Friday, November 12, 2010
Keeping Warm In An Emergency
If you are in an area hit by a natural disaster in the winter months, the most important thing for you would be to stay warm. Especially with small children. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a natural disaster that leaves you without electricity, heat or lights. The power grids in this country, nowadays, are pretty much all tied together and they are very fragile. Any kind of disruption could leave us all without any electricity for a long time. The threat of earthquakes, ice storms, EMP (Electro-magnetic pulse), terrorist activities or any disaster of any magnitude could pretty much disable the regular flow or power or even gas for a very long time. Hopefully, nothing like this will ever happen, but it is certainly comforting to be prepared just in case. This is a very important thing to think about. One of the best options is a wood burning stove that can double as a cook stove.
Many areas have laws against using wood stoves on certain days in the winter if there is an inversion unless that is your only source of heat. Because of this, many people who used to have wood stoves in their homes for heating and emergencies have gotten rid of them. Very sad! Fortunately for you if you are looking for one and live in the Utah area, KSL classifieds is a great place to look. There are always lots of wood stoves for sale there. If you live elsewhere, check your local classifieds and search the internet for availability. Here is some information on choosing and buying a cook stove for your home.
Being prepared with a wood cooking stove and wood for burning during a long term emergency is something not thought of often. If all sources of heat and electricity are off for an unknown long period of time because of some disaster, it would be well to have a wood burning cook stove for cooking and a source of heat if it was cold. If you had storage of propane, kerosene, or some other fuel, it might be wiser to save it for lanterns for lighting your dwelling place instead of heating and cooking. You would run out quickly otherwise if your use it for heating.
If wanting to buy a wood stove, it would be more practical to buy a cooking wood stove where it could be utilized for duel purposes of heating and cooking. There are many different designs and choices of wood stoves to choose from if wanting to purchase one. It would be good to have an idea of what you want in a wood cook stove. Options like having included an oven in the stove for baking, or lots of room on the stove top for multiple cooking if having to feed lots of people. Also, how big is your place to keep warm? Would you need just a small stove for a small dwelling or a large wood stove for a large home? Or maybe how efficient is the stove in maintaining its heat for long periods of time? Would you want a stove that could easily be moved outside of your dwelling place for those the summer times when the outside temperature is too hot for cooking inside? Solar ovens might be an option for the summer days.
Having a cooking wood stove without wood would obviously be useless. How much wood to get would be according to how big your stove is and where you live. If you live in a moderate season where maybe five months of winter was normal and you had a good cooking wood stove to use for heating and cooking, then it might be around four of five cords of wood to gather for each year of use. It just all depends on what your situation is. If in question, find someone in your local area that uses firewood to heat their home and they could give you a good estimate of how much you would need. Most arborist tree trimming companies have fire wood for sale if you are not cutting it yourself.
When storing wood that isn't under shelter, you would want to cover it with tarps making sure they are tied down good to keep the wind and weather from ruining them. You should also remember that if you have cut down your own trees, you will need to allow the wood to dry for five to six months before using. There are ways to drying your wood more quickly by putting your wood in a green house for a month or so. It will dry pretty quickly that way. If wanting to test its dryness for use, you can buy a wood tester for moister content that would show you. Most wood, when dry, will crack and the ends of the logs and be much lighter in weight. If given the time to dry, it will be ready to use when needing it.
Learning how to cook on a wood cook stove can take some time in learning by experience. Most our ancestors learned how and have passed it down from mother to daughter but because of our modern age most of us will have to learn from our own experience. It would be wise to buy a temperature gage for your stove to help in your cooking. Also it would be wise to practice cooking on it at good times so you will have some ideas of how to do it when the hard times come.
Choose carefully the room or area where you wish to install a wood stove. Choose a reputable contractor to take care of the chimney and masonry installation. Safety is very important in selecting the proper stove and adequate installation. Weigh all your options before making a final decision and make sure everything is done up to code. Be wise in your choice of a stove. Appearance is second to functionality and efficiency. One of the biggest benefits of a wood stove, aside from cooking or staying warm is the atmosphere it will add to your home. Not only is it nice to have a warm fire but it will quickly become a family gathering place in the cold winter months.