Electric heaters are an emergency necessity

Snow can cause problems, especially when power outages leave Americans without heat.

Winter is coming on strong this year in certain parts of the country even though it's only November. For example, last week Reuters estimated around 1 million people in the Northeast were without power after a severe storm hit part of the region. This only a few weeks after the Northeast was enjoying uncommonly warm autumn weather. I guess that's why they say, "if you don't like the weather in New England, wait a few hours."

As a result of the winter storms, many of these individuals were caught in their homes without sufficient precautions. And I'm not just talking about candles, matches and other important small items. The biggest concern in the event of a power outage is heat problems, as even the best electric heaters and manual thermostats can't work without power.

My wife and I ensure we are always stocked with emergency supplies, as we've lived in the colder parts of the country for most of our lives. Our kits include the regular staples – canned goods, dry food mixes, hand tools – but also a few unconventional items (like firewood, for instance). We happen to have a great fireplace, but in the event that we aren't able to collect enough seasoned wood, we also keep a battery-powered space heater close by.

By investing in this kind of energy-saving solution, we are able to find relief in a pinch. But, we get more than occasional use out of our space heaters. They are also a great way to reduce your regular heating bills. For example, my wife and I only use part of our house consistently, mainly the kitchen and the living room. As a result, heating other areas unnecessarily stretches our budget. That's why I recommend keeping a great space heater on hand at all times.

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