Old school sort of heat help. You can buy candles that are most likely called tea candles and you can also find small glass bowls for those candles to fit in. Some of the candles (the ones you want to buy) burn for over 4 hours time. Lastly you need to find real flowering pots made from terra cotta material that have a real hole in the bottom of the pots. Light your candle in the bowl, cover with the flower pot you can adjust the height on the flower pot to help allow the candle to burn clean and also help how long it will burn. The flower pot will get hot after a short amount of time so be careful. Allow enough air to get to the candle by how much you might need to adjust the height of that as it sits over the candle and bowl the candle is in. In less then no time at all, you will master this and you will have very non expensive heat for any room you need it in. Only takes about three or four of these set up to heat a fairly large room, one or two in a bathroom, four or so in a basement. Keep your pipes from freezing and heat rises to help the rest of the home. buy emergency crank radio, as they have a light no batteries needed. Solar powered cell phone charger works.That's a good reminder, Beagle. I've been reading that as well and the concerns spoken locally that as things tighten donations to those food banks is not keeping up with needs.
As critical, I think, and less easy to correct, will be this coming Winter's heating costs.
Heating oil is essentially diesel fuel. People who struggle to keep their home warm with fuel at a dollar something a gallon will simply not be able to when the fuel is six dollars per gallon.
In my community there are programs that give a little bit of help to truly "low income" families. But average, working, home owners do not qualify for any such help. How will such cope?
American industry can likely solve this in months if allowed to. But just this past week further steps were taken by the current DC 'controllers' to prevent their doing so. And thus even a total change in DC thinking will, I expect, be too late to help this Winter. And we won't be able to leave an "extra gallon of heating oil" in any basket near the exit of a local shop.
Personal creative thought is, I fear, the sole answer. And for many few possibilities will be found to exist.
Here we'll be carefully and thoughtfully felling some chosen trees --those at the end of the life cycle -- and, perhaps, making some available to neighbors who provide the equipment, skills and personal energy needed to help us cut and split them. But what about urban people? Or, even locally, older folks such as Jan and I who have no forest of their own to include in such a 'work for wood' tradeoff?
This concerns me greatly.