Could You Cope With The Current Storm If It Lasted Three Months?

January 5, 2014

The storm from space courtesy NASA

by Chris Carrington

Originally published at The Daily Sheeple

The news is full of articles about the current winter storm that is gripping much of the country. Deep snow and unprecedented cold, with low-temperature records being broken almost daily. It’s set to last a few more days with another blast of cold blowing in before the weather warms slightly.

Could you cope with this level of cold for a month? Or for three months without respite?

Global cooling is setting in across the Northern Hemisphere. Winters are going to get colder as time moves on. 

Could you survive a storm or bitterly cold conditions that lasted for months at a time?

We all think we would cope, albeit with a little difficulty. As preppers we have stocked up, stored food and water and have a plentiful fuel supply. But how plentiful is plentiful enough ?

Winter storms often result in power outages that can last until the worst of the storm is over, and the supply can be fixed. There is a  possibility that if the bad weather lasted for a couple of months or even longer, that the supply would not be reconnected during that time.

Still think you have enough alternative fuel?

As an example, if you burned just one log an hour, for six months a year, and NOTHING for the rest of the year you will need 4,368 logs to get through the winter.

That’s a lot of wood, and that is the amount you need if you burn ONE log an hour to take the frigid chill off the room. Heating water for drinks, cooking or having a room warm enough for the old, infirm or babies will require much, much more.

I’ve used wood as an example, but regardless of which alternative heat source you chose you are going to need a great deal of it, probably much more than you anticipated.

You can store as much food and water as you like, but it won’t stop you freezing to death.

Dependent on the conditions it’s stored in wood can take up to three years to dry out completely, and we all know that the drier the wood a higher heat output is achieved, something that can make the difference between life and death when the temperature outside is 30 below.

Many of you will be used to dealing with open fires and even off grid living, but those new to prepping, or those who are just starting out with open fires and/or wood burners will have no idea of how much fuel it takes to heat a room or boil enough water for the whole family to have a hot drink.

If you are new to alternative fuel usage I urge you to note how much fuel you use and stockpile accordingly, then triple the amount you have worked out you will need. If you have no idea because you are lucky enough to keep your power supply this winter I strongly suggest you have a practice run. Turn off the heating and use your chosen alternative method for 24 hours.

Underestimating how much fuel it takes to keep warm will kill thousands in a prolonged winter power outage. Many will die of cold and some will succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Every winter we read stories about the unprepared dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. So desperate for heat they have used BBQ’s indoors, or shut off all ventilation routes in an attempt to maximize the heat  from the fuel they have. Deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning will continue to rise as the winter wears on, and in the protracted, bitterly cold winters that many climate scientists are convinced are on the way the numbers will continue to increase.

Just as you check and increase your food supplies then you should check and increase your fuel supplies. Underestimation could quite literally be the death of you, and the rest of your family.

Note from Daisy: This article rings so incredibly true.  When my daughter and I lived in an off-grid cabin in the North Woods of Canada for a year, the amount of work required to keep warm was absolutely mind-boggling. My most-appreciated convenience in my new location is not, as one might think, reliable electricity, but a thermostat that keeps me warm with the turn of a dial.  Nothing will prepare you for the onset of deep winter except living it.  Even if you only do it for a 24 hour period, once per week, turn off your breakers and learn what you need to survive the freezing temperatures without modern conveniences. Overconfidence will kill you faster than anything else. Practice makes for perfect prepping!

Daisy Luther

About the Author

Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of The Cheapskate's Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find Daisy on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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