Every year weather warnings go out and people panic. They scramble to the grocery stores to clear the shelves of bread, milk, and batteries. It always looks a bit like a bad apocalypse movie, though I’ve never understood why people wait until a storm is imminent to start thinking about what they need to be comfortable during a possible power outage.
Granted, the power outages are nothing like they were 30 years ago when there was very little available that homeowners could afford. Back then we relied on firewood and those families that didn’t have a fireplace moved in with the neighbors during the weather emergency. While I remember those times fondly, I don’t know my neighbors well enough to really want to spend several days locked in a single room trying to stay warm with them. Thankfully most of our power lines are underground now so we rarely lose our power, but we’re still ready should it happen.
Weather Emergency: Staying Warm
Several years ago we purchased a generator (READ: Power Outage Safety and Supplies – Be Ready!). We’d had several years with multiple outages so we thought it was time to finally invest in one. As luck would have it, I think we’ve had two outages since we purchased it. Still, it was a lifesaver during those events in keeping our freezer from thawing and allowing us to have lights. The one area we were still behind the times on was how we kept warm. We continued to use firewood which isn’t the most efficient way to stay warm and in severe cold, the inversion layer of clouds often forces the smoke back down into our house. Plus someone has to keep the fire going all night carrying wood in from outside which lets in the cold air we’re trying to keep out. We had a few small portable heaters, but none were powerful enough to heat the room.
To update our heating option during emergencies we’ve added a Holmes® Smart Console Heater to our cold weather emergency kit. It can heat a large room and because it can be run in high, low, and eco mode, it won’t likely break the circuit on the generator. It’s also useful every day (read: Heating Our Empty Nest: Holmes Smart Console Heater with WeMo), so it’s not a piece of equipment that’s packed away in the garage until we need it. On the contrary, it’s something we use every day that we’ll be able to take advantage of the next time Mother Nature decides to show her might by taking out the power. The Holmes Smart Console Heater has several safety features to be sure it doesn’t overheat and in addition to the high/low/eco heat settings, it has a timer so we can set it to shut off up to 8 hours later. It’s large and stable so we don’t have to worry about it tipping over and it has led controls so we know we’ll have a minimum amount of light available so we don’t have to worry about tripping over it. I’m pretty happy to know that next time an emergency comes up, we’ll be warm and cozy without having to worry about starting a fire and keeping it fed. Now I just have to get more comfortable about starting the generator myself.