Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Alternative Heating Sources For Survival

While not every home has air conditioning, every home does have heat. However, most every one of those heating sources is completely dependent on electricity. Some homes have fireplaces, but a lot of those are only for decorative purposes only.

In a situation like this, what would one do in an emergency situation? If the power goes off in the dead of winter, you will have to go into survival mode. Can you readily do that? If not, then you might need to consider an alternative heating source to what you already have. Because the electric often goes out, especially in the winter time. One severe snow storm or ice storm can render you without a valid source of heat. And furthermore, put your life in danger.

The Wood Burning Stove

One option for an alternate heat source is the wood burning stove. Even a temporary one is better than nothing. They are fairly easy to install in almost any home and require just a few special specifications. If you are a handy person, you can even do the job yourself with a little help.

One thing you should keep in mind is that you should choose a stove that burns real wood instead of wood pellets. While wood pellets do burn more efficiently and produce more heat than regular wood, they can't be burned with wood. So when you run out of pellets, you run the risk of freezing. 

Making the investment in a regular wood burning stove is something you won't regret and it WILL be used at some point. You've heard the term, "better safe than sorry", and it has never been more true than in a situation that involves survival heating.

The Kerosene Heater

Another good option for heat, should the electricity go out, is the kerosene heater. They are a very clean burning and they produce a great deal of heat for their size. They radiate heat from all sides, but since they have no need of a chimney, they lose no heat in that way. This sometimes makes them more effective and easier to use than a wood burning stove.

Kerosene heaters are easier to use than wood burning stoves because they require no special installation and they cost quite a bit less as well. They can simply be purchased, filled with fuel and you can  immediately start using them. However, they are completely dependent upon a constant fuel source. While you can forage for wood, you have to actually purchase kerosene which means that in a serious emergency, you'll have to find a place to buy it.

If you decide to go with a kerosene heater, you can begin to stockpile kerosene. It stores well and will keep for long periods of time, so stockpiling large amounts should not be a problem. However, you must know you're going to be staying in the same place for an extended period of time as well, to make this option work.

The Gas Catalytic Heater

Another option is the gas catalytic heater. With this heater, you don't have to stockpile fuel, as it runs on natural gas. It burns very efficiently and clean as well. There is a "bed" for the fuel to burn in that heats the ceramic and that, in turn, radiates out to heat the entire room. 

You can purchase these heaters in different sizes for heating rooms of different sizes, as they are specifically for room heating. One of the greatest advantages of utilizing this heater is the fact that it uses natural gas. Since natural gas pumping stations have their own power sources for emergency situations, they are more likely to still be operational should the electric grid be shut down.

Other Things To Consider

In the event of an electrical outage, the first and most important thing is to have a secondary heat source. However, there are other things you can do in preparation for cold weather. You always know when it's coming, so you have an advantage already in that alone.

You can start by making sure your home is adequately insulated. This allows you to hold on to the heat you create for longer periods of time. Interior walls are not usually insulated, since they are inside the home. However, if you are building your own home, you can add this as a precaution for any survival situation that might arise. You can also cover doorways with blankets if they do not have a door installed in them, which will act as a temporary door and hold in heat in an emergency.

In severe cases, you can coat the walls of one room with rescue blankets. These are made of aluminized Mylar and do a very good job of reflecting heat back into the room, losing very little. If you don't have that, make sure to use aluminum or plastic on your windows. Also make it a point to seal around and underneath any doors that lead outside as well. A few drafts can let in as much cold air as large hole in the wall. Every little bit counts!