Get Ready for #OWS in Winter: Body warmers for hands and sleeping bags

The US Navy describes their plan for hypothermia as:

Hypothermia occurs when the body’s temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of this condition include change in mental status, uncontrollable shivering, cool abdomen and a low core body temperature. Severe hypothermia may produce rigid muscles, dark and puffy skin, irregular heart and respiratory rates, and unconsciousness. Treat hypothermia by protecting the victim from further heat loss and calling for immediate medical attention. Get the victim out of the cold. Add insulation such as blankets, pillows, towels or newspapers beneath and around the victim. Be sure to cover the victim’s head. Replace wet clothing with dry clothing. Handle the victim gently because rough handling can cause cardiac arrest. Keep the victim in a horizontal (flat) position. Provide cardio-pulmonary artificial respiration or CPR (if you are trained) as necessary.

Let’s try and prevent that by gathering the tools.  Lots of your body’s blood flows through your hands as the vessels by their nature are closer to the skin there. Adding heat to your hands has a beneficial effect in the rest of your body—it may still be miserable, but it isn’t going to get worse for as long as you can keep adding heat.

Hand Warmers Everyone knows there’s little magical hand warmers that you open and its mixture of iron slowly oxidizes and creates heat. They’re disposable, and that’s going to be a problem—think about an expired hand warmer multiplied by 2000 people a day. How can we avoid that?

We know that the working groups will have power in some locations because they have generators. Microwaves are easily acquired. Now, let’s mix in the matter that can hold the heat: Flax-seed hand warmers.  Boil down the DIY fanciness and all you need is:

  1. A pair of clean socks.
  2. Flax-seed.
Microwave each pair of hand-warmers for about a minute (and when you’re up to production-level distribution of the heat-energy, you’ll figure out how to do a dozen at a time) and return to their user. Most importantly: No dispoable hand-warmers to clean up and throw away or buy.
Solving The Heating/Distribution Problem Now, you’ve got 2000 people with their hand-warmers. How do you heat them all?  First, multiply the number of hand-warmers by 3 to donate to the community, you’re all sharing them. Next, if you don’t have enough power to warm them on site, form a “bucket brigade” of insulated coolers you would use for picnics. You’ll take the cold hand-warmers and bring them off-site to be warmed, and bring them back in the same cooler.
Sleeping Bags Use pillow-cases with larger grains, perhaps buckwheat.