator battery operated. I just know what we would do. Not to mention the freezer??? can you imagine the loss of product. please advise.. M. Blessings.

  • Lwellyn

    It would e a bad idea to use a dark color to block heat as it will absorb the suns heat and then release it into the room.   While living in Govt. quarters in Germany our living room always was exposed to afternoon sun and to fix the problem we placed tin foil over the glass, this reflected the suns rays and lowered the temp considerably. The blankets may work in non-sunny instances.

  • Messdhb

    While it is great that people think of battery operated items, unless you really stock up on battery’s which can be costly if you aren’t a deal shopper. for lighting I recommend things that you can shake to re energize. I was watching doomsday preppers and one family was like we have rechargeable batteries. How do they plan on recharging them with no power?? with the windows I use white blinds to keep my house cool during the summer. A dark blanket will attract the heat. My husband thinks I’m nuts for wanting to really stock up on supplies. We have always had enough food to get us through a week or two living in New England you never know what the weather is going to be or when you are going to lose power. I have learned to clip every coupon, read every flyer, and check every store, around the area for deals, I am also able to save on gas with store savings. I have a fresh water well in my basement so water I’m not really worried about besides the fact that I will want to filter it just in case. 

  • Dan R

    For my winter needs I keep a portable propane heater handy. I bought a Mr. Heater for 75.00 and keep 6 canisters on standby. each can lasts about 6 hours on low. Also has a built in low oxygen sensor. Also remember, a car can also be a generator, My ford truck will go for 3 days on idle with a full tank, My Civic will do 3 times that on half the gas. Pick up a 300 watt inverter at you local hardware store for under 50 bucks and plug in the fans. They won’t run a heater, but 2 box fans and a couple CFL’s will lost a long time.  Make sure you check you cars temp regularly. It only needs to run when the battery is needs a charge. 

    • Messdhb

      Also make sure the connections are nice and tight, you don’t want to smoke the car or the inverter!

      • AMcMor121951

        Hello! This seems to be a great site for exchanging ideas; am definitely bookmarking it for future reference… At any rate, on the issue of using an inverter in the car… I read ( on an electronics geek site ) that in order to run a 400w inverter in your car you must first wire the inverter directly into the battery or it will fry the cars wiring and possibly the inverters also! Have you heard anything about this?

  • Dougc

    Dark blankets?  Huh?  Wouldn’t that absorb and store more heat?  Maybe a mylar reflective blanket in the window would be a better choice?

  • This is
    the great blog, I’m reading them for a while, thanks for the new posts!

  • MrsRock

    I ordered 3 small battery operated fans that run on 2 D batteries & am surprised at the air they put out–even on low. There is a larger fan but they used 6 D batteries at once–seems kinda expensive. I am in process of stocking up on D batteries–they can be used in my LED lantern and many of my flashlights. Seems like a good investment to me.

     I would take some time and learn a bit about therapeutic essential oils and making a cooling body spray.

    I could see a spritz or 2 of a peppermint mix and a small fan to be very helpful in keeping cool during a power outage in the summer. Just make sure you do not spray in eyes or if you are allergic.

  • Harmonylds

    I would love to hear more about cooling. I live in Phx, where it has been record highs this past week.A home’s temperature will get into the 90s after only a couple of hours with no AC. A lady here lost her AC a few weeks ago and refused to “inconvenience” her neighbor, who had offered to let her stay at her home until it could be fixed. She was dead the next morning. It got me thinking, what would we do if there was a mass power outage here in the summer and we had no AC for 2 or 3 days? What would we do? What do you recommend?

    • We’ll ask on our facebook page for reader tips. We haven’t had to deal with this a lot so we’re not experts on the subject. If you’re not on our facebook page let us know and we’ll email you the answers.

  • Teresa

    I met a very sweet, elderly Native American man several years back during the middle of a heat wave.  He said that what they used to do on the reservation was to soak lightweight cotton quilts in water, wring them out and hang them across open windows and doors.  The breeze coming through the damp cotton would chill the air and the cross breeze kept it very comfortable.  You have to spray or re-soak the cotton as it dries out to keep it damp.  I tried it in my bedroom but the walls with my window and patio doors are right next to each other, so there wasn’t much of a cross breeze.  Battery-powered fans are a great idea.  I think I’m going to have to get me some, too.  And I really need to try this on a larger scale one of these days to see if it really works.

    • Christine

      This is excellent information. I live in the Arizona desert and I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep cool if there is a power outage during the 100+ degree months.

  • Lyndasusan

    Wish there were more suggestions on keeping cool. I have asthma and heat really affects me. Thanks so much

  • Great! Thank for information, I’m looking for it for
    a long time,


  • Wehave5boys

    I just saw battery powered fans and bed bath n beyond, going to get one this week

  • Iampevolts

    Here’s an idea for a blanket that would keep you warm. If you know how to sew you can buy a space blanket for around three dollars. They are made from light weight foil like a chip bag. Open up the space blanket and sew it between two regular blankets. These space blankets are small enough to fit into your back pocket so don’t let the size fool you. I’ve used them in the Rocky Mountains in a snow storm while deer hunting and they really work well. Keep one in your glove box if you live in a cold area. It could be used to catch rain or keep you dry. Good luck!

    • Christine

      Another good option is to buy wool army blankets from the military surplus store. They will keep you warm even if they are wet.

  • CoffeeHeidi

    We keep blankets over drafty doors and windows during the winter. Either make your own out of pretty fleece (we used 2 layers) or other material or simply use store bought blankets. I attached Velcro-sewn-onto-fabric tabs to the tops of ours. We hung a curtain rod a few inches above our door frame and attached the blanket/quilt to it. When we need to leave the house, we simply scoot the blanket to the side. The living room of our 85+ year old home was absolutely freezing, even with the heat on, until we did this.

  • Terry Menger

    I would definitely love to hear more about the heating and cooling issues we could confront and how to deal with them. It’s a topic seldom covered anywhere. Thanks for the cool site and the great information you make available to all of us. Jodi and Julie…you girls ROCK!

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