If you can’t afford a generator, then get a cardboard box, and some Styrofoam insulation from the hardware store. Cut it to fit the inside of the box. Then get some of those 40-60 hour hand warmers (you can get them at Superior Enterprises). If power goes out, remove the frogs from the viv and put them each in a deli cup. Tape the heat pad to one end of the box, or cover it with a sock and put in the bottom at one end. Place the deli cups with the frogs inside at the opposite end. Toss in a thermometer, and try and keep an eye on the temps. Depending on the hardiness of your plants, you may lose some or all of them. Really, a generator is the best option, especially if the power outages last for days.
If you just cut styrofoam to cover your tanks, then cover that with a blanket, you'd be surprised at how long the temps will stay stabilized, especially if you keep all of your doors closed in the house as much as possible.
I agree, a generator is the best option, but I have never had to use mine even here in rural Indiana. We did have the furnace burn out on us last year (1955 furnace finally died), and covering the terrarium and allowing the compact fluorescents to warm the tanks was all that was necessary, along with one lonely space heater.
This has been a big worry of mine too living in Colorado. As soon as I get the money from my husband's w/c settlement we're buying a generator!! Before I never worried about it because I've lived for weeks without power and in freezing weather. You just sleep in your sweats and cook on the gas stove which still works even with no electricity :wink:, even the corn snakes weren't that big of a deal as long as the power outage didn't strike just after a meal. Now with all the frogs I have I would be devestated to lose any of them and would just as soon pack them all in deli cups and keep them next to me in the bed for warmth to keep from losing them. I can already here my husbands comments about bringing frogs to bed with me. :roll: Maybe I will just throw wool blankets and comforters over the terrariums and pray.
A couple years ago, when I was living in North Carolina, I lived in a very small house that was built sometime in the early 1940's. Anyway, a big ice storm hit in mid-winter. Unlike Colorado, North Carolina is ill-prepared for any winter weather. The freezing temperatures caused the transformers (I think that's what they're called) to explode, and a large part of the state, including mine, was without power for weeks. Anyway, my place had almost zero insulation, and had a large 2'x3' grill in the floor which heat came through from the heater. But, when that went out, it sucked all the heat out of the house like a vacuum. My place was in the 20s-30s for 2 straight weeks with no heat or power. So, I covered up all the snakes with several blankets and wore nothing but a couple layers of thick clothing to bed. I worried most about my tropical species that were not adapted to these conditions, but at the end of the 2 weeks, every one of them pulled through just fine, with the exception of a minor respiratory infection on one snake that cleared up quickly. I can't say the same holds true for darts, but after all that, I'm quite confident these animals are a hell of a lot tougher than we think. By this I don't mean you should take a chance every time this happens. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
By the way, someone mentioned a space heater. How well does that work (provided that power is present)? I've thought about getting one for my herp room, but I worry about it heating the room up too much.
If electricity is not an option, then a kerosene heater may be a great choice. They are generally safe provided precautions are made when around them and the kerosene fuel is pretty inexpensive. Would be a bit cheaper and quieter than an elec. gen running on gasoline.
I live in a new house, but had my furnace go out the first year we were hear was just a bad sensor, but I still worry about it. I plan to get a small electric heater and just set it a little below my room temp if anything would happen. So far have not found one that I like.
Wow, I am sorry to hear that some of you have such poor reliability with your power distribution companies, although there is not a lot that can be done in an ice storm to prevent power outages. The ice brings down trees which in turn bring down the power lines. Since generators are out of the question, here is a link to a portable heater that Cabelas sells. There are probably many other places to get it. This brand is well made and it comes in a couple different sizes. They generate a lot of heat and you can hook it to a "gas grill" type propane tank and it will burn for quite a while. If winter power failures are common in your area I'd suggest that you get this ahead of time as insurance, because places will be sold out of them when you need it.