Blackout Survival Guide

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Dec 18, 2014 4:10 PM
If you find yourself in the dark and cold without sufficient emergency supplies, here are a few ways to create a bit of heat and light with things found around the house.


Flower Pot Heater
You will need:
1 metal loaf pan
4 tealite candles
2 terra cotta pots (both big enough to balance on the edges of the loaf pan, but one bigger than the other)
Aluminum foil


Line the loaf pan in aluminum foil to create a reflective surface. Set the pan where you want your heat source to be. It should be on a heatproof countertop or table and away from anything flammable. Place tealites inside the pan and light them. Set the smaller terra cotta pot upside down on top of the loaf pan, centring it so it’s safely balanced. Place a folded piece of tin foil over the hole in the bottom of the overturned pot to keep the candle heat from escaping. Place the larger pot on top. This will heat a small room for several hours. Never leave any lit candles unattended. Keep it out of reach of pets and children. The pots will get hot.




Water Jug Lamp
You will need:
1 headlamp with strap
2L jug of water



Attach a headlamp to the jug with the light facing into the jug. The water diffuses the light.




Candle-Powered Cooker


Group 3-5 tealight candles on a flat stovetop or heatproof counter. Create a platform for a pot with overturned terra cotta pots or food cans and a cake cooling rack (or the rack from your toaster oven). Place saucepan on top, filled with stew, soup or whatever you want heated. It takes a little while, but it works! Another safe way to cook with candles is to place taller, fatter candles in the sink, lay an oven rack across the top of the sink as a platform for your pot and voila! A stove burner in a stainless-steel environment.




Orange Candle
You will need:
1 orange
sharp knife
olive oil


Cut the orange in half. Set the bottom half aside. Take the top half and gently separate the sections. Remove them carefully, being sure to leave the centre stem intact. This will be your wick. Pour some olive oil in the bottom of the emptied orange, and use a spoon to pour oil over the wick until it’s totally soaked. Light the wick. Place the orange in a secure place where it can’t tip over, tilt or catch anything nearby on fire.