Lighting, Heating Fuels
“Lighting, Heating and Fuels” 2012
Presented by Debbie Kent at
A Special THANKS to my friends at especially Grant aka Fillibuster
at; Kylene at; and Vicky Godley; and Jonathan Surmi
for sharing their talents and information with me; and to my family who gives up their time
with me so that I can help others get prepared.
In the Surviving Disasters and Shelter, water and sanitation classes we discussed what to do before,
during and in the first few days after an earthquake or other major disaster. We talked about what
kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made we might have to face. We talked about how you
cannot depend on police or fire fighters to come to your rescue; you only can depend on yourself and
what you have stored. We also discussed how there are many things you can and should do to prepare
your homes and your family BEFORE a disaster to minimize damage, fear and injuries. We talked
about the importance of CERT and first aid training. We also discussed the need to have things for
shelter, sanitation and water. But we can’t stop there. Tonight we will be discussing lighting, heating
and fuel options including a new section on solar systems for emergencies. So let’s get started…
Lighting, Heating and Fuels
What will you do when the lights go out? We are spoiled by
the wonderful convenience of electricity. It powers our world and
we are dependent upon it. When we find ourselves without power,
our world comes crashing down around us. This class is to get you
thinking about how you would do these things WHEN the power
goes out. What will you do if there is a powerful storm, earthquake,
freeze, energy crisis, financial collapse or even an EMP?? Power
outages can last anywhere from a few seconds to a week, month or
more. When it happens, will you be able manage at home or will
you have to relocate until the crisis has past?
Ezra Taft Benson said, “As families we should strive to be self-reliant. Since 1936,
members of the Church have been instructed to have in storage a one-year supply
of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. This enables us to survive loss of
employment, loss of income, or even calamity, as spoken of in the
revelations.”‘Strengthen Thy Stakes’,” Ensign, Jan 1991, pg.2.
We are going to concentrate on ways to: light, cook and heat and some of the fuels to power these
devises up. There are many different options for each of these, literally thousands of them can be
found; on the internet or locally. I am not endorsing any particular brands or devices. Each family
and circumstances are different. Only you can decide what will work best for you. But this I can
say, Finding several ways to provide light, to cook and to keep your family warm now while the
lights are still burning bright and knowing where they are and how to use them, will make all the
difference in the world in how your family will react when the power does go out. Will they be afraid
or will they find joy in the moment?
The first thing you need to do is make a list of what your family’s needs are. Does your family have
small children, grandparents, sick members or are they mostly grown and healthy? What will you be
cooking? How will you cook it? How cold does it get where you live and for how long? How big of
an area will you need to heat? Is your house new or old, does it have good insulation? What about
lighting? Will you be going to bed soon after the sun goes down, or do you have a late night family or
one with little children that need night-lights? Then look at what you already have and can use to do
these things. If you have a ton of wood and a wood burning stove that you could use to heat and cook
on you may not need anything in this area. What about lighting, do you have lanterns, do you have
fuel for it and extra mantels if needed? Do you think you have pretty much everything you need or
are you starting from scratch? Wherever you are there is room for improvement, so let’s get started
with finding out what there is out there to fulfill your family’s needs.
When the power goes out having alternative sources of lighting will be invaluable. There are many
different ways to light up the darkness; it would be wise to have several different kinds of lighting
available to you. For instance, you will want something to light up part or all of a room like lanterns
and something else that gives a bright beam of light to a specific spot like flashlights. All lights are
not created equal. You want to find a combination of bright light that lasts a long time with little use
of fuel (batteries, etc). Hint: putting white sheets on your walls will make the room brighter by
reflecting the light. The following are some ideas for lighting. They are listed in alphabetical order
and not by order of importance.
CANDLES: There are many different forms of candles available. Candles
provide a soft, low light. Candles are cheap and easy to obtain and to
store. The open flame presents a fire hazard and does consume a small
amount of oxygen so use with care. Candles have an indefinite shelf life.
Store in a cool place. Be careful with starting fires and with children.
¾” diameter x 4” burns about 2 hr 7/8” diameter x 4” burns 5 hours.
2” x 9” burns about 75 hours
Tea light burns 2-4 hours
COOKING OIL: Emergency candles can be made from cooking oil. Take
a piece of string, lay one end in cooking oil and allow the other end to hang
over the edge of jar. Light the dry end. Use 7-8 strings for more light.
These are very smoky and should be used only when nothing else is
CRANK/BATTERY LANTERNS – Crank lanterns: Crank for 1 minute
for 20 minutes of light, doesn’t store well. BAD CHOICE Battery lanterns
are GREAT for general lighting. They are available with florescent, LED
or CREE bulbs which make the batteries last much longer. In fact some
them like a Rayovac 3D lantern, only need 72 batteries for a year supply
of light. Small versions ($5 at Wal-Mart) are a great idea for small
children. You can use rechargeable batteries. GOOD
EMERGENCY CANDLES (also called 100 hr candles): They come with a
plastic base that is filled with liquid paraffin. They are smokeless, odorless,
and have no hot wax to make a mess. It stores 10+ years. It may burn for
over 100 hours, but it puts off very little light. Good for car kits. BAD CHOICE
FLASHLIGHTS: When the lights go out the first thought is to reach for a
good flashlight. They provide a quick, reliable source of light and are
available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. A 2-battery flashlight with
new batteries will work for @ 6 hours. For long-term storage: don’t store
batteries in flashlights. Store extra batteries and bulbs. No matter which
kind you decide to buy, make sure that you buy quality. The cheap ones
break easily and would be of no value in an emergency.
What to look for in a flashlight (adapted from
1. Small and lightweight: They use fewer batteries and can be carried in a pocket.
2. Use a common battery size: Most use: AAA, AA, or D cells. Smaller charge faster.
3. Uses a variety of battery types: alkaline, lithium, or rechargeable batteries
4. Fewer batteries is better: fewer used=fewer to store.
5. Simple to operate
6. Well constructed: Bulb protected, shock resistant and water resistant/proof, and that
won't accidentally turn on while in your pocket or backpack.
7. LED/Cree bulb: Lasts 10,000 hours, shock resistant, brighter than traditional bulbs.
8. Good balance between output and run time: 8-12+ hrs per battery/charge
10. Quality of light beam: wide beam vs. bright spot. What do you need it for?
11. Lanyard hole/clip: Loop w/cord or ring to attach to you to prevent accidental loss.
12. Caring for your light: Unless using lithium’s, don’t store batteries in flashlight.
1. The best flashlight resource on the Web is
2. Great deals on flashlights and batteries:
Kinds of Flashlights
Cap Light: Very light weight and fits the bill of a baseball hat easily. The
flashlight function works by press a switch once for 3 lights, again for 5,
again for flashing, and again for off. Decent lighting for hands free work. It
uses 2 lithium batteries and will run for 120+ hours.
Crank flashlight: Light lasts about 30 minutes on 1 min. cranking. Okay
light, most have bonus of charging cell phones: 3 minutes winding-eight
minutes talk time. (Doesn’t fit all phones). Not waterproof or long lasting.
LED flashlight: Use LED bulbs which last a very long time. They burn
brighter than the old style bulbs. They also use very little energy and so
burn for a very long time. The Flashlights come a variety of styles, sizes,
brightness and durability. GOOD
LED headlamp (a must in my opinion): Uses very little energy and they
leave your hands free to work. Some headlamps last for up to 200 hours on
3-AAA batteries. These is one called an e+LITE by Petzl that works well
even in extreme cold, runs for 45 hrs on one coin sized battery with a 10
year shelf life ($1), compact and light, and has low and high lights. GOOD
Rechargeable flashlight/automatic night light combination. It plugs in the
wall and functions as a nightlight, but when the power goes out it is a fully
charged flashlight that automatically turns on. It is easy to find and always
ready in an emergency. BAD CHOICE
Shake flashlights: These are magnet flashlights. Shaking the light charges
the capacitor which powers the LED. If they haven’t been used for a while
you will need to shake them for 2-3 minutes. Even then most give a fairly
bright light for 20-30 seconds and then get very dim. NOT a reliable
flashlight for emergencies. NOTE: DO NOT place near TV, monitor,
floppy disks, hard drives, credit cards or wallet. BAD CHOICE
SOLAR POWERED FLASHLIGHT- Eight hours of sunlight will
provide 4-6 hours of usage on high. Some models will even charge well on
cloudy days. This model by claims to work up to 20 years,
is water and shock0resistant, has a carry hook and 6 LED bulbs. $29.
KEROSENE LANTERN - A kerosene lantern with a one-inch wick will
burn approximately 45 hours per quart of kerosene. A kerosene lantern uses
one fourth as much fuel as a gas lantern. The light is comparable to a 40W60W light bulb.. Kerosene does produce some black smoke when burning.
Burning 5 hours each day the following amounts of kerosene would be used:
@1 quart per week, 3 ½ qts. per month, 10 gallons per year. GOOD
LIGHT STICK –Burns 6-12 hours, windproof, waterproof, kid proof. To
activate the stick, you bend it and shake. Can be purchased at hardware,
party stores and variety stores. Shelf life of up to four years. These are the
safest form of indoor lighting in case of an earthquake or other situations
where flammable gasses may exist. Good to keep track of kids at night. Use
sticky Velcro to secure to beds for easy access. A must in my opinion.
BRITELYT LANTERN: Very durable, versatile and made of solid brass. It
burns as bright as 500 candles or 400 watts of electric light using only one
mantel and can burn for 8-32 high hours on 1 quart of fuel. It works with a
variety of fuels: lamp oil, kerosene, alcohol-based fuels, mineral spirits,
citronella oil, gasoline, Biodiesel or diesel. With accessories it can also be
used for heating and cooking. Coleman also makes dual fuel lanterns.
SOLAR LANTERN– There are a few different solar powered lanterns
available. Some may be charged with 24-30 hours bright sunlight, an auto
adapter, or a UL listed house adapter. Each model is just a little bit
different. A full charge may supply up to 3 hours on high depending on the
SOLAR POWERED LIGHTS: Solar Lanterns are commonly
used along garden walkways. They are relatively inexpensive, are
weather resistant and can be brought indoors in the evenings to
light up the house or tent. Solar Rope Lights will light 10-16 hours
on a charge. They weather cold, rain and heat.
TWO-MANTLE LANTERN - These are available in propane or
“Coleman” type fuel. This is a good old camping favorite. The light is
adjustable, gives off heat, and needs ventilation. White gasoline or Coleman
fuel produces carbon monoxide and should never be used inside. Burn time
for 1.26 pints of fuel is approximately 14 hours on low and seven hours on
high. Coleman fuel stored in an unopened container in a dry place with a
stable temperature has a shelf life of five to seven years. An opened container
in the same area should be used within one to two years. Use caution when
storing the fuel and using the lantern. Do not use indoors. They are also
available in a multi-fuel design: unleaded gas, kerosene, or white gas.
“In August of 2005, our family had the privilege of experiencing Hurricane Katrina. I say a
privilege because it gave us the opportunity to experience a natural disaster and to learn lessons
about emergency preparedness that we wouldn’t have otherwise learned. I want to share some of
these lessons so that others may also glean knowledge from what our family went through…One
thing to consider is how you are going to cook your food. We quickly found that eating cold food
out of a can was quite unappetizing, even if you are hungry. We were under a fire ban, so building
a fire wasn’t an option. I highly recommend learning ways to cook without electricity and storing
needed supplies”. Jessica J. (
Alcohol Stove: Reheats foods quite well in small portions, you may need
to use more than one at a time for larger portions or to heat faster. Use lid
whenever possible to increase efficiency. There are many homemade
varieties of alcohol stoves, such as Stove-in-a-Can, as well as commercial
ones available. Alcohol (in its pure forms) may be used indoors because it
burns clean. However, use caution as some forms may be toxic and need
ventilation. If you are going to use indoors make sure there is a working
carbon monoxide detector!
Applebox Oven: DO NOT USE INDOORS This is one of my favorite
ways to cook when there is no power, an applebox oven. It is simply a box
that apple’s come in covered inside and out with heavy-duty aluminum
foil (mine is the deluxe model with a window). All it needs is a few pieces
of charcoal to turn it into baking machine capable of cooking anything
you would cook in an oven and in the same amount of time. It is quick,
easy and cheap. A great addition to your cooking needs.
Butane Stoves: These stoves are lightweight, convenient, and easy to
use. They provide a nice hot flame and many come with an automatic electric ignition and provide excellent flame control. They are light and
more portable than liquid fuel stoves. Butane does not work well at nearfreezing temperatures. The fuel is fairly expensive. One 8 oz. butane
canister will provide 1-2 hours of burn time at maximum output. Shelf
Life 8 years. Store carefully, fuel is highly flammable.
Camp Stoves: This camping favorite (red tank) runs off of “Coleman” fuel or
white gas or propane which are inexpensive and widely available. There is a
“dual fuel” design that will also run off of unleaded gasoline (gray tank). These
stoves are dependable and easy to use. They produce a nice hot, even flame and
is great for camping or emergency use outdoors. Also available is a single
burner stove. It is a great emergency stove. It is lightweight and portable. Best
of all, it can safely use Coleman fuel/white gas, unleaded gasoline, or kerosene.
Two pints will burn for about two hours with both burners on high. Remember
that white gas or “Coleman” fuel and propane produce carbon monoxide and
should never be used inside. Use caution when storing the fuel and using the
CANNED HEAT: Stores easily and can be used indoors. Cans are filled with
forms of alcohol. It puts out a flame and a good amount of heat. They are
safe, lightweight, store nicely, and great for reheating foods. Burns 2-6 hours
per can. Can be used in a small Sterno stove, chafing dish, or fondue pot. You
can cover flame partially with lid to slow cooking down or use more than one
can at a time to heat things faster or hotter. Sam’s Club carries a very good one that provides
6 hours of fuel for only $1. Store in cool place. To extinguish, cover with lid. Stir food
frequently to prevent burning. Stores 10 yrs.
Dutch Oven (see “No Power…No Problem” handout for complete info)
Dutch ovens are big, heavy cast-iron pots with lid. They incredibly
versatile and can used to cook: breads, main dishes, and desserts. You can
cook with them over an open fire, in a buried fire pit, in your oven, over
our stove burners, over coals or using briquettes. They work as frying
pans, pots and ovens. They come in many sizes: Important: Tight fitting
lid with rim and legs (to prevent burning). You can cook pretty much
anything. No need to wash (scrap, cook, oil). Food tastes fantastic. Dutch
Ovens Last Forever. Season your oven before your first use.
Cook and Carry System by Thermos Nissan
It works like a hay box using modern technology which makes it super
simple to use. The pot holds 4.7 quarts. The manufacturer guarantees heat
or cold retention for 6-8 hours. It has TherMax double wall vacuum
insulation for maximum temperature retention. Unbreakable stainless
steel interior and exterior. Great for soups, chili, beans, and stews.
Ice Box Cooker: Like using a crock-pot with no electricity. Secret in is
the insulation. You just bring your meal to a boil in a pot, cover with tightfitting lid, turn down heat and simmer on medium for 3 minutes
(exception beans 10-15 min) then quickly put in cooker, cover with topper
and leave for 4 times the usual cooking time. Food can be left up to 6
hours and still be hot and delicious. It is perfect for foods that start out
with lots of liquid: soups, stews, rice, and more. For safety food must stay
above 150º, if it drops below that; remove, reheat, and replace.
Kerosene Stove: It is basically the same wick you would see in a large
kerosene heater. This is a sturdy stove with an easily adjustable flame and a
sealed fuel tank (some stoves have fuel "pans" that hold the fuel, but tipped,
the fuel can spill out.) The Sockwick will burn for 13 hours on one gallon of
kerosene. The maximum output is 9000 BTUs. Use only in a well-ventilated
MRE Heaters are designed to heat Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) meals quickly
and safely without a fire. You can also heat up other foods that are water tight
and small enough to fit in the bag. They are made from powdered food grade
iron, magnesium, and sodium. When water is added to the chemicals in the
heater it creates a chemical reaction that heats up almost instantly. It takes
about 10-15 minutes to heat up food in an MRE. These are great for 72-hour
Portable grill with legs can be placed over a small fire or charcoal
briquettes. It makes a good cooking area. Food may be cooked directly on
the grill or in pots and pans over the hot coals. The grills are inexpensive
($10-15) and widely available.
Propane Grills are great for camping and outdoor cooking. They are
great for emergency cooking ... an added bonus! Propane cooks hot and
fast. One 20 lb tank of propane may provide up to 15 hours of cooking
time. The shelf life on propane is nearly indefinite. The tanks, however,
need to be closely watched for signs of rust, dents, or anything, which may
present a problem with leakage. Use in a well ventilated area and store
fuel carefully away from the home.
Rocket Stove (complete info. in No Power…No Problem”)
Made from a 5 gallon metal can, stove pipe and a soup can: this stove will
cook a full meal with just a handful of twigs. It makes very high heat
(regulate heat by amount of fuel). Great for bringing food to a quick boil.
Can is filled with insulating material (ashes, etc). It burns so hot there is
very little smoke. It is amazing! Outside cooking only.
Will make pots black.
Solar Cooking (complete info. in No Power…No Problem”)
This type of cooking only needs the sun and works equally well in the
summer or winter. It works by harnessing the power of the sun’s rays. You
can cook anything with this method, it just usually takes a little longer than
with traditional methods; you can even sanitize water with it. It is easy to
use; although practice makes perfect, and very satisfying, because you
don’t need anything fuel but the sun. They range in price from a few
dollars for the simple to the hundreds for the Global Sun Oven.
Solid fuel tablets such as trioxane fuel bars or Esbit fuel tablets are great for emergency
kits. They are designed to work in a pocket stove. They are non-explosive,
portable, smokeless, and light easily. They should only be used outdoors
and are not good for cooking large amounts of food. One tablet will
generate 1400 degrees of intense heat for 12-15 minutes of useable burn
time. It will bring one pint of water to a rolling boil in less than 8 minutes.
They are safe, easy to store, and have an indefinite shelf life.
Volcano Cook Stove is a wonderful emergency preparedness tool. It will cook just about
anything and can be used as a safe fire pit. The Volcano Cook Stove is
incredibly efficient, requiring one-half of the charcoal required for
standard Dutch oven cooking. This stove can burn virtually any type of
fuel. Scrap 2x4s, firewood, commercial logs, or scraps of wood will do just
fine. It has almost no exterior heat at the bottom or sides making it safer
to use.
When the power is out in the dead of winter, the first thing you need to do is layer on the
clothes, hats and gloves. If it is really cold, you can all pile into one bed and layer on the
blankets. But let’s face reality you are going to have to get up at some point and make some
food or to the bathroom. Then you will probably want it be above freezing. It is not practical
to think of heating an entire house, but heating one room, now that is do-able. Even having
everyone in one, well-insulated room or tent can bring the temperature above freezing.
Some other things to consider. Stay in a room on the south or west side of the house with as
few windows as possible (basements: cover the windows with heavy blankets or plastic and
close the vents. You do want some fresh air so don’t over do it.
COAL STOVE: Can be used as an alternative to wood in fireplaces and
coal-burning stoves or furnaces. 6 tons of coal will provide heat for an average
Utah home through a normal winter. You can use in wood burning fireplace if
you make a grate to hold the coal and allow air to circulate.
FIREPLACES: Have a cute decorate fireplace? It won’t keep you warm
when the power is out. Even conventional wood burning fireplaces are not
very efficient. More heat goes up the chimney than into the room. But it is
better than nothing. You can get heat-powered fans to place by it to better
circulate the hot air into the room. Also, remember to clean chimneys
regularly to prevent chimney fires.
KEROSENE HEATER: Kerosene heaters require good judgment and
practice. Burning 5 hours each day the following amounts of kerosene would
be used: @1 quart per week, 4 qts. per month, 10 gallons per year. Two 55 gal
drums can provide heat and cooking for a family for one year. Kerosene does
not explode. Carefully follow the safety instructions for all kerosene
appliances. They do use oxygen and must be ventilated.
There are 4
downsides to kerosene. Because kerosene produces deadly carbon
monoxide (a poisonous gas), nitrogen dioxide (which may cause throat and lung irritation),
and sulfur dioxide (which can impair breathing) it must be vented to outside or have a
window cracked in the room, 1” per 1000 BTU’s (ex. 23,000 BTU heater needs a 24”window
opened 1”). It burns VERY HOT (320°-500°). Must be on non-flammable surface
(tile/cement board) and kept 4 feet away from flammable materials (furniture/drapes, etc).
Fire danger if tipped over while in use. (Newer models have safety for this). Refuel and light
outside to avoid bad fumes. Never fill lamp/heater to top, expands and can spill and burn.
Hints: Buy one with a wick; safety shut-off; push-button start; UL tested; not easily tipped
over; also a carbon monoxide battery operated detector is a must; keep firefighting materials
close at hand.
A good wood-burning stove may be used for cooking and heating. Wood
is safe and easy to store. It will really heat up the house so don’t use in the
summer months. Cooking on a wood stove takes longer than some other
methods as the fire must be started and managed. Cast iron cookware works
best, but heavy steel will do also. It is easy to scorch foods with thinner
metals. Always be sure that the stove is ventilated properly. Carbon monoxide
is produced when wood is burned.
Pellet stoves work well, the pellets take up less storage space, and these
stoves are very efficient and the cost is reasonable.
Propane Heater: Certified safe to use indoors. Mr. Heater: 18,000
BTU/HR; heat up to 400 square feet of space; up to 110 hours with one 20
gallon tank of fuel (on low position). Combines radiant heat w/ convection
heat for maximum heating efficiency. Heat settings of 4,000, 9,000 and
18,000 BTU/HR control comfort level. Built-in oxygen shutoff sensor and tipover switch ensures indoor safe operation
Rubber Tires: Can be cut up and used in an emergency. They are more
energy-efficient that coal but are bulky to store and cause A LOT of black
smoke. You can use power tools to cut them up, if you have power to use them.
Why store fuel?
It is a cold winter day. A winter storm has knocked out the power and officials say it may be
days before it is restored. You are prepared: you have flashlights, lanterns, stoves and even a
heater, but alas you have no power sources to fire them up! Kind of like being up a creek
without a paddle isn’t it? There are many different choices in batteries, fuels and even solar.
It requires some education to understand possible options, how to safely use them, and how
to store them appropriately. I cannot stress enough the importance of using wisdom in your
use and storage of fuels! Place the safety of your loved ones at the very top of your list. Be
wise (don't do stupid things)! Never store any flammable or combustible fuel in any building
that you can't afford to have burn down!
How Much to Store? Well, the Prophets have been very clear, that if possible, to have a year supply
of fuel. (to me this means where it is legal to have it and where you have the room-if you have a yard,
you have the room). Don’t feel like you have to go out and get it all at once (if you can GREAT!), if
not just begin it is important that you are doing everything you can do to fulfill this commandment.
Start with a week or two and build from there.
Can you really store enough fuel to last a week, month, or even a year?
Can it be done safely and cost effectively? Absolutely!
How to Store Liquid Fuels:
Store your fuel in a small shed. Not in garage and NOT in your house.
Keep your fuel storage as far away from your house as possible.
If possible, keep your shed in a shady area.
Make sure you lock the shed to keep children away.
Store a fire extinguisher nearby but not in the shed.
ALCOHOL (ever wondered the differences in them, I sure did)
Denatured Alcohol (grain alcohol w/toxins not drinkable) - is inexpensive
and available in the paint section of hardware stores. Good choice for
alcohol stoves such as Stove-in-a-Can and backpacking stoves. Burns hotter
and less smelly than rubbing alcohol.
Pure Ethanol (potable grain alcohol) - is expensive and available in liquor
stores and is sold under the brand names of Everclear and Graves Grain
Alcohol. Burns really hot in an alcohol stove.
Rubbing Alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) - is 70% isopropanol and 30% water. It
has all the problems associated with burning pure isopropanol (burns yellow,
sooty flames, indicating that it is not combusting completely) with the added
inconvenience of having 30% of its volume being noncombustible water. It will
work in an emergency, but is not a first choice.
BATTERIES: AA most versatile: Adapters available that turn AA into a C or D cell.
Alkaline batteries are best stored in an airtight container in a cool location.
They have a shelf life of three to five years. If stored correctly they will last
much longer than the expiration date printed on the package. Don’t work well
when cold. Buy cheap in bulk at Costco or online.
CR2032 Coin Cell Lithium Batteries: In headlamp or cap light, work for 120+
hours, very cheap (20 for $2.94 x 3=60 batterys=3600 hrs for $13).
Lithium batteries: They can last 2 to 8 times longer than a standard
alkaline battery and will work in colder temperatures when other battery
chemistries will give no power at all. They will store about ten years. Sam’s
Club carries the e2Lithium’s.
Rechargeable Batteries: You can use plug-in or solar charger. A good
practice is to charge your cells, then let them trickle charge over night.
The pull them off the charger and set them aside with a note telling you
when they were last charged. In 90 days at room temperature they will
have lost around half of their charge, so you can charge them back up
again. NiCds need to charged 5+ full cycles before using and should be
stored discharged. NiMH cells should be stored with a charge. NiMH
cells like to be treated gently. When you're done with your device, recharge the cells. The
more shallow the cycle the better. Full cycles will wear on them the most. Keep NiMH cells
topped off and they'll last the longest. Occasionally you may need to perform a deep cycle to
restore some performance if the cell appears to be waning. Eneloops is a good brand and
carried at Costco and Wal-Mart.
Charger: Recharge lithium and NiMH batteries. Some use electricity to
recharge others use or can convert sun into energy. It takes 8 hrs of sun
to charge AA batteries. Never charge batteries if below freezing. If you
really need a charged cell, warm it up in your pocket (preferably the
charger too).
CHARCOAL: Outdoor use only. Charcoal burns hotter and cleaner than
wood. It is the least expensive fuel per BTU that you can buy and safe to
store Use good quality like Kingsford for easier lighting and better burn
time. Stores indefinitely if kept dry. Remember to store newspapers, canned
heat, or lighter fluid to start the charcoal. For applebox OR Dutch oven: 1 hr
day =24-#15 lb bags charcoal.
GASOLINE: Only outdoor use. For use with generators, uses a lot of fuel. Can
also be used in some lanterns and stoves. Stores 1 year in tightly sealed container,
5-10 years with stabilizers added once a year. Keep in cool place. Only fill
containers 95% full to allow for expansion in the heat. Cap tightly. Limits on
amounts to store, usually 10-20 gallons.
PRI-G Long Term Gas Fuel Storage Stabilizer
Gasoline is a great fuel for emergency preparedness, but it degrades quickly
without a fuel stabilizer, sometimes in as little as three months. Use one dose of
PRI-G per year, per gallon to stabilize your fuel storage or restore fuel that has
been degraded. A 16 oz bottle of stabilizer will treat up to 256 gallons of gasoline.
Works with E10 and all grades of gasoline. Also available for diesel fuel.
Generators: Portable generators can provide comfort, safety and
security during power outages and emergencies. Decide on your
NEEDS and purchase the smallest generator that would fit those
needs. The smaller the generator, the less fuel it requires. Depending
on the generator, it can run off of diesel, propane kerosene or gas (½3 gal. per hr). A generator can be useful in a charging batteries or
using appliances, including a small refrigerator for several hours each
day. Generators, are useful in short-term emergencies, but because of the amount of fuel
they use, are not practical for long-term usage. They are also very loud, can only be used
outside, and will draw attention to the fact that you have power when others do not. If you
are planning on one big enough to power all or part of your house, you will need special
wiring to be done by an electrician. You could get a 5500 watts, 13 HP that would run most
of your house for $500.00. The problem with $500 generators is that they are not designed
for long term use. Usually their target is 500 HOURS before they are basically run out.
Moving to $900 for generator one can get a LONG TERM generator and it can last up to
5000 hours.
KLEAN HEAT: Similar to kerosene, but odorless and less smoke. Can be
ordered online or at Lowe’s or Home Depot in the paint department. Stores
indefinitely. Store outside or in garage. About $36 for 5 gallons, also 1 gal.
KEROSENE: (use battery-powered CO detectors when using kerosene in the
house or tent). Kerosene is one of the cheapest, most efficient fuels to store. It
has been used for heating, lighting and heating for hundreds of years. Only
store high-quality clear, 1K kerosene. It has a long shelf life, but you can add an
additive like PRI-D diesel treatment to last longer. It is also not explosive like
gasoline or Coleman fuel. Store in blue plastic container (universal symbol for Kerosene) or
one that is clearly marked and NEVER store it in a container that once held a different fuel,
such as gasoline. If stored in a non-lined metal container it will eventually leak. Store
outside/shed, only in shade. It has a strange odor when burned and can be used for lighting,
heating and cooking. @$3 gal.
LAMP OIL: Petroleum based. Odorless/smoke free. For hurricane type lamps.
Stores indefinitely. Lamp oil should be ½” below top of neck and not less that
2” below while using. Wick should not be visible above the dome while burning.
If it’s too high it will cause smoke. 10 hours per ounce burn time or 640 hrs/128
days for ½ gal, 2 gal=1 year per lamp. Store extra wicks and lamps if possible.
(Wal-Mart or online)
NEWSPAPER LOGS: Four logs burn approximately 1 hour and produce
heat comparable to the same amount of wood on pound-per-pound basis. To
Make: Roll 8 pieces of newspaper tightly around a dowel, one at a time, and
adding the next in before you reach the end. Tie off ends with twine, remove
dowel. Will store 20 years, keep dry.
PROPANE: Outdoor use only unless appliance has ODS (oxygen
depletion sensor). Stores indefinitely. Store outdoors in shade in upright
position. Propane containers must be recertified every 10 years. Small
cylinder will burn about 2 ½ hours; a 5 gallon one for 12-14 hours (half that
time in the cold). Can be used for lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Usual legal
limit 5 – 5 gallon tanks. Small bottles $3+ each.
SOLAR: Solar energy simply put is this:
Rays from the sun are collected by a solar panel; this power goes into a
charge controller and then used or is stored in a battery. In order to use
this DC power you need an inverter which converts the power in the
battery into AC power; with this done you can simply plug your small
appliance into the inverter and it will work. The more solar panels and
batteries you have: the faster it charges; the more power you will be able
to use and the longer it will last.
WHITE GAS (Coleman Fuel): NEVER use indoors! An un-opened container
of Coleman fuel stored in a dry area with no rapid extreme changes in
temperature will remain viable for 5-7 years. An opened container stored in
the same area will remain viable for up to 2 years although it is at its best if
used within a year. Lantern: 38 gal=5 hrs a day,
Cooking Stove: 91 gal=4 hrs 2 burner stove per day.
WOOD: In some areas wood is plentiful and can obtained for fuel. Works best
if dried for at least 6 months before burning. It stores many years. Hardwood
burns longer. In Southern California you would need, 2-4 cords for winter
warmth/cooking. When buying wood make sure it is clean, dry and free from
termites and other insects. Store outdoors; preferably covered; and re-stack
every five years to prevent build-up of debris that can cause spontaneous
combustion. It takes 16 lbs of wood to produce the same amount of heat as one
gallon of heating oil. In cold places, you might need 10-14 cords.
Fire Starters:
I mention these because it really won’t do you much good to have a short term or
year supply of fuel, it you don’t have anything to start them with.
Matches: waterproof a great idea, but at the very least store them in
water/humid proof containers such as: #10 cans, buckets or Mylar bags.
Butane lighters: Get a good one with extra fuel.
Blast Match: Fire starter that is operable with one hand and never fails to
light in the wind, rain, or snow. It generates a stream of sparks three times
the heat of a standard match and easily will light any material (wood, paper,
bark, cloth, or man-made fire starting tinders) that a match will ignite. You
can accurately aim the sparks to ignite a roaring fire in any weather
conditions. Will light 12,000 fires for $20.
Blast Match Video:
Charcoal Chimney: A chimney starter is a good way to start your coals. It is
a metal cylinder with a grate near the bottom and has a handle. Unlit
charcoal is placed on top and a flammable material (i.e. newspaper)
underneath the grate. The charcoal at the bottom lights first and the
"chimney effect" lights the rest. Another method is to place the chimney
over canned heat or chafing fuel. It is a little less messy than newspaper.
Now What?
 Make a Plan for YOUR Family: Lighting, Heating and Fuels
This is will different for each family but I recommend getting at least two kinds of things to: light, cook
and heat. For instance: we have light sticks, right next to the bed to light if there is an earthquake in the
middle of the night (with gas leak, even flashlights can set off explosions); headlamps for hands free
lighting; bright flashlights for looking near and far and lanterns for general room lighting. The same for
cooking: apple box oven/solar oven for baking (yum); rocket stove for bring things to a boil; icebox
cooker for simmering without power. You get the idea. Planning for more than one type of “Light” is
just common sense.
 Gather Your Lights, Heats and Fuels
Now is the time to gather your supplies, while they are still available.
 Practice, Practice, Practice
How about a family, friend, ward or neighborhood drill? Pick a day, sooner rather than later and go 24
hours without: utilities or water. How will you cook, light, heat and wash? Learn how to use your
supplies now so that when disaster strikes you will not only know where everything is that you need but
you are comfortable with using it.
 Feel the Peace of Preparedness
I promise you that as you follow the words of the Prophets and get prepared, the fear you may be
feeling right now, will dissipate. There is nothing like the peace the Spirit brings when we are following
the commandments. Food Storage and emergency preparedness are a matter of faith.
The Lights WILL Go Out.
Will you be left in the dark?
To quote a line from Harry Potter, “Dark and difficult times lie ahead.
Soon we must all make the choice between what is right and what is easy.”
What will you choose?
“When will all these calamities strike?
We do not know the exact time, but it appears it may be in the not-too-distant future.
“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing,
and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead…Wood, coal, gas, oil, kerosene, and even
candles are among those items which could be reserved as fuel for warmth, cooking, and light or
Those who are prepared now have the continuing blessings of early obedience, and they are
ready. Noah built his ark before the flood came, and he and his family survived.
Those who waited to act until after the flood began were too late.
May we ever remember the Lord’s promise, If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”
“Prepare Ye”, Elder Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Jan 1974, 68
It is my prayer that you will choose The Light
Fuel Storage Comparisons:
Conflicting information is everywhere! This is our best estimate according to our research. Use great caution in
storing fuel! It is important to understand a variety of fuels and how to safely use and store them. Be sure to
check with your local authorities and comply with all laws and regulations in your area.
Recommended Shelf
Store in tightly sealed container
in a cool, dry place.
10 years
Lose potency
Store in an airtight container in a
cool location
3-5 years -
Lose potency
Store in an airtight container in a
cool location
8 years - Indefinite
Store in cool, dry place away
form heat sources
Indefinite if unopened
May not burn as well
Store upright, away from heat
Indefinite if kept dry.
May not light or burn well if Store in airtight plastic or metal
wet- dry to restore viability containers keep dry.
Never use indoors!
Air speeds up deterioration Store away from circulating air,
and causes coal to burn
light, and moisture away from
Susceptible to spontaneous
Produces carbon monoxide
(white gas)
6-7 years (unopened)
1-2 years (opened 1/2
Will not burn as well
Store in original container, in a
dry area, with no rapid or
extreme changes in temp.
Highly flammable
Produces carbon monoxide
Never use indoors!
18-24 months
Life may be extended with a
Store in approved containers in
fuel stabilizer
detached garage or shed
Will not burn as well
Produces carbon monoxide
3-4 years
Decreases in BTU output
Store off the ground, keep dry;
plenty of air circulation; away
from the house
Termites, pests, and rodents
Store in a dry place in original
Use in well-ventilated area
Do not burn indoors!
Store in approved containers in
detached garage or shed
Highly flammable
Storing large quantities is
Store in approved plastic
container. Store in shed
Use in well-ventilated area
Do not allow to freeze!
Combustible liquid
Newspaper or canned heat will
work in a charcoal chimney
and is much safer
Fuel Tablets
What Happens After
Shelf Life
Breaks down and becomes
How to Store Safely
Extremely flammable
Evaporates quickly
Highly Flammable
Cans may leak if not stored in
an upright position
Do not burn indoors!
12 months
3-5 w/stabilizer
5+ years
Lamp Oil
Store in a cool, dry place away
from open flames
Keep dry!
5 years - Indefinite
Takes longer to heat up and
Store in a cool, dry place away
does not achieve high
from water.
Keep activated heater away
from open flame
Store in dry place
Burns better if mixed with
regular wood
Watch canister/tank for signs of
rust or dents.
Store in shed.
Flammable gas
Only use in appliances rated
for indoor use
Store in a cool, dry place
Will not burn as hot
Open flames are dangerous
Use great caution!
Important Fuel Considerations
Number of people - number of cooking hours and type of fuels will vary depending on the size of
your crowd.
Types of food stored - whole grains take significantly more fuel than canned foods.
Weather conditions - plan for cold, hot, and stormy weather.
Physical environment - ability to store and use certain types of fuel will change depending on your
location (house vs. apartment). Be sure to plan for portable cooking in case of evacuation.
Storage space - location and amount of storage space.
Practicality and financial investment - active solar and wind power is a wonderful option. It would
not be practical for some homes and is a huge financial investment. Be wise!
Set realistic goals and make steady progress to achieving them. Practice to ensure that your estimates
are accurate. We found that canned heat had to be modified when we started using 2-3 cans at once to
achieve higher temperatures. Change as needed.
Use this table as a starting point as you evaluate the needs of your family and plan your cooking fuel
storage (evaluate heating/electric power separately).
Sample One Year Cooking Fuel:
# Needed
$ 20
Canned Heat
6 hr Can
$ 60
15 lb. Bag 27
$ 100
5 Gal Can 1
$ 16
(Klean Heat)
5 Gal Can 4
$ 76
20 lb
$ 40
Solar Energy
# Hours
(UTAH guidlelines: check with Fire Dept in your area)
The information in this brochure is only intended to provide typical homeowners with general
guidelines concerning emergency fuel storage at residential locations. Please consult your local fire
department for definitive answers to any questions you might have, after reviewing the following
Can I store emergency fuel containers inside my home, basement and/or attached garage?
A: No! Generally speaking, we ask that you only store emergency fuel containers in a detached shed
or garage to minimize fire hazards and ignition sources. Two or three (2 or 3) 1-gallon DOT rated
containers for gasoline, and 2-cycle fuel for general operation of lawn maintenance equipment, are
permissible in your attached garage. We have experienced many serious problems with larger
quantities of fuel inside homes, basements, attached garages and carports.
Can I store as many containers as I want in my garden shed or unattached garage?
A: No. Depending on the type of fuel (gasoline, kerosene, diesel, propane), you are only allowed to
store limited quantities of each type of fuel in certain kinds and sizes of containers.
What authority does the fire dept. have to tell me what I can/cannot do in my own home?
This really is a life safety (your life safety) issue. Also, your homeowner’s insurance provider would
like you to keep the quantities of flammable liquids stored at your residence to a bare minimum.
Home Storage of Flammable Liquids
Gasoline and Coleman White Gas: Maximum residential storage of flammable liquids (gasoline and
white gas) shall be limited to 25 gallons; preferably stored in an unattached garage or shed. Of this
25 gallon total, no more than 10 gallons can be stored in an attached garage; and absolutely no
flammable liquid storage is allowed in basements. Empty containers shall be counted as full when
calculating total storage capacity. Flammable and combustible liquids in the fuel tanks of motor
vehicles (gasoline, diesel and 2-cycle blends) are exempt, and therefore not considered as a part of
your total home fuel storage quantities.
Flammable liquid storage containers shall be of an approved type. Most of these containers
are labeled as approved for flammable liquid use, and indicate the standards they are designed to
meet. Always use approved or original retail containers. No used milk jugs!
If you decide to store more than 5 gallons of flammable liquids at your home, you need at
least one 2A10BC rated fire extinguisher, located no closer than 10 ft, and no further away than 50 ft.
Control of sources of ignition is mandatory! All transfer and dispensing of flammable liquids
requires careful attention be paid to eliminating static spark discharge, and ignition of flammable
vapors. Open flames and high temperature devices must be controlled and approved for use with
flammable liquids. And, smoking is prohibited in the storage area.
Home Storage of Combustible Liquids
Diesel, Kerosene and Lamp Oil: Maximum residential storage of combustible shall be limited to 60
gallons; preferably stored in an unattached garage or shed. Of this 50 gallon total, no more than 10
gallons can be stored in an attached garage; and absolutely no combustible liquid storage is allowed
in basements. Combustible liquid storage containers shall be of an approved type. Most of these
containers are labeled as approved for flammable liquid use and indicate the standards they are
designed to meet. Always use approved or original containers. No used milk jugs!
If you decide to store more than 25 gallons of combustible liquids at your home, you need at
least two 2A10BC rated fire extinguishers, located no closer than 10 feet, and no further away than
50 feet.
Control of sources of ignition is mandatory! All transfer and dispensing of combustible
liquids requires careful attention be paid to eliminating static spark discharge, and ignition of
flammable vapors. Open flames and high temperature devices must be controlled and approved for
use with flammable/combustible liquids. And, smoking is prohibited in the storage area.
Portable Kerosene heating appliances shall be (UL) listed, and shall be limited to a fuel take
capacity of 2 gallons. However, the Uniform Fire Code specifically prohibits the use of these
unvented heating appliances in occupied living spaces. If you decide to use these devices, closely
follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use, always maintain adequate separation from
combustible surfaces, maintain good ventilation in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and
use a battery powered Carbon Monoxide detector to detect dangerous conditions.
Home Storage of Flammable LP-Gases
Propane and Butane: Residential Propane storage issues are more complex than those for flammable
and combustible liquids. If you want a permanent LP-Gas system and tank installed, county
ordinance allows you up to 2,000 gallons water capacity in heavily populated areas, provided you
obtain a permit, comply with relevant installation codes, and hire a state licensed contractor to
perform the work and supply the equipment and product. However, some cities have passed local
ordinances that restrict total LP-Gas capacity to 500 gallons or less, where natural gas service is
readily available. Please contact any state licensed Propane supplier, under “Gas-Propane” in the
yellow pages, for more information regarding permanent Propane gas installations.
For portable DOT tank storage, you are allowed up to 25 gallons total capacity. You could
have up to five 5-gallon (20 lb) portable appliance cylinders (the size usually found on barbecue
grills; or one 23-gallon (100 lb) cylinder, in storage at your home, in an unattached garage or shed.
But, if you want to store propane and flammable liquids together, they should be separated by at least
10 feet. You are only allowed to store up to two (2) of the small portable 1-pound cylinders inside
your home or attached garage. All other propane cylinder storage must be outside your home in an
unattached garage or shed.
Propane cylinders attached to heating and/or cooking appliances, as well as those mounted on
trailers, motor homes, and campers, do not count towards your total storage capacity.
Unattached or empty cylinders are counted as being full for purposes of calculating your total
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