Another essential to carry in the car during winter is a long lasting emergency candle. I have three 100 hour emergency candles ready to go for when the temperature drops below 40 all day. These aren’t really candles, but actually are liquid paraffin that burns through a wick. I have ones that are made by Sterno because I found them at Walmart for $5 on sale, and I got the last three. I will probably order a set of “Clear Mist” 100 hour candles from Amazon as well to have in the home just in case the heater goes out or something. A set of three is just over $20, while a set of 12 is just under $75, so I’ll probably purchase the 12 pack.
A single table candle will raise the temperature in a car only 1-3 degrees, but a 100 hour emergency candle has the capability of raising the temp anywhere between 10 and 12 degrees depending on the car’s interior size. If you’re in a true emergency situation, maximize the heat output of the candle by taking a Mylar space blanket and close off the front and rear windshields by pinning or duct taping the Mylar against the dashboard, pillars and roof. Make sure that you are able and do to roll one of the windows down a 1/2 inch for ventilation every half hour for 5 minutes (if you start thinking that you will not be able to roll the window up or down, due to a dead battery perhaps, then roll it down and use the Mylar blanket to fill in the hole. You can manually open and shut the hole for ventilation that way).
If possible, also buffer the side windows by doing the same, running the Mylar space blanket from the roof down to the floor. You should have a space blanket for each person in the car, plus six to eight for the window buffers. Since we have a Prius, we can just reach over the back seat to get our emergency supplies, including the 100 hour candles, but if you have to actually get out of the vehicle to get them, do it while the vehicle is still warm.
Also stay with the car! According to NOAA, your chances of death increase considerably if you leave your vehicle, and if it can run, it too is a source of heat.
Sorry for all the Winter Safety Talk… Back to business!
The 100 hour candles are not that expensive. Check at your local Walmart, Meijer or Target to see if they have any. Right now is a good time to stock up, it looks like we’re in for another harsh winter according to the Farmer’s Almanac. If money’s tight, then just get a bunch of cheap Jewish shabbos candles that burn for 1-3 hours each! They’re usually only $2-$5 for a box in the grocery store, and that’ll last you up to 36 hours if you’re stranded or without heat in your home.