Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the numerous power outages occurring in many U.S. states due to the polar vortex and plunging winter temperatures. States like Texas are seeing snow, and if that’s not an indication of a catastrophic environmental problem, I don’t know what is. An estimated three million Americans are currently without power, and with many cities and states ill-equipped to cope with freezing temperatures, people are struggling to stay warm.
Apparently, some ingenious people are making mini-heaters out of clay pots to keep warm. By placing candles in a terra cotta pot and turning the raised pot itself upside down to act as a sort of lamp, the heat from the flames apparently creates a small amount of heat to warm a small area. The use of natural (i.e., beeswax) candles is recommended. If you light candles in your home, make sure they are on a hard, flat surface and that the flame is far enough away from any flammable objects. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Although this DIY pot lid can work for very short periods of time, there are other effective measures you can take until the power comes back on. First, dress in as many layers as possible. It is imperative that you regulate your own body temperature to keep warm. Second, choose a small room in your home and stay in it with the door closed. If possible, an upstairs room would be preferable, as the heat rises. You will need to do everything possible to keep the heat in this room, including putting blankets or towels around the door, hanging blankets on the windows, and insulating the floor with blankets, clothing, or towels. Accompany family members and pets, if possible.
emember, whatever you do, it is imperative that you do not use a gas stove to produce heat in your home. Anything that burns fuel indoors without proper ventilation poses a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, the silent killer that poses a greater risk than freezing temperatures. If you absolutely must get in the car and start it to keep warm, make sure you are not in the garage, but outside in an alley with the windows closed. Also make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow or ice.
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