While it is always advisable to have alternative light sources on hand for when the power goes out, concerns such as battery usage, length of time without electricity, and even burned out bulbs and corrosion to contact point can make these short term solutions. Beyond the basic lighting factor, electricity is also most people’s main source of power for heat and cooking. This can make knowing some easy hacks for heat and light an imperative when the power goes out.
Heat And Light
There are several important points to bear in mind when fashioning light and heat sources, including the combustibles that may give off toxic fumes within the shelter. While kerosene lamps and heaters can be applicable, fuel may not always be available, and gases can be harmful. However, this also brings to mind the fact that oils in general can be an ideal source of power for light and heat.
Some of the simplest lamps can be made from fireproof containers and natural oils in the home. Both fish and vegetable oils are safe to burn, although note should be made if peanut oil is considered, as even the fumes can cause a reaction in people who are highly allergic. Once the oil or lard is a safe container a cotton wick can be fashioned from such items as:
- • Strands from a mop
- • White cotton twine
- • Thin shreds of flannel or T-shirt that are twisted into a wick
- • Shoelaces with the plastic ends removed
It is important to soak and submerge close to three quarters of the material in the oil, ensuring that the end which will be lit is upright and out of the fuel. This can essentially create a makeshift oil lamp that can provide both illumination and some warmth in case of an emergency.