Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heatwave Update

As much as I would like to commiserate with the people in my city who are enduring near 100 degree temps, I am actually at a conference in a nicely air conditioned suite. I have been keeping up with the local news, however, and have a few more suggestions about dealing with the heat:
  • There have been many drownings and near drownings. People go to the lakes and rivers to beat the heat and then they end up drowning. There seem to be a range of factors involved in these tragic accidents including alcohol use, cold water, strong river and ocean currents, inexperienced swimmers, not using life jackets, etc.
  • Find out where your local cooling center is. If you do not have air conditioning and your house feels like an oven, better to hang out somewhere cool then risk heat stroke.
  • Realize that even if you have fans or air conditioners, often during heatwaves everyone comes home from work, hits power on all of these units and the power grid promptly shuts down. Generators are good during the winter as well as the summer.
  • Like any kind of pending emergency situation, pre planning is a good idea. The news showed people lining up today, when the temperature was like 100 degrees, to buy fans at local stores. Sounds like lousy planning to me. Not only do you pay top dollar, you also run the risk of the stores running out of the things you need because everyone else who did not plan ahead has the same idea. A better way to do this? Buy winter equipment and supplies at the end of winter when demand is low and prices are discounted. Ditto for fans and air conditioners--buy these items at the end of this summer for use next summer. If that isn't possible, at least buy these things any time but during the height of a heatwave. The same thing happens when people race out to stores for hurricane preps, as the hurricane is bearing down on their town or when people go to the store to buy tire chains, in the middle of the biggest snow storm of the year. In all of these cases, everyone else is doing the same thing causing a mob scene. Plan ahead!
  • Even though work dictates that I stay in a nice air conditioned hotel this week, it is actually a good place to ride out a heatwave. The same goes for bugging out to a hotel when other emergencies such as a wildfire, winter storm, or other situation happens where you have the choice of staying home and suffering/making do or relaxing in more optimal conditions. This is what an emergency fund is for and while some people are loath to spend money on something that isn't a "necessity" it is nice to know that you have options and the more money you have stashed away, the more options you have.

1 comment:

  1. How about some low/no cost cooling off areas, the public library, a mall, movie theater, hospital lobby, some churches will open their doors. And yes, please plan ahead, here in the midwest, thunderstorms knock out our power several times during an average Summer, we know what to expect, and plan accordingly.