Cold Weather Emergency Kits
Freezing To Death
If you live in a region where there is any sort of winter, you should think
seriously about preparing a cold weather emergency kit. Hypothermia,
which occurs when the body’s temperature falls below normal, can be serious; in
fact, it can be life threatening.
You do not necessarily have to live in an extreme northern region for
hypothermia to occur, it can happen once the temperatures drop below about 50
degrees F, and you have inadequate protection. However, hypothermia is
much more likely to occur when the temperatures are much colder, especially
when wind is present. A certain number of people die each year from
freezing to death when they were caught in an emergency situation. Making
up a kit that will help prevent this can literally mean the difference between
life and death.
When the electricity has gone off during an emergency when it’s cold, there
should be some way to enable you and your family to keep warm. Many
people already have wood burning stoves, and in this case, an adequate supply
of wood is all that they need.
However, wood stoves are impractical or impossible in some situations. If
you have a gas cooking stove you will be able to use that to keep warm.
However, never run the stove with the oven door open, and only keep it on for a
several hours at a time, as if you were roasting a chicken. Do not run it
continuously, it will deplete the oxygen in your home. A window should be
cracked to allow fresh air in, as well.
Kerosene heaters are another source of heat during a cold weather
emergency. Most of them throw a considerable amount of heat and can
easily be used to keep a room or two warm. As with the gas stove, it is
also a good idea to keep a window cracked when the heater is going.
Kerosene can be stored in gallon containers, preferably in a garage or shed,
and it is probably a good idea to fill the heater outdoors in case of a spill.
Clothing And Blankets
If you do not have an alternate heat source, you should definitely stock up on
warm clothing and blankets and quilts. For maximum insulation, layer the
clothing, rather than depending on one thick garment. Wool socks will go
a long way towards keeping your feet warm, and make sure to wear a hat at all
times. Wrap blankets and quilts around you and others to retain even more
heat, and do not hesitate to get everyone into bed if necessary.
Children and babies will need extra protection against the cold, and babies should
be tucked inside an adult’s clothing to maintain their body temperature.
Huddling several children together in bed can help to keep them safe from
hypothermia. Make sure to always have an Emergency Child Care Kit in the house at all times in case of any injury.
The elderly will also need extra protection from cold during a cold weather
emergency, as their circulation can be impaired, and many of them have other
health problems as well.