Saturday, December 29, 2012

Emergency Candles from the Pantry

It is not news to anyone of us to know that we have been plagued by severe storms across the country leaving thousands without power, for hours, days and even weeks.  It's heart breaking to watch, and scary to think, it could so easily happen to anyone of us.  Here in Branson, we experienced first hand a taste of it with the Leap Day Tornado this past February.  Our community was very blessed in that there was no loss of life, very few injuries, and although quite a bit of property damage, it could have been so much worse.  When the power goes out, the first instinct is to find a source of light.  Lighting candles is a quick short term light source, but candles, even if you have them, burn quickly.

However a trip to the pantry

and a stop at the junk drawer

and you can have an instant, long burning candle.

You will need a can of Crisco and a birthday candle for this instant, long lasting light source.

I prefer the small cans of Crisco to stock in my pantry as I don't use it often (actually hardly ever) and the larger cans, once open will turn rancid after time.  The smaller cans are also perfect for these emergency candles.  Again, you want to have a few small cans in your pantry, unopened.

Remove the plastic lid and inner foil seal. . .

Select one candle from your birthday candle stash

and gently push the candle down into the center of can.  

If you have read other posts about these Crisco candles they tell you to push a candle wick into the can using a skewer.  My thoughts are this, in a power outage who has time to search out their bag of candle wicks (if you even have them)  and then find a skewer?  Everyone has birthday candles in their junk drawer!  They are an easy substitute and instant wick!  If you use the large can of Crisco, substitute an emergency candle for the birthday candle.  (and if you don't have emergency candles on hand, you need to purchase several boxes!  Everyone should have emergency candles and boxes of matches in their pantry.

You will push the candle down, almost flush with the top of the Crisco, 
leaving just the wick and bit of candle protruding

light the candle wick

you will see a bit of birthday candle wax burn then float on the top of the Crisco

as the Crisco burns, it forms a clear puddle around the wick

it's wonderful and it burns smoke free, and odor free! (another reason to be sure to use a new can rather than a can that has been open and sitting in the cupboard for some time 
(however in an emergency use the open can if that is all you have!)

 After 15 minutes of burning, only a quarter size area of the Crisco has melted!  This candle will last for hours and hours!  

Just remember to clearly mark the top of the lid once you have done this to the can - you don't want to find birthday candle bits in your next pie crust..... ha!

I love this idea, and have now purchased small cans of Crisco, packs of birthday candles, and boxes of matches to keep in our emergency supply kits*.

2013 is going to my year of preparing for emergencies.  Watch for more useful tips and great ideas to help you be ready should the need arise.

'til tomorrow,

P. S.  -  Watch for more on stocking your own emergency supply kits in future posts.