For those of us who do not have a fireplace or wood burning stove, options are still available for heating the home if the power goes out. The Mr Heater Portable Buddy is an indoor safe propane heater which is already very popular among RV enthusiasts. This little heater can be found on Amazon and costs anywhere from $70 to $150. It runs on a single 16.4 ounce propane canister or a 20lb propane tank (with the right connection hose). I do have the hose and the tank, but decided to test my heater out using the small canister while working on a project in a very cold garage.
Setup was relatively easy. I read the instructions (not something I normally do) because I was dealing with fire and a fuel source. I screwed the can into the side of the heater, pressed the ignite button and then turned the switch over to low (it has a high setting as well). The heater gets very hot, very quickly! It has a few great safety features too, such as a tip over sensor and a low oxygen sensor that shuts the heater off when oxygen levels in the room get too low. Once I had my heater all set up I moved it out to my garage where it worked like a charm. I had it running on low for 3 hours before shutting it off, I’m quite sure it could have gone for 4.
I was really impressed with this little heater and feel that it would make a great supplemental heat source if the power went out in short term grid down scenario. For a long term SHTF event other plans would have to be made, as the usage of the heater is obviously constrained by the amount of propane on hand. Obviously living in a home with a wood burning fireplace (or stove) is a best case scenario, but many of us are not simply not that fortunate.
If you are in the market for a small portable heat source which can be used indoors check out the Mr Heater Portable Buddy. Its relatively low cost and portable design make it a great addition to the home. You could use it like I did while working on a project in the garage, or in emergency situations. I would only add this word of caution, I would never go to sleep with the heater running in a room. I would also never leave the heater burning unattended.