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30 Tips for Surviving the Cold Without Power

Much of the south is experiencing unheard of cold. In places like Texas, people are seeing pipes frozen and power outages all over. Countless folks are living in houses with no heat, no water, forced to try and survive. 

You don’t have to freeze and suffer. There are numerous small things you can do to help stay warm, even without power. Twitter user Rebecca Mix has compiled a thread of advice for anyone in this situation. And this list was too valuable to not share. 

We’re not talking about obvious advice like “invest in a generator” or “buy some emergency blankets.” This is advice for if you’re already stuck in the worse scenario, and can’t simply go to the store to buy supplies.

You can see the twitter thread yourself here. Otherwise, we have taken all of the posts, and suggestions by followers, and compiled them into an easy-to-read format below. We hope these help anyone stuck in this situation, or anyone who might be stuck in this in the future.

30 Things You Can Do To Stay Warm Without Any Power

  1. Layers of loose clothing will keep you warmer than tight clothing or tight layers
  2. Cover windows in blankets or towels to insulate better
  3. Choose a single room for everyone in the house to stay in. Stay in that room as much as you can, focus insulation on that room.
  4. Keep your hands and feet warm, you lose a lot of heat through them.
  5. If you can boil/heat water, putting hot water bottles in beds/blankets can help you stay warm.
  6. Set your faucets to drip water, but only a very small bit. This helps the water not stay too still and freeze in the pipes.
  7. Boiling water (if able) is a good way to produce heat and humidity.
  8. Pantyhose are great for layering to stay warm.
  9. Wear breathable fabrics underneath insulating fabrics.
  10. If its a multi-floor home, have your “warm room” be on an upper floor, since heat rises. It also keeps you off the ground where a lot of heat is lost.
  11. Shut doors, all doors. Stuff towels and blankets under them to seal them off. Minimize airflow throughout the house.
  12. If you have a generator. DO NOT BRING IT INSIDE. Let it run while outside (preferable 30ft away), and run a power cable from it into the building. No need to die of CO2 poisoning.
  13. If direct sunlight is shining through a window. Remove the insulating covers to allow the sun inside. It will help heat the room with a greenhouse effect. As soon as the direct sunlight is gone, cover again.
  14. If you can warm up food to eat, do so. Warm food will help keep your internal temperature warm.
  15. Keep all pets in the “warm room” with you. Bring food and litter boxes. Do not leave them unattended when not in the room (bathroom breaks, etc). They’re smaller and more prone to frostbite than humans.
  16. Pool Noodles, cut in half, make for excellent draft blockers.
  17. Bedding wise, put fluffy stuff closest to the body, with thinner, denser layers on the outside. Same applies for clothing too.
  18. Don’t wear cotton, it absorbs too much moisture.
  19. If you have the energy for it, exercise can generate plenty of body heat.
  20. With the right parts and technical savvy, you can make a bicycle power generator. Exercise for heat and generate power.
  21. Check on your neighbors. Sharing a warm room is a great way to combine generated body heat. They might also be old or disabled and need help surviving.
  22. Open the fridge or freezer as little as possible, to reduce spoilage rate.
  23. Frozen food items can be put outside if below freezing temp. Just don’t forget about them.
  24. Run your car for a couple of minutes every day to prevent battery drain from the cold.
  25. Running the car can provide heat and power (with a lighter plug adapter). But it’s efficient and can only be relied on for as long as you have/can get gas.
  26. Lining your windows with cardboard is a nice improvise insulator.
  27. Drinking alcohol will make you colder in the long term. Don’t do it. (even if you feel warm while drinking it)
  28. Melting snow can provide water if you lose access to water.
  29. Boil snow-water multiple times before drinking to kill bacteria and other contaminants.
  30. You can put socks on your pets to help them stay warm. They lose a lot of heat through the paws.

Our hats are off to Rebecca Mix (though only for a moment, have to stay warm) for compiling all this information for the public. To show our appreciation, we want to point anyone interested to their upcoming book (they’re an author). She is releasing a young adult romance called The Ones We Burn some time next year. Details can be found on the Goodreads page.

With any luck, and plenty of preparation, you shouldn’t need to reference this list. But we’re glad it’s here, just in case. Stay warm, preppers.

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