General Heat Sources
- The best place for babies is their mother's bodies, either in the arms or using one of the many ways of carrying a baby and still having your hands free.
- Drink a lot of water, and eat frequent meals with lots of carbohydrates.
- If you have heat, and your neighbor doesn't, invite them to shelter with you. Work with your community to ensure that nobody is left out in the cold.
Staying Warm While Sleeping
At night, have everyone sleep together and use extra sleeping insulation such as:
- Layered clothing
- Sleeping bags
If electric or gas utilities fail, don't try to heat the entire house. It is easier to heat one room, and it is easier to heat a room if you are bundled up warmly. A winter emergency is not a time to expect that you can walk around the house barefoot and in shorts.
- Wear loose layers of clothes.
- Keep dry. Wet clothing loses its ability to insulate, and can suck heat right out of you (wool is an exception).
- Stay out of the wind as much as possible.
- Clean clothes keep you warm better than dirty clothes.
- Make sure your head, hands, and feet are protected.
- Wear a warm cap inside and outside the house.
Emergency heaters include:
- "Canned Heat"
- Buddy Burners
- Gas stove burners (if the gas is on but the electricity is off)
Heating Safety Practices
- Propane camp stoves may be used indoors, but do not use liquid Coleman fuel stoves inside the house.
- Do not leave a propane camp stove, or the burners on a natural gas stove, burning while you sleep.
- Kerosene used according to the manufacturer's directions, can be safely used while sleeping.
- Do not leave candles burning while you are asleep. They may get knocked over in the night and cause a fire.
- Do not use charcoal briquettes inside for cooking or keeping warm-doing this has killed people.
- Do not use wood unless you have a fireplace or properly installed wood stove.
- If you need a campfire, build it in a safe place outside.
- The flame of 1 candle can keep you from freezing to death.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the improper use of open flame heating include headache, lethargy, blurry vision, or the room feels "stuffy." If symptoms occur, get fresh air into the room immediately or move everybody out fast. Pregnant women and unborn babies are particularly at risk. These symptoms are cumulative and returning to a carbon monoxide environment could cause the symptoms to come on much quicker and more severe. If you think you have carbon monoxide poisoning contact Emergency Services or get to the hospital.
- Newspapers can be emergency insulation. Wrap them around legs, arms, torso, tape over windows/ceilings, on the floor.
- Blankets, cloth, curtains, plastic, newspapers, and mattresses can be used to insulate windows, doors, walls, and floors.
- Do not seal the room so that no fresh air can get in. You must have ventilation.