Surviving the Winter with The Home Heating Shop
- Your must-have home Emergency winter kit
- What to do in power cuts
- Cooking and heating without electric or mains gas
10 Step plan to prepare for power cuts or flooding
Prices quoted for items are Winter 2020
1. To Keep warm:
Get a Portable Calor Gas (LPG) Heater as back up heating, buy in summer before demand soars and prices rise.
Our recommended best buy budget Calor gas heater is under £80 and has a 100% Home Heating Shop customer satisfaction rating.
2. To make hot food:
Grab a copy of the Cool Camping Cookbook, this book is more suited to camping at home than in the wild, so is just the thing for this occasion.
3. To keep dry:
Make up an emergency bag of warm clothes, one set for each member of your family.
For each person include at least 1 kagool (all sizes under £10 each here), 1 pair wellies (Dunlop Wellies under £15 a pair here), 2 pairs of socks, warm jumpers 2 or 3 T-shirts, gloves, warm trousers, waterproof over trousers (Under £10 a pair here) a woolly hat, a change of underwear, add pack a bag of towels and sanitary products for those who may need them.
Alongside this make sure you have a decent first aid kit, get the best one you can, the Surviveware is our choice. but at nearly £100 is expensive. As a minimum, we recommend the JFASt Johns Ambulance medium workplace kit at around £25 . Check that anyone on medication has supplies. Remember that first aid kits have expiry dates on some contents as the sterile packaging will break down after a couple of years, so check them regularly and update as needed.
4. To have enough to eat:
Stock up with tinned and dry foods, tinned meat, fish, soups, rice pudding etc... Packs of pasta, rice, flour and milk powder.
Once the power is cut a fridge will only stay cold for about 4 hours so start eating the food in your fridge first.
Try not to open your freezer during a power cut as a full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours, a half-full one for about 24 hours.
Water supplies may become contaminated so buy a couple of 5-litre bottles from your supermarket with each monthly shop and stockpile them.
Each person in your household will need about 2 litres a day and you'll need extra water for any pets.
5. To keep in contact:
Your TV. PC, router & house phone (if it uses a mains adapter) won't work so make sure your mobile, laptop or tablet is fully charged and use them sparingly to save battery life.
If you've got an old corded phone (the kind that doesn't need a mains adapter & just plugs into the phone socket), that will work so dust it off and keep it handy.
6. To get news updates:
Your internet and cell phone networks may be down so getting a cheap battery-powered radio, or better still get a Wind-up Waterproof AM/FM Radio.
You'll need to know what's happening with the weather, rescue services and when the power is due to come back on.
7. To see in the dark:
Candles can cause fires, instead, have some torches and a packet of new batteries for them.
Better still, get a handy Waterproof Wind Up Torch for each person, this one can also be hung up and used a lantern.
( both our recommended torch and radio can also be used as mobile phone chargers)
8. To keep morale up:
You need to restrict the use of mobile phones, tablets or laptops to save battery power, so put some things you can use to pass the time in with your emergency kit, eg:- Pencils, paper, books, a pack of cards, a few board games, puzzle books, jigsaw puzzles etc...
9. To help others:
Power cuts and flooding can be particularly hard on elderly or vulnerable people, so make a note of your neighbours who may need help.
Get contact nos. relatives, friends, social, care or support workers who you can call on their behalf in case of hardship.
10. To find out more:
The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) is the independent body which protects the rights of energy users regulators. See our Article on OFGEM for more about what they do.
Visit the OFGEM help in a power cut page for more in-depth advice about getting help in power cuts and the legal obligations of your energy suppliers.
They also tell you how much compensation you are owed and how to claim it.
Activating your emergency plan:
When you've got your emergency kit ready (we suggest packing each persons clothing in a separate holdall or a labelled black bin bag) make sure everything is in a place you can find easily in the dark (remember how short winter days are).
Practice your power cut / Flood drill:-
Chose an assembly point where you plan on handing out the kit, torches etc... and practice. Get everyone to make their way there from various places in the house in the dark a few times.
Instead of panicking if the lights go out or water starts seeping into the house your family will know what to do.
If you are in a flood area then put your kit, food supplies, camping stove and Calor Gas heater upstairs, or in the highest accessible part of your home. If you're trapped for a few days this will provide you with warmth, hot food, dry clothing and light.
Recommended Items for your winter emergency kit
Installing a wood burning stove can cut your heating bills by up to 90%
Free yourself from the nightmare of power cuts and rising fuel prices by getting a wood burning stove.
Visit The Home Fire Shop for great deals and advice on buying, installing and using stoves and find out how to reduce heating bills by up to 90%
Or visit our partners at Machine Mart for some really great winter deals on wood burning stoves & accessories