In the case that you may be out of electricity and need to find an alternative heating or light source, what do you have ready?
Last year we installed a wood stove. Firewood can be easily found for free here so basically we only had the cost of the stove (which was less than $300) and we have free heat any time we need it to back up our electric heat. If you are going to look into getting a wood stove, don't forget about things you may need to consider purchasing with it. We also had the cost of the tile for the floor and the walls where the stove sits and you may have the cost of a blower(unless your stove comes with one). For our homestead this works great!
Not only will you have to heat your house, you will need to heat food also! And unless you plan on having a campfire cookout every time you don't have power (which may not be the most practical thing to do if it's blizzarding!) If you don't have one already you could look into a camping cookstove or if you are looking for something more heavy duty (to hold bigger cooking containers) like this outdoor patio stove.
If you are going to be unable to cook outdoors to use the propane stoves you could even consider a small, but effective source of heat, such as Sterno Cans. I think these are the most convenient and I keep a case on hand in my pantry all the time.
There are several different alternative light sources you can get and they are mostly inexpensive. Candles are always a good option if you just want something easy to stock up on. I like to buy the unscented candles that are on clearance after holidays. I store them in large plastic totes. I also hate to waste the leftover chunks of wax in from candles when the wick is gone. My solution on what to do with the leftover wax can be found here: Tea Cup Candles. And don't forget to stock up on matches and/or lighters!
If you want something that will provide a little more lighting you can try oil lamps. They are actually pretty inexpensive and they provide a decent amount of light.
Another option is crank powered lamps and flashlights. These are nice because you don't have to keep any batteries on hand to keep them going. We have a few of the flashlights on hand and one lantern, they work great for having to do outside chores in the dark!
If you are caught without power and without preparing with candles or lamps you can even make your own oil lamp with just olive oil, wick, and a jar!
Something important to remember is to keep these heating and lighting sources somewhere that you can remember! Keep flashlights next to your bed or in easy to access places around the house because you never know when you might get caught in the dark!
What alternative heat and lighting sources do you use in a power outtage?
Learn more about Practical Food Storage and Preparing for Price Increases. And make sure you check out how to save and live better in all areas of your life on the Making the Most page!
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