I keep hearing reports out of the Rockaway section of NYC that a lot of people there are dealing with this cold snap with little to no heating. As many as a third of residents are without heat.
This seems to happen every winter, with some city getting hit by ice storm or blizzard or hurricane, and the populace has to rebuild during winter.
Now, I’m not one to to wait around for government help if I can avoid it. So, like I often do, when hearing about things like this, I think to myself, how would I survive such a situation? No heat. House I currently live in. Gotta keep the babies (and me and hubby) warm in zero degree weather. As safely and cheaply as possible.
Some people have been using their electric powered ovens to heat the kitchen, and have everyone (including the dogs) bunk down there at night. This could be an option for me, my oven is electric, and we often vent the excess heat from it into the kitchen after we bake or roast.
I think if I was utilizing this strategy, I would insure that kitchen was holding as much of the warmth in as possible. Keeping what heat you have would be vital. Carpets and rugs on the floor. Drapes or window quilts over windows and doors. Even the walls (if there are walls without cabinets on them) can be insulated with rugs or drapes.
Continuing in the small area heating, I’m reminded of a Japanese table, the kotatsu, that has blankets draped over it and a small heating element in the middle. The area under the table is toasty warm, and anyone sitting there has warm feet/legs, and a table to amuse themselves by reading/writing/painting/crafting. The Japanese of course use low-to-the-ground tables, and cushions to sit on, but it could easily be adapted to the American preference of high chairs. If electricity is out, the older versions of this concept used a low small charcoal brazier under the table. Care should be taken with that version, proper ventilation and fire safety should all be taken into consideration.
I would also consider bringing my ammo can stove in and venting it out a window with stove pipe. I think if I put down a couple of sheet pans and was careful about things I could get some heat out of that arrangement for a temporary amount of time. I wouldn’t need to break the window if I did things with a bit of planning, and my rental property could remain largely undamaged.
Things would have to be truly desperate before I’d have an open fire in my house. It’s far more likely to burn the house down than provide consistent heat. I would keep the open fire outside and use it to heat water and rocks. Water for making warm drinks, rocks for taking inside to radiate heat into a bed or covered table perhaps.
There are my thoughts. Do YOU have ways to keep your family warm if your usual method is unavailable? Anybody doing a lot of your own heating?
– Calamity Jane