Central heating is quite a modern system. There are many people here who grew up in houses that did not have central heating and instead relied on other forms of heating to keep themselves warm.
As well as the ever handy fire which usually was in one room, and therefore heating one room only, our primary way of keeping warm was clothing and blankets. Our beds were piled high with blankets and in the mornings you didn’t want to put your nose out in a cold room in winter. Everyone slepts soundly in a warm bed at night though.
The primary heating method was though our clothes. We wore several layers of warm clothes and fashion was just something for rich people on TV or in society. I had several jackets and none of them were branded. We wore vests, thick underpants and several layers of clothing depending on the weather. We wore wooly hats and gloves knitted by our grannies and we rarely had colds or sore throats.
This is another area where we can take advantage of progress to aid our survival after an event. We can stock up now on modern clothing, thermal underwear, waterproofs, gaters, shoes and gloves. Most modern clothes can be bought cheaply enough if you look around and if you are willing to consider second hand some tremendous bargains can be found. Each of us at my place has at least three complete outfits that can be used in the cold and not by sharing anything between them. That gives enough for use whilst one is being washed and another is hanging out to be dried. As well as that I have several good pairs of boots as well as regular items like trainers and t-shirts. They store well in the clothes cupboards and don’t even look like preps. Buy plenty of underpants and socks they are cheap enough and small enough to store easily. Get good quality thicker ones though for everything and ignore the cheaper ones that won’t last very long.
Unless you are looking for specialist items which allow breathable waterproofs then avoid branded products and always buy good quality. The branded products will not get you the kudos that they do now and although you will not be considered the height of fashion you can afford more clothes for the same amount.
Look back to those earlier days. Scarves, hats, parkas, jumpers with turtlenecks, etc. They were all designed to keep you warm and they did what was intended. Most modern clothes are about fashion. Look what the down and outs use and learn from that. They are not bothered about brand names but about keeping warm.
Finally, one core area that you need to ensure you have covered is your feet. Good socks, boots are necessary to keep you warm and ready to travel. Cold feet can slow you down, make you ill and make you feel down. Warm feet and a warm body even with a cold nose is what you will feel comfortable with. Ensure that everyone in your community has three complete outfits of cold weather gear at least and layers of clothes for the remainder of the time including comfortable shoes. It won’t take up that much space and besides food and water will be your most valuable assets.
Consider also that out of all our clothes the most difficult items to replace will be your footwear. Boots and trainers last a long time but eventually they will wear out and we can’t easily replace them. Make sure you have plenty of spare boots, shoes, trainers and laces as well as making sure you treat them well and extend their life with cleaners like polish to keep them in tip top condition.