It seems like natural disasters and extreme weather are consistently in the news. My kids who still live at home will be fine, but what about our kids that have moved away? College dorms and apartments are not super emergency friendly. How would students have a warm meal, if the power were to go out? A cup of hot cocoa or hot soup would help both mentally and physically in an emergency. There needs to be a cheap, simple solution.
Since it was science fair time, I posed the question to my sixteen year old. We bought a few things from a dollar store and started to experiment. I will spare you the details of the project, but I will tell you what won our approval—the small scented candle, a cooling rack, and a used soup can! We figured that if you can heat 2/3 cup of water to around 130 degrees you can make hot cocoa, instant soup, hot cider, instant oatmeal, etc. Safety and ease also weighed in…not just the speed at which the water heated. 🙂
The wire rack was made from a cheap cooling rack (we got two racks for a dollar). My son used wire cutters to cut the rack in half. He bent it simply using the side of the counter. He placed it over a 3 oz scented candle. A used soup can with 2/3 cup water was placed on top. Within about 15 minutes, the candle heated the room temperature water to about 130 degrees. (Be sure to use a hot pad to remove the can and be sure the tiny stove top is out of reach of children.) Dump the hot water into a cup and make the drink or meal of your choice!
I will be adding these items to my college age kids’ emergency kit. Bring on the hot cider and soup!