Extreme heat may be on the horizon, especially due to climate change. Even if that ends up not mattering for your area, you may need to survive in extreme heat because of some other natural or man-made disaster that strikes during the summer months.
Follow these tips to boost your odds of survival...
Keeping your temperature down while you are staying indoors relies primarily on tending to the internal temperature of that space:
First off, use fans periodically throughout the day. Blow fans are great if you don’t have other forms of air-conditioning. In a nutshell, set them up in open windows with the fans blowing outward. This sounds counterintuitive, but it will actually draw warm air from inside your house or home and push it outside. Cool air will be pulled in. However, only open the windows during certain times of the day (see below).
Heat rises, so the higher levels of your home will be warmer than the lower levels. This is why basements and cellars are normally cooler than other parts of a building. Spend time in these places if you can and avoid sleeping on bunk beds.
Monitor Windows and Shades
To keep the inside of your home cool, open your windows and shades during the early morning and evening hours of the day when the temperature drops. This will boost airflow and let you make use of the fan strategy described above.
However, you should close the windows and shades as the temperature rises toward late morning in the middle of the day. This seals in cooler air as the air outside becomes warmer, and the shades will prevent sunlight from warming the interior as quickly.
To stay cool outdoors, focus more on keeping your body’s temperature down instead of altering the environment:
Stay in the Shade
If you have to walk or make a journey during the hot part of the day, periodically rest in shade. Don't try to be over-productive or travel quickly – your body can easily overheat if you overtax it. Shade gives your body some time to passively cool off.
Wear Light, Loose Clothing
The clothing you wear can seriously impact your comfort. Loose and lightweight clothing made of cotton is your best bet, as this allows airflow between the clothing fabric and your skin, facilitating evaporation. You should also try to keep your clothing white in color as well – darker clothing absorbs more of the sun’s rays, warming more quickly, while white clothing reflects more of the sun’s rays and stays cooler for longer.
Drink Water Before You’re Dehydrated
This last tip is important for both indoor and outdoor extreme heat survival. If you're thirsty, you're actually already under the effects of dehydration. The best way to avoid extreme heat injuries from ambient temperature is to drink enough water so that you don't become thirsty in the first place.
Keep an eye on your water intake and make sure you sip frequently throughout the day. This goes double for those living in humid environments – your body will produce extra sweat since it won't evaporate as effectively, cooling you down. You can also use water to refresh yourself by using a bottle with a spray nozzle.
Following all these tips will go a long way toward ensuring that you survive, even in the hot and/or humid days of the worst summers to come.
Thank you for reading, stay prepared.