Showing posts with label kerosene. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kerosene. Show all posts

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Emergency Lighting Sources

How Will You Light Your Space If The Power Goes Out?

When most people think about a way to light their homes in the case of a power outage, flashlights and candles are usually the first things that come to mind. Some people use generators, when possible as well. 

In reality, those aren't bad choices. You should always keep a supply of candles and at least one good flashlight ready and available for emergencies. Don't forget the batteries for that flashlight either, or you might wind up in trouble for sure!

However, there are a lot more options for lighting than just candles and flashlights. Some of those options might work better for you than others will, and that's why we're going to take a look at some of the best options here today.

So read on to see a few of the many different kinds of emergency lighting available to you in times of emergency. It's worth it to have at least one of these on hand as well, for minor incidents where the power goes out during a storm or other small situation.

Oil and Kerosene Lamps

These lamps are fairly easy to get your hands on. I have recently purchased two at our local Wal-Mart, which we used during a camping trip, and it worked wonderfully. Of course, with any lamp you have to make sure you have a supply of fuel on hand, which can make these less than perfect.

In an oil lamp, I've heard that you can use cooking oil in a dire emergency, and it will work for light. I have not tested this myself, but if you have and can comment on the effectiveness, please feel free to comment and let us know.

If you'll be on the move, and have little room to carry both a lamp and the fuel supply it needs, you might want to pass this one over. However, if you're going to be in one place with no plans to leave, it might work well for you.

Solar Lanters

Solar lanterns will cost a little more to start with, but you have to factor in the fact that you will not need an ongoing supply of fuel. If you're on the move, or might not have the opportunity to purchase more fuel, this is a great option. And as long as you have the ability to set it out to recharge, you'll never have to worry about having light.

Another solar option that is often not thought of is the solar garden stake. Most people use these to line garden paths or sidewalks but you can also use them for emergency lighting as well. Simply set them out during the day to charge and then place them throughout the house in vases for lighting at night. Really, any type of solar powered light will work in an emergency situation, so check out all the available options.

Hand Crank Lanterns and Lights

While I don't exactly encourage choosing this option, it is certainly better than nothing is you find yourself without light. There are some that are better than others, and you can read reviews on websites such as Amazon to find out what people think. It can take awhile to crank them up to full power, so be ready to use some elbow grease.

You may have heard these lights touted as working as long as you crank them. However, they do have a battery inside and after a few years of use, it will need to be replaced, no matter how much you crank the handle. 

Emergency Shortening Lantern

If you happen to have something you can use for a wick, such as actual wick material, heavy string or even shoestrings, in some cases, you can place it in a can of shortening for a makeshift lantern. Burning times will vary, based on the composition of the shortening and the wick material, but it definitely works.

You can also use cans of tuna (the kind packed in oil) along with a wick material, in much the same way.

Variety Is The Spice of Life

We've all heard the old saying, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Well, we can use the same idea when it comes to emergency lighting. If possible, be ready to use a variety of different lighting sources, just in case one doesn't work out. 

It is entirely possible that, even with the best planning, you might yourself without batteries, without kerosene or other fuel for your lanterns or an array of other situations. The best bet is to have a series of different lighting sources available at all time, just in case.

Also, the lighting sources mentioned above are only a few of the many options available. If you're looking for something to add to your list of supplies, make sure you do your research. And feel free to comment and let us know what we've missed!

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!