When preparing for emergencies, some of the first considerations are clean water, food, shelter, and in cold climates like ours--heat. My main concern in this house has been heat. We have gas heat so if the gas flow is interrupted OR the electricity goes out, we have no heat and the place cools off in a hurry! We have an old wood stove outside waiting for us to get some triple wall pipe so we can install it somewhere in this tiny old house, so it's not doing much good right now. So for Christmas this year, Santa brought us a kerosene heater (he got it used on ebay for about $70 including shipping).
I'm pretty excited, but to be honest, I don't have the slightest idea how it works! I'll be picking up some kerosene next time I'm in town and it has an instruction book with it, so I should be able to figure it out . . . :) Feeling better about not freezing anyway.