Emergency Heat Sources to Keep You Warm in a Disaster
One of the primary things that you’re going to need in a post-disaster situation is fire. You may not think much about it now but if you lose power, fire is going to be one of your best friends. You’ll need it for:
- – Cooking
- – Warmth
- – Light
- – Keeping animals away
- – Sanitation and bathing
These are just the physical uses of fire; think about how nice campfires are, then imagine how you’re going to feel in a post-disaster situation. That feeling of personal comfort will be an added bonus.
Because you don’t know what disaster may strike or what you may need to use for tinder or fuel, it’s best to have several different fire-starting options. There are always the old-school friction bow and 2 sticks methods but they really aren’t ideal because they require a ton of effort and near-perfect conditions to work. Instead, I like to keep at least 4 ways to quickly strike a flame in my fire starting kit.
This is the age-old, tried-and-true method of creating fire. Make sure that you buy waterproof ones, waterproof your own, or seal standard household matches in a waterproof container. Used film canisters are great for this because they’re made to keep out moisture. Also, use wooden matches instead of paper ones. Matches are a must have item in a fire starting kit.
Flint and Magnesium Fire Sticks
There are numerous flint and magnesium fire starting kits available at camping stores and superstores. They’re often small and easy to carry. The benefit of using one with magnesium instead of just the old-fashioned flint is that if your tinder is damp or green, you can shave off some magnesium, light it, then use that fire (which burns at about 5400 degrees, to light your not-so-awesome tinder. Again, these must be included in your fire starting kit.
This may seem like a no-brainer if you’re a smoker but many non-smokers don’t even own a lighter. Keep at least 2 lighters handy: one cheap disposable one and one butane one. The butane one is great for staying lit in wet or windy situations. Keep a little bottle of extra gas for it, too.
This synthetic metal throws off a large amount of extremely hot sparks when you scrape it against textured surfaces such as other metals. Because the sparks burn at about 3000 degrees F and the rods work equally well wet or dry, they’re a great addition to your fire starting kit. Ferrocerium rods come in different sizes that range from wallet-sized to several feet long.
There are several different ways to make homemade fire starters but a couple of my favorites are as follows:
- Mix pieces of wood shavings in a coffee can with hot wax until it’s coated and a little thick. Before it cools, completely stuff them into a toilet paper roll and stick a birthday candle in each end. Let it dry, then cut it in half and voila! You have two really effective fire starters.
- Fill each chamber of an egg carton with pine shavings, dryer lint, magnesium shavings, steel wool, or other flammable items. Fill the chambers with melted wax and let it set. Break them into individual pieces. If you’d like, put birthday candles or wicks in them to make them easier to light.
Tinder or Kindling Sources:
If you’re going to start a fire, you’re going to need good tinder to get it going because you can’t just light whole pieces of wood. Here are a few not-so-obvious household items that you can add to your fire starting kit. Just put them in a waterproof container (I use a plastic sandwich box).
- Extremely dry, small pieces of wood
- Dryer lint
- Cotton balls smeared in petroleum jelly
- Steel Wool
- Alcohol pads
- Pine cones
- Old pine needles from the yard or from your dried-out Christmas tree
You can also buy commercial fire starters made from all kinds of tinder. Magnesium shavings also work really well.
Even if you have food, water and shelter, you’re going to need to stay warm. It’s also nice to have hot food as well as hot water for coffee or washing. For that, you’re going to need fire, so get your fire kit together. Being warm isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. To learn about some alternate sources of fuel to heat your home with, check out our article here.
Continue Tutorial Below
When we first started prepping the biggest question that we had was "where do we start?" It's a pretty daunting task to try to prepare for everything that could possibly go wrong in life. So, what we decided to do is to begin with the basics and build on thatRead More
Why Disaster Preparedness is Important If you've been watching TV, listening to the radio or following current events, you've surely heard about a new movement referred to as prepping. But what exactly is it, why should you do it, and how do you get started? There are many different levelsRead More
Disaster Preparedness - Where Do You Start? Whether you're preparing for natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or even a zombie apocalypse, there are some common steps that you need to take. By the end of this article, you're going to learn where you should start your prepping adventure and you'll knowRead More
Determining Water Needs and How to Store It You can go without clean clothes, shelter, and even food for a few days but without water, your body will start to decline pretty quickly. In fact, you can only last 3 days without water. Fortunately, water is an extremely cheap resourceRead More
The Prepper's Guide to Finding Sources of Water At some point, you may find yourself running out of stored water and finding sources of water to fill your needs will be crucial. To ensure that you have what you need to survive, it's vital that you know how to findRead More
Water Purification Methods How to Make Collected Water Safe to Drink Even if you have a long-term source of stored water, it's still a good idea to have multiple ways of purifying water. You should at least have one alternative purification method just in case something happens to your supplyRead More
Post-Disaster Food Needs What You'll Need, How Much You Should Store, and How You'll Afford It One of the first things that people think of when they hear the word "prepping" is mass food storage. TV shows that highlight extreme preppers and even extreme couponers have really brought this aspectRead More
Why Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Foods Are Awesome Chances are good that at some point in your life, you've eaten beef jerky or one of those "just add water" camping meals. If so, you've experienced dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. Both processes operate on the premise that removing water from food killsRead More
Do It Yourself Food Preparation How to Supplement Your Stockpile with Foods You Preserve at Home We've already discussed commercially-prepared dehydrated and freeze dried emergency food in our article, The Advantages of Freeze Dried Emergency Food, but there are other methods that you can use to preserve food for your stockpileRead More
Top 7 Alternative Ways to Heat Food If you're stuck in a post-disaster situation without power to fire up the stove, you only really have 2 choices: use the alternative heating source that you've acquired for just such an emergency, or go without coffee and eat cold spaghetti rings. NeedlessRead More
The minute that your power goes out, your freezer starts to lose its cool. How fast it will warm up depends upon how much stuff is in it and how dense the products are, but generally speaking you've only got about 24 hours before your food is defrosted to theRead More
Oh No! The Toilet Won't Flush! Maintaining Sanitation and Hygiene without Running Water One of the biggest sources of disease and food-borne illness is contact with human fecal matter, or, as many of you may prefer to call it, pooh. That's right. This may not be a pretty topic, butRead More
A well-stocked first aid kit is every bit as essential to your stockpile as food and water. After all, how dumb would it be to die of infection from a little cut when a dab or two of iodine would have saved your life? The problem is that thereRead More
Learn Necessary Survival Skills from Trained Professionals When you think about survival skills, you may be thinking more along the lines of squirting blood and broken bones, but in reality you're probably going to face more mundane issues such as heart attacks, diabetic issues, and other "normal" medical issues inRead More
Hand Tools That Everybody Should Have Handy Especially if you live in a condo or apartment, you probably don't put much thought into owning tools, but should a disaster occur, you're going to need a few of them in order to survive. Electric tools will be useless if there isRead More
Emergency Heat Sources to Keep You Warm in a Disaster One of the primary things that you're going to need in a post-disaster situation is fire. You may not think much about it now but if you lose power, fire is going to be one of your best friends. You'llRead More
How to Keep Your House Warm in a Disaster We've already discussed ways to start fires in order to stay warm, but if you're in your home, you can't exactly build an open fire. You're going to need something to build your fire in, or another source of heat that'sRead More
Bug Out Bags, Quick-Grab Bags, Get-Home Bags, and Vehicle Bags What if something happened and you had to get out of bed and leave your home in 3 minutes or less? It may sound unrealistic but anybody who's survived a natural disaster will tell you that it's entirely possible. If thisRead More
What Say You?