Be Prepared for a Man-Made or Natural Emergency

SURVIVAL ESSENTIALS

HEAT

Even in the middle of summer, you may need some extra heat at night. Be sure to have two extra blankets on hand for every bed. If that is still not enough, you can put a sleeping bag on top of your bed and add the blankets on top. If this is still not enough, you can keep a fire in the fireplace while you sleep. Or, double up - two of you will keep each other twice as warm. Open the bed or sleeping bag at least an hour before bedtime to let either warm up.

Emergency solar blankets are great for the car, and you might want a few in the house also. They are thin and metallic like, and they act like aluminum foil to keep your own body heat in. Solar blankets are also small for easy storage in the car or first-aid kit. They can be used alone in a dire emergency, used to line a sleeping bag, or used in your own bed.

You may want to have a sleeping bag, extra blankets, and a solar blanket on hand for everyone in the household in case your house is not habitable after a disaster.

LIGHT

DO YOU SMELL GAS?

Use flashlights in an emergency until you are sure that there are no gas leaks - not just in your own home but in the neighborhood. Have extra flashlights on hand and many, many batteries. You can also get a solar battery charger.

You can even buy "table lamps" that use a very large battery. Hanging them from the ceiling or wall will light up a larger area. Using any light source in front of a mirror will double the amount of light produced.

NO GAS

If there are no gas leaks, you can use candles if you are extremely careful and you do extinguish them all before going to bed. If you have children or pets, the candles should be kept up high enough that they can't be knocked over by the little guys. And don't put candles near curtains or under a wooden cupboard. Putting a small piece of aluminum foil under each candle will protect your furniture from drips if your candle holders are not wide enough. Candles are available that burn for up to 50 hours.

Sconces can be hung on the wall and used to hold candles. You can find these with mirrored backs, which double the amount of light from each candle. These are also high enough to be out of reach of kids and pets, and have less danger of being knocked over.

Kerosene lamps will give more light than candles and for longer periods of time. Be sure to store kerosene in a cool place out of the reach of children and pets. These lamps should be extinguished before going to bed and kept high enough so the little ones won't knock them over. You can even find kerosene that is scented if you prefer.

NO OXYGEN

Propane lanterns for camping are also great for emergencies if there are no gas leaks. Propane is not safe for use indoors because it will use up the oxygen, possibly resulting in death. Bottles or tanks of propane should be kept in a cool place out of the reach of children.

OUTDOOR LIGHTING

A few "tiki" torches might be fun for the backyard, or you could install outdoor solar lights. Without television, you don't have to be velcroed to the couch every night. You could enjoy evenings together outside if the weather allows.

NEXT: Survival Essentials - Be Efficient
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