Monday, September 17, 2007

Emergency Heat Sources

Keeping warm is essential for survival. Loss of body heat, Hypothermia, is very dangerous and can lead to a loss of body parts and even death. Wet conditions quickly increase the loss of body heat. When traditional heat sources are not available, below are a few ideas to help you keep warm.

  • Dry (preferably wool) clothing. If you get wet from rain, snow or sweat, change into clothing that is dry. Wet clothing loses its insulation value and extracts body heat 240 times faster than dry clothing. Wool clothing and blankets are preferred. Cotton clothing, particularly denim, retains water. Wool clothing is insulating, water resistant and keeps your body warm even if it is wet.
  • Hats, mittens (warmer than gloves). Covering your head is vital as you can lose up to 80% of your body heat through your head. A knitted wool stocking hat is good.
  • Insulated boots or shoes. Feet can be kept warm by wearing wool socks and wearing two pair if your shoes are large enough. A towel could also be wrapped over shoes and duct-taped on.
  • Layered clothing. Several thin layers of loose-fitting clothing retain body heat and can be removed easily if body starts to perspire and/or you are chilling. Water and wind resistant outer clothing with a hood. Also, scarf or towel to cover your mouth to keep cold air from your lungs.
  • Sleeping bags. Two or more people huddled together inside two sleeping bags zipped together will be warmer than each in separate sleeping bags. A smaller bag can also be placed inside a larger one.
  • Car heater. If trapped in your car during a snowstorm, run heater 10 minutes every hour. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow and open one window a crack to allow ventilation.
  • Mylar blankets or emergency bags. Good in wind or rain. Put a wool blanket between you and the Mylar blanket, if possible.
  • Survival candles, safety heat(in can), hand warmers.
  • Rice or bean filled packs (or socks filled with rice/beans & tied) that have been heated perhaps in a can in a fir or coals. They will maintain heat for a period of time. Rocks or bricks can also be heated thoroughly, then carefully wrapped in towels or newspapers.
  • Thermal undergarments.
  • Insulated Clothing: Open cell foam rubber (1/2"), Leaves, newspaper, straw, etc. (Stuffed between 2 layers of clothing) Tie your shoe laces around the cuffs of your pants to hold material in. If you were trapped in a car during a snowstorm, use stuffing from the seat cushions.
  • Plastic garbage bag. Can be worn as a rain jacket or can insulate body if stuffed with dry leaves or grass.


You will need matches (waterproof or metal,) steel wool and batteries or lighters to start a fire.


  • Wood or coal for use in fireplace or wood burning stove
  • One room: have all family members stay in one room closing off other rooms) to conserve heat source and to provide body warmth for each other.


  • Fire pits
  • Dig a hole (about 2 feet X 4 feet) put some rocks in and build a fire in it. When it's out cover the hole with dirt. The area will stay warm for quite some time. You can put your sleeping bag over the area.
  • Snow cave. Use a shovel or empty large can, etc, to build. Make it large enough to lie down in and elevate the sleeping area above the floor area for extra warmth. Poke air holes in ceiling (larger ones if building a fire or lighting a stove) and close off entrance with snow, back pack, etc. Put insulation under your sleeping bag such as leaves, grass, straw, newspaper, etc. and cover with plastic. Wear a wool cap to bed.
  • Shelter. Use a tarp, plastic sheet, or space blanket to build a lean-to by draping over a low-hanging branch or tall stick and anchoring with rocks or logs.
  • Cave, rock cove or rock wall. Find a natural shelter protected from the wind and insulate ground with leaves and branches. Building a fire will create an oven effect as it reflects off the rock faces.

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Preparedness Quotes

"When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, 'We can’t afford it, even though we want it!' or 'We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!'" - Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2009 General Conference

"Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.

"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt."
- President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference

"Avoid the philosophy that yesterday's luxuries have become today's necessities. They aren't necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us."
- President Thomas S. Monson, April 2006 General Conference

“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
President Gordon B. Hinckley

"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult--the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35,) when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual." Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Every father and mother are the family’s store keepers. They should store whatever their family would like to have in case of an emergency…(and) God will sustain us through our trials.” President James E. Faust

“We live in a most exciting and challenging period in human history. As technology sweeps through every facet of our lives, changes are occurring so rapidly that it can be difficult for us to keep our lives in balance. To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”- Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, Nov. 1995

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free." President Thomas S. Monson

"Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.

“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …

“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …

“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …

“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” - Elder L. Tom Perry, October 1995 General Conference

“Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375

“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked." D&C 29:8

"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not aquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." President Ezra Taft Benson

"Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:34, 36

"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.

"The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." - President Spencer W. Kimball

“We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says." - President Spencer W. Kimball"/>


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