Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Heat in a can--for your car

I don't know what it's like in your neighborhood, but in snow like we had recently (but which has mostly since disappeared from the streets) we can easily get stuck in our car in the snow in our own neighborhood, even on our own street. My husband said on one of those days that he couldn't go very far without having to get out and help push someone out so that they could get going again. Yeah, neighbors are good like that--but what if you get stuck in your car in the cold with no neighbors around, and no immediate chance of rescue?

It's not a good scenario to find yourself in, especially if you are not prepared. Should you wait it out until someone comes? What if the weather is so bad that it's really hard to even pinpoint where you are? Should you get out and try to find help? Should you try to make it to your destination on foot? There is always going to be a judgment call involved by the people who are actually in the situation--but if you decide to stay with your vehicle, if only initially, there is a way to make that stay more comfortable.

I found the directions for an "Emergency Heater in a Can" over at Emergency Preparedness. The supplies needed are minimal, and a lot of heat can be provided for a lengthy period of time if directions are followed properly--I am amazed, and plan to put one together soon--- hoping, of course, that I never actually have to use it. Of course, I will include the set of instructions with it, which need to be followed carefully, so that it won't end up causing an emergency in and of itself.

You have perhaps heard stories of people who have suffered unfortunate consequences when a car became stranded in the snow in the cold, or even in the cold when there was no snow. You may want to consider putting together your own heater in a can for just such an emergency. In any case, please be sure to have a plan in mind for keeping warm if your vehicle becomes stranded--extra clothing, blankets--whatever it takes so that you can survive the experience.

9 comments:

Joanna said...

This looks really great, but I'm concerned about its safety. I'm just thinking the parallel of how everyone was so gung-ho on canning butter, then it turns out what they were doing really wasn't canning, and that canning dairy is not a good idea.

Will burning the alcohol in an enclosed space asphyxiate us? :S

Marie said...

Joanna--I have asked a couple of people the same question, so I understand your concern. In the directions for the "heater in a can", it says that these heaters do not produce carbon monoxide, but it also says it is recommended that you keep a window cracked open while burning one. From what I understand from the people that I talked to, since the fire needs oxygen to burn, it could use up the oxygen you're breathing, so you could asphyxiate from lack of air if you forget to crack a window, because you and the flame will be competing for whatever amount there is in the car. That competition can be eliminated if you keep fresh air coming in while using the heater.

So, the final consensus here is that they are safe as long as you remember all safety precautions (the reason I will include directions right in the packaging with mine--sometimes in a stressful situation, it's hard to remember everything.) Thanks for your comment!

Joanna said...

Thanks Maire, I'll be sure to keep the instructions in the can too.

ColoradoPrepper said...

We just have a few tealight candles in a canned-ham-can and lighters in our cars, as well as blankets, juice boxes, snacks, first aid kit, and more. I did a test last winter, and the tealight candles provided enough heat for us.

Thanks for your comment on our blog... www.colorado-preppers.blogspot.com. Would you please link to us? Thanks. ReeRee

Marie said...

You are now linked--glad to see that there is now a Colorado Preppers site, and I hope that everyone will check it out. Thanks for the tip on the tealight candles--we'll have to make sure we have some ready and available for use. Thanks for your comment!

erniesjourney said...

Great post Marie!! Loved it and it is so silly to be stranded with nothing in your vehicle - hope many take this to heart! Great blog too. I have the indiana site - thank the lord for Tom!
God Bless and Prep On
Ernie

Marie said...

Ernie--Glad to see that there is now an Indiana site! One thing I love is that we can all learn from each other regardless of which state we live in, so the more people there are who are sharing information, the better off we all will be. I will feel much better once I get everything together for my car--the weather is pretty brutal temperature-wise right now, and I hope no one gets caught unprepared... thanks for your comment, and best wishes with your blog--I'll be reading!

erniesjourney said...

I love this idea too Marie - we all need to stand united together, learn and pass on what tips/info we can in order to survive - have a network to rely on in tough times! Feel like I am not alone now - finally people that are not zoned out by the TV!
God Bless and Prep On
Ernie

Marie said...

Ernie--strength in numbers is a wonderful thing--I'm looking forward to learning a lot more as more and more people get involved--very exciting indeed! I've already learned about vaseline on cottonballs as an alternative firestarter from you--thanks for that and for taking the time to comment!