A freak winter storm has cut off power in your area, and they are predicting that it will not return for three days. How do you keep your family alive in freezing temperatures? Here are ten tips to keep from freezing during winter’s harshest weather. Learn how to stay warm in bad weather conditions!
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in some of the coldest climates on earth? I’ll be real with you – it might kill me. We frequently visit a relative’s house during the winter. Our room is upstairs in a converted attic. If I forget to crack the door at night (we’re used to sleeping with our doors closed at home), our room is so cold by morning. And by cold, I mean probably only in the upper 50’s, but I’m freezing to death, even under all the blankets and in flannels.
But there are sturdier men and women, unlike me, living in the harshest climates, and doing it well.
Meet my friend, Rhonda Van Zandt. She lives in Alaska with her husband out in the wilderness. They shop in town once a year, and they provide their food and meat through gardening, foraging, and hunting. She amazes me with all of her knowledge of things like preparedness, survival, off-grid living, and more! Here are her tips for staying warm in frigid weather!
10 Tips to Stay Warm and Safe During Winter Freeze
Layer Your Clothing to Stay Warm
A t-shirt (or thermal shirt) with a shirt over it, a sweater or two, then a coat, hat, mittens, warm socks, and boots. If you are too warm remove a layer. You will look fat, just get over it. And get these hand warmers. There’s nothing worse than hands and feet that are just too cold. Stick these in your pockets or under your feet to keep warmer.
Read more: How to Dress in Extreme Weather
Close Off Rooms to Stay Safe During Winter Freeze
Rooms that have no water pipes or stored liquids, and aren’t where you are spending all of your time don’t need the heat. Close doors and hang a blanket over doors. Small areas are best for staying warm. This also helps conserve your fuel for keeping you warm longer.
Alternatively, if you are trying to do most of your living in a smaller area, hang blankets over entryways or hallways (use heavy-duty tension rods and thick curtains or blankets), that allow passage through, but help contain heat into the area you’re living in.
Use Ceiling Fans to Avoid Freezing in Winter Season
Heat rises so place a fan near ceilings in occupied rooms to move heat from ceilings back into living areas. If you have a ceiling fan, you have 2 options for movement. Make sure your fan is adjusted to move clockwise to move warm air down for winter.
Stop Drafts To Stay Warm in Winter Freeze
Air seeps in through cracks and windows. Even if your house is well insulated. In extreme weather, use the extra insulating effect of blankets over doors and windows to help. Do not let those covers touch the glass because they can freeze to the surface and form dead air spaces. You can seal windows with a window sealing kit to help keep them insulated and layering blankets over them for a double insulation effect. And as always, keep your home well sealed by making sure all windows, doors, and joints are caulked well.
Using blankets or towels on door bases can stop drafts from entering your living area. There are great seal windows with a window sealing kit to use for permanent fixing, but just using sheets or extra clothing can be enough in extreme circumstances, even for interior doors.
Preparedness Quick Tip: Use Bubble Wrap to Insulate Windows
Good Ventilation is a Must
DO NOT heat your small places with Kerosene, Charcoal, or wood stoves without proper ventilation as you can die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Follow all safety precautions when using those or propane heaters to make sure that you don’t poison your family. Also, keep oil lamps in proper working order and in safe spaces to protect them from accidental fires.
Keep Pipes Clear to Keep them from Freezing
Running cold water in a very small stream running in will help your pipes from freezing. If they freeze, do not try to thaw them with a hairdryer. If you cannot use heat tape just leave them frozen as hopefully you have prepped drinking water and drained the water from your toilets so they do not freeze and crack if the bathroom is freezing up. If your pipes do freeze and burst, make sure to turn off your water supply. Hopefully, you’ve also prepared and insulated any outdoor pipes running into the house.
(Editorial note – using a heat gun to heat the air around a pipe to facilitate thawing is good, but using it directly on a PVC pipe can cause more damage. And if the freezing in your pipes is extensive, a hairdryer just isn’t going to help).
Read More: What to Do if Your Pipes are Frozen
Think Small During an Emergency Situation
If you lose power, are out of fuel to heat, have nothing left to burn, or are snowed in and isolated, think very small. Put up a tent inside, or build a fort in your living room or other room that is most interior without pipes or cold floors. Pack yourselves in because more bodies create more heat. Use all of your blankets and sleeping bags to keep warm. One candle can also generate heat in the space (just, for goodness sake, be careful!).
Stay Hydrated to Help Warming the Body
Drink lots of liquids as hypothermia sets in fast when you are not hydrated. Warm teas can help you feel warmer and keep you hydrated at the same time.
Cracking a Door at Night to Keep Rooms Warm
In houses with central heating, you can help the flow of heat between rooms so that you get good coverage. In a house we frequent in the winter when closing off one of the rooms upstairs, it gets exponentially colder, even though it has a heat register inside. But cracking the door, allows the heat to flow from room to room and keep that room warmer. This, of course, is good when your single heat source isn’t in that room.
Top Off Your Anti-freeze to Keep Your Car from Freezing
Make sure to top off your anti-freeze in your cars. Otherwise, your radiator will freeze, it will crack, and you won’t have a working car. And while this won’t keep you warm inside your house, it can be problematic if you absolutely must get to an ER for something. It can also be a last-ditch effort to stay warm by running a heater in the car if there is damage to your house that can’t allow you to stay inside.
ALWAYS Think Positively
The human mind is your worst enemy, and there is truth in the words scared silly…take an attitude of positive thought and you will be amazed at what you can do. Don’t just give up and sit there and die ..you can do it! People have done it for centuries, and so can you!
Your thoughts: Do you have other ideas on how to keep you and your family warm in extreme cold?
Katy Willis is a writer, lifelong homesteader, and master herbalist, master gardener, and canine nutritionist. Katy is a preparedness expert and modern homesteader practicing everyday preparedness, sustainability, and a holistic lifestyle.
She knows how important it is to be prepared for whatever life throws at you, because you just never know what's coming. And preparedness helps you give your family the best chance to thrive in any situation.
Katy is passionate about living naturally, growing food, keeping livestock, foraging, and making and using herbal remedies. Katy is an experienced herbalist and a member of the CMA (Complementary Medical Association).
Her preparedness skills go beyond just being "ready", she's ready to survive the initial disaster, and thrive afterward, too. She grows 100% organic food on roughly 15 acres and raises goats, chickens, and ducks. She also lovingly tends her orchard, where she grows many different fruit trees. And, because she likes to know exactly what she's feeding her family, she's a seasoned from-scratch cook and gluten-free baker.
Katy teaches foraging and environmental education classes, too, including self-sufficient living, modern homesteading, seed saving, and organic vegetable gardening.
Katy helps others learn forgotten skills, including basic survival skills and self-reliance.
She's been published on sites such as MSN, Angi, Home Advisor, Family Handyman, Wealth of Geeks, Readers Digest, and more.
Last update on 2024-02-26 at 04:57 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API