Keeping Warm during planned powercuts?

Inca

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What ideas do people have for keeping warm this winter in light of cost of heating and potential power cuts after xmas?

I do have an electric throw/overblanket but of course this won't work if we do get those 3 hour long powercuts on the coldest nights!

Most advice I'm finding is geared more towards more mobile people telling them to exercise or go to a 'warm space' (libraries etc that are opening in some areas, they would probably also have no power anyway)..I have no car or indoor electric chair to be able to get to one anyway and would never leave my dog in the cold and dark alone while I was sat somewhere nice and warm.

Any one else making plans for how to deal with it?
 

Alvin2

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Do you have any winter clothes?
Wear them while indoors.
If you can afford to overheat your house before the cut (and know what time they are coming) then thats another option.
Staying warm in the cold is about insulation layers, so keep adding them. Winter clothes plus your bed and heavy blankets can help. Also you can get sleeping bags rated for cold temperatures, though they get pricey quickly. Use them on your bed in addition to your blankets.

You can also use something like a hot water bottle or one of those self sustaining warming packs for a shot of extra warmth, though they are only a supplement.
 
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Inca

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Hi..thanks ...How do the 'self sustaining warming packs' work? are those the thingies you have to microwave first?
 

sunshine44

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hi, i am fully bedridden. We have lost power multiple times past 5 years in winter. Due to how severe i am, moving me is last resort. so i've had to get creative. Last year in January we didn't have power for three consecutive days. I cannot recall temperature lows but it was an ice storm and quite chilly. I wasn't sure how it was going to go given i have issues with body temperature regulation. What i did, was wear layers in the beginning, have people pile blankets on in beginning and sleeping bags on top of me. You can also put a tent over the bed to keep heat in. You can peel off layers as needed. Its easier to remove layers then to add them later when you are already quite cold. This is at least what i found. I just ate cold food for those days although if i had more help i think that could have bee easily remedied in a variety of ways. wishing you warm thoughts.
 

BrightCandle

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Before I got ill I used to play airsoft (paintball but with 22 pellet guns and camo) and despite the spurts of running around it was a lot of lying around on the dirt. The ground really saps heat from you and when its cold you get dangerously cold within minutes. I did one event when it was -15C with wind chill, there was snow on the ground in places and I was out there all day. The worst moment of which was switching from civilian clothes to military garb outside, bbrrrrrr. I coped with a lot of layers, 2x thermal wear on the underneath, 2x T shirt above that, my primary camouflage shirt which is double poly cotton and then on top of that a thermal level 2 camouflage jacket with boots and double warm thermal socks and double layered trousers and gloves. Polyester and polycottons are really your friend for being warm, you can use cotton as a lower layer but polycotton keeps heat in really well. Admittedly you do not need all this to be warm in a house for 3 hours and military camouflage is very unlikely to be necessary! You also probably wont need a gun, ammo, flashbangs and military boots. Layers work really well and the military has a whole range of advise on how to be warm in any weather and military surplus is one place to find really good thermal wear.

You loose a lot of heat from your head, a nice thick cotton "bobble" hat will help a lot there. Hands and feet being warm are a huge part of the intial feeling of being cold so get them covered up, thermal socks with polyester are a wonder over the top of normal cotton socks. Some thermal undies always worthwhile. Then lots of layers in the centre and you'll be cosy. Longer term cold some double leg covering helps and same with double thickness sleeves but in my experience arms and legs being cool don't contribute to the same sense of freezing cold that feet, hands and finally body do. You likely have most of what you need already you just need to wear it altogether!
 

Inca

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Thanks! I don't actually have thermal underwear but I have a couple of vests I tend to wear underneath long sleeved T-shirts or jumpers in winter and hats, neck snoods etc as always cold when taking dog out as I'm just sat on scooter..I don't stay out 3 hours though when it's that cold!
I can use tighter fitting leggings under jog pants or jeans to give same effect as thermal leggings I guess. I don't usually wear any of them in bed though!

I have seen mentioned somewhere that if the power companies run more than 50% short they may roll cuts together and last 6-8 hours. Which means there's gonna be no power in early hours of morning when temperatures drop to lowest temp (usually when my heating would be coming on to warm the house through!).

I'll have to look into getting thicker PJ's and a sleeping bag to sleep in under the duvet..hot water bottles should stay warmer for longer in them as they're more enclosed.
 

Wishful

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I agree about layers, including thermal underwear and insulating head covering. I'm presently wearing two layers on my legs, four on my feet, and four on my torso, plus a toque. No power cuts here (I'm off-grid), but I prefer being warmly dressed in a cool room (12-15C). I'm in central Alberta, and it's a relatively nice -5C this morning ... as compared to -28C the last two mornings.

Yes too, to extra layers on the bed. The hot water bottle(s) idea is good too if you can heat them before the scheduled power outage. Store them in your bed, under those extra layers.

If your home is going to go below zero, do think about houseplants and anything else that might freeze. You really don't want jam jars bursting, for example. LCD screens might be damaged too in extreme cold, although I'm talking about -40C rather than just a bit below freezing. Yes, the unheated parts of my cabin have gone below -40C.

Another tip: cover your windows if you can (there are fairly cheap thin-plastic kits), assuming you don't have high R-value windows. Even tacking a sheet or blanket over a window can reduce heat loss. On a sunny day, let that sunshine in, since it's about a kilowatt/m^2 of heat.
 

Judee

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I had ordered one of these wearable blankets but I cancelled the order because I thought it might be too heavy for my shoulders. They get really sore with too much weight on them and I was hoping to wear it over the 3-4 layers I already wear.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Comfy-Sweatshirt-Comfortable-Originally-Featured/dp/B07DKTDBWC/ref=sr_1_21?crid=5900FN34H7UH&keywords=wearable+blanket&qid=1668282841&sprefix=wearable+blanket,aps,219&sr=8-21

So later I tried a lighter version. THIS one. However even though it was very soft and down to my calves which I wanted, it really didn't hold in a lot of heat, so I sent it back.

I really think they need the fleece inside to be the warmest. Anyway, just a thought.

Also I remember @Nord Wolf talking about how to survive the elements in one of his blog posts and he mentioned wool as one of the things to wear.

I wear two pairs of socks all the time now but based on his suggestions, I recently ordered some merino wool socks from Costco because my feet still get cold.

The ones I purchased are 85% wool. (I looked on your Costco uk website and don't see them. I'm sorry. Maybe you could find something similar in a shop near you.) :(

I haven't tried them yet. I still need to wash them to get the manufacture chemicals out but since these are thin, I think I'll be able to wear them under the other two pairs. :)
(I can try to remember to add an update later on once I've tried them.)

I agree about covering your windows too maybe with insulated curtains. I have them in several rooms and keep them closed year round because I do feel a temp change in those rooms if I open them.

One youtube video also shows using bubble wrap which I suppose would still let in the light.

Hope you can find some things to use.
 

Inca

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I live rurally there's no accessible shops in the village. I get everything delivered anyway as can't manage or afford the trip to the nearest town. Used to when I had an indoor powered chair that was crash tested for wheelchair taxi's but couldn't afford to replace it when it eventually died on me and we were in lockdown by then anyway!

I have thick black out curtains in the bedroom and we (me and doggy) tend to be in here watching TV at night so I can lie down.

I do have arthritis now in my neck and shoulders from years of using crutches and self propelling wheelchair so I might struggle with a weighted blanket on mine too.

I've seen some Merino Wool socks on ebay but I do also wear the 'heat holder' socks and slipper socks as the compression socks I have to wear are quite thin but are knee high so they do keep legs warm under trousers, but my feet are always cold otherwise!

I have lino on floors so its easier to mop muddy tyre marks off from wheelchair and scooter is parked/charged in hallway. Rugs and carpets are harder work to wheel over! (and a nightmare to get muddy tyre marks out of!)
 

Wishful

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Just wondering: are these planned powercuts in Europe, due to the loss of Russian oil&gas? I haven't bothered to check world news for quite a long time, so I'm quite out of touch with things.

No one has mentioned hand coverings. If your main activity is reading, fingers can get painfully cold. If it's not too cold, fingerless gloves might work. There are electrically-heated gloves intended for use with touch screens, if you read e-books.

We've mentioned the importance of head coverings, but I suppose neck coverings (scarves) might help too, since all that blood going to/from the brain passes through the neck. I wear a scarf pretty much half the year, and my fleece toque only gets swapped to a hat or cap when it gets actually hot here.

Good insulating footwear is hard to find. Most seem to be intended for 'warm room with a slightly cooler layer of air at foot level'. I want booties that are at least calf-high. I'm presently wearing rubber boots with insulating liners indoors, since I haven't found a suitable pair of soft booties. Having EEE width feet makes finding footwear even more difficult.
 

Inca

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Yes, as Bright Candle says they're planning to cut it at peak times on coldest days/nights when demand will be 'too high'. Some reports are saying it might not need to happen, others are giving detailed schedules per area for people to check!...which seems odd if its so 'highly unlikely'.

I've seen mention of them doing a second one on same night...so 3 hours off, back on for a while then another 2-3hours if there is less than 50% capacity or something. which will be a pain as I wont be able to get scooter charged up enough for next days dog walk! ..if it goes on 6-8 hrs also not sure if they're only doing houses in these areas or businesses as well? eg would the local delivery places have electric on to feed people or are they all gonna be in the dark too?..

4-7pm is peak time for people coming from picking kids up from school and/or work and giving them dinner..are traffic lights and streetlights going to be out??? a lot of dark winding roads round here (as I'm in a village out of town)... seems stupid of them turning everything off when hospitals are all ready packed with no beds and all ambulances parked up waiting to offload the previous days patients (in some cases!) to be creating situations where even more accidents can potentially happen!

Here it will be dark until 9am and then again by 3.30-4pm..(sunset is currently 4.30pm) probably by the end of this month until around March when it starts getting lighter for longer again. Don't know why they can't do it while its light to prevent accidents. Jan/Feb is when we're most likely to get snow/ice too..so potentially lethal and incredibly stupid! ...which just about sums up this govt!

Sorry that turned into an unexpected rant!...
 
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Anchoress

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Cats are great. They have a higher body temperature than we do...Curling up abed with a cat or three...
Never having had central heating etc means I am used to lower temps and to wearing a lot abed.. A hat is essential and I handknit mine
 

Jadzhia

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I have invested in cashmere things - fingerless gloves and wristwarmers (absolutely fantastic, I always have cold hands that hurt for about 10 months of the year, so these stop that happening, and let my fingers go free to type or do stuff!), a cashmere beanie hat and cardigan. For my feet, I love alpaca/wool mix socks, so snuggly and cosy! I often wear a 'buff' type scarf to go round my neck otherwise it feels draughty. I also have some leg-warmers to cover that ankle gap.

If we do have rolling blackouts, I will prepare a thermos filled with tea beforehand so I can have a hot drink or two. I have also ordered another flask that will hold food, so I can have something hot if the blackout is at meal time.

I have battery powered motion sensor lights placed at various points round the house so if it's dark there will be some light available so I don't fall down the stairs or trip over the cat! Also a bright powerbank light.

Obviously keep your freezer and fridge closed. If it's really cold then I will get under the duvet and stay put there, with a hot water bottle (and hopefully a cat - although he is very young and not yet interested in languishing indoors)!
 

Anchoress

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All is permanentl y " prepared for anything including power cuts, being islandbound for weeks at a time etc. Iti s an integral part of island life. I got caught ONCE here and the guffaws! Because they know how experienced I am and if truth were told, were relieved to catch me napping! But of course sorted it asap.
I cannot wear wool ( allergy) but synthetics are better in many ways.
All else is ready to go ...
 

Inca

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Cats are great. They have a higher body temperature than we do...Curling up abed with a cat or three...
Never having had central heating etc means I am used to lower temps and to wearing a lot abed.. A hat is essential and I handknit mine
Dogs have higher body temps too. I remember seeing about someone doing a cross country sled race (the famous one I can't remember how to spell! ..but starts with an I ) and they had fallen and broke their leg or ankle or something. The dogs ..(about 6 or 8 strong team) lay on and around the person and prevented them from dying of hypothermia before a rescue team got to them!

We didn't have central heating when I was growing up. I remember ice inside the windows and along the windowsill in winter. We lived even more rurally then in a smaller village and back then when we reguarly got deep snow every winter would get cut off from the nearest city from around November to beginning of March on and off.

The thought of that seems much more scary though when you're a wheelchir user and know you couldn't even get out of your house to get help from a neighbour with no power either if there was 8-10" of snow outside your door! :eek: