In extreme conditions, when a person’s task is to survive, one can turn to various methods. Often not very safe ones. Even without electricity, water and gas, the first thing you should think about is whether your methods of keeping warm or cooking are safe. Andriy Andrusevych, senior analyst at the Resource and Analysis Centre “Society and Environment”, gives advice for the project on what to take care of in anticipation of winter, which can be difficult due to Russian shelling of critical infrastructure.

  • What to stock up on in case of gas shortages?

    If we are talking about life in an apartment, I recommend having a spare small electric stove at home for cooking. If you don’t want to invest in such a device, because it costs about UAH 2,000 and will become an unnecessary item, you can buy an electric kettle. In addition to the fact that it works in the absence of gas, you can use it under normal conditions.

  • What to do if there is not only no gas but also no electricity?

    In this case, you will need a supply of dry alcohol for cooking. You can put it on a regular burner on your gas stove. This way, you can boil water and cook a simple meal. 

    A more comfortable way is to buy a tourist gas stove. It looks like a small gas stove. You can put a pot or frying pan on it, and it runs on special gas cylinders that are not expensive. However, you need to use them with utmost care.

  • And what if there is no gas, electricity, water and heat supply at the same time?

    The first is the absence of water. I recommend having a constant supply of drinking water. In addition, you need to take care of a supply of technical water. This can be a filled bathtub or any other containers, for example, because everyone needs technical water for washing, toilet, etc. If you have an electric boiler at home, then this is also a supply of technical water for you. If the boiler is 70 litres, it means that you always have a 70 litre supply of water at home.

    The second is the absence of heat. This is one of the biggest challenges for an apartment. Currently, the only safe solution I see is to install a biofireplace. They run on bioethanol. In general, they can’t produce any harmful emissions, including carbon monoxide, so they are safe. At least one of the rooms can be heated with such a fireplace. At the same time, I would like to warn people against using wood-burning stoves in their apartments. This is a direct danger to you and your neighbours. 

    The third is the absence of gas. The solution is dry alcohol or a portable gas stove. However, there is a warning here: large gas cylinders should not be stored or used in an apartment.

  • What travel life hacks will come in handy in the event of a gas and electricity outage?

    There are many travel devices that can be useful. However, keep in mind that they are often expensive in operation. For example, gas cylinders for tourist burners are more expensive because they have a hard case in case the cylinder falls during transportation in difficult conditions. 

    A simple tip from a tourist: the smaller the room, the easier it is to heat it. I’m not encouraging everyone to set up a tent at home, but if the situation is absolutely catastrophic, it’s easier to heat a tent in an apartment. An ordinary candle will warm people in a tent in a matter of minutes. However, it is flammable, and if you haven’t had such an experience, it is better not to experiment. 

    If you have a large room and high ceilings, you can limit this space by separating a part of the room, for example, with a regular plastic film.

  • Which heating pad is better to choose?

    It depends on the person’s lifestyle. I recommend that older people buy an electric heating pad. Such people get cold more and sit for longer periods of time. Electric heaters are not very powerful, they don’t consume a lot of electricity, but they will definitely add comfort to a person if there is electricity. If there is no electricity, I recommend an ordinary rubber heating pad, which can be filled with water and heated using the methods I have described: with dry alcohol or a gas stove. This will provide comfort for several hours. Finally, an ordinary plastic bottle of warm water can also warm you up.

  • What are the home-made means of heating an apartment or house?

    If a complete apocalypse occurs, people will start to warm themselves as they can. All this will lead to accidents: carbon monoxide poisoning, fires, explosions. Therefore, only proven methods should be applied, and in no case should home-made devices be used. Wood burning stoves should be made by people who know how to do them. 

    You should not install a wood burning stove in your apartment. In a private house, this should be done by people who know how to install the stove correctly so that the combustion products are removed from the house.

    An important piece of advice: given the conditions in which Ukrainians are living, I recommend that everyone should have at least one fire extinguisher at home.