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Heating and Cooking

The common thread between heating and cooking is that both require an energy source that will not be available after a major earthquake. Many of the foods that we have in our pantries or long term food storage will require some sort of cooking.  Here is how to prepare to cook in an emergency situation.


PrepLO has compiled a presentation on emergency heating to educate you or for you to present to a group. It covers different heating methods, devices, fuel storage and costs of each. Here is a link the presentation:

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PDF - Presentation with Notes


PPT - PowerPoint Presentation


Recommendation: Store a stove and fuel to cook meals for 30 days.

Shopping List

Option 1: Camping stove and propane tank

Given the amount of fuel it takes to boil water for pasta, rice, or beans for a family meal, it will require 5-7 gallons of propane for meals for 30 days.

Total Cost: $100


  1. Coleman camp stove

  2. Coleman propane tank adapter

  3. 5-gallon propane tank - purchase this locally at a Home Depot, Lowes, some grocery stores, or used on Craigslist

Option 2: Wood stove

Total Cost: $40-100


  1. Collapsible wood stove - $40

  2. More efficient "rocket stove" - $100


If you already do some camping and have a stove, adding an adapter hose is a good option.  Also if you have a propane BBQ having an extra 5-gallon propane tank on hand would be a good option. Propane tanks are very safe and the fuel does not "go bad" with time.

On the other hand, we live near a lot of trees and if you are handy building a fire the wood stove option would not require any storage of fuel.

Optional Heating

Recommendation: Be able to heat a room for 30 days with a Heater and 5 gallon propane tank.

Shopping List

Option 1: Indoor safe propane heater with 5-gallon tank attachment

Total Cost: ~$150

  1. Mr Heater Buddy Indoor Heater

  2. Propane tank hose

  3. Propane filter

  4. 5-gallon propane tank - purchase this locally at a Home Depot, Lowes, some grocery stores, or used on Craigslist

  5. Carbon monoxide detector


If you have a wood stove, you are probably set in this area.  If you have a fireplace, do not rely on this. Fireplaces are only 10% efficient and almost all of the heat goes out the chimney. This indoor heater is safe to use in a standard sized bedroom. If you have a battery powered carbon monoxide detector in the house, it would be safe move it into the room with this heater just to be safe.


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