Monday, January 30, 2012

Staying warm when the heat is out

Winter is not a season, it's an occupation.
~Sinclair Lewis

Here are some ideas for staying warm when your house/apt. heat is not working:

Dress warmly! Wear a hat and socks indoors and even in bed! Dress in many layers from head to fingers to toes. Put on a winter coat or make your own by stuffing your clothing with crumbled up newspapers, paper towels or other insulating materials.

Snuggle and share body heat with family and pets.

Heat rises so stay upstairs.
Plug any air gaps around windows and doors.

Close doors to unused rooms. This will reduce drafts and retain what little heat your bodies give off.

Cover floors with a carpet or blanket.

Vigorous exercise warms the body and moves heat to fingers and toes.

When sitting still wrap yourself in a blanket or thick bathrobe.

Bottom Line

Know your limits to avoid frost bite and hypothermia! Sometimes the best thing to do is leave a cold house and find a shelter with heat.

Most fireplaces do a poor job of heating a room. NEVER leave a fire unattended or burning while you sleep and do not dispose of fireplace ashes near your house. Space heaters and candles are a fire risk when used near flammable items. Gas powered heaters are also a carbon monoxide risk when there is no ventilation.

NEVER use a power generator indoors.
While TV news emphasizes tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes, the real killers in nature are heat and cold. Globally there are more deaths from extreme cold than from extreme storms. Freezing to death is very real, especially for senior citizens and infants. Freezing cold can also inspire desperate measures to stay warm which lead to death by house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

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