As triple-digits hammer the Southwest and extreme heat patterns continue, more than 35 wildfires remain in full swing and massive flooding devastates several counties in West Virginia. Guest contributor, Lee Flynn, leads us one step further in planning for emergencies with his post today: 15 Tips to Prepare for Extreme Summer Heat.
With summer underway, it is important that each one of us is prepared to negate its effects. The summer season is characterized by increased levels of heat and humidity. High temperature and humidity affect how our bodies normally function. Therefore, we are expected to devise ways and methods ensuring we survive the extreme summer heat wave.
Some intervention measures include these 15 tips to prepare for extreme summer heat:
Adequately Prepare Your Family for the Heat Wave
1. Prepare an emergency kit and store it in an accessible place. The safety kit contents should include a flashlight, some medication, first aid kit, etc. This would be useful in an emergency.
2. Prepare an elaborate communication plan for your family. Proper communication is a necessity if you are separated from other family members. A piece of paper with family contacts is most reliable in case a member loses their phone in an emergency.
3. Consider undergoing some basic first aid training. The skills gained by taking extra classes on first aid could be invaluable and useful during an emergency. Some skills may require that you pay a fee to acquire them.
4. Prepare adequately for vulnerable members of your family. This group may include young children, the elderly, or those suffering from some ailments or handicaps. Give them priority in your planning.
5. Keep abreast of climatic changes. Weather conditions pattern information is found from weather forecast stations within your locality. Accurate weather conditions make you better prepared for the heat wave.
Prepare Your House Appropriately for Extreme Summer Heat
6. Ensure your air conditioners are fitted with proper filters and working well. If you do not have an air conditioner, put in place other measures to regulate the temperature, such as fans. If your home is air conditioned, closing your windows and curtains will help keep your home cooler.
7. Attach reflective materials on your windows to make sure they reflect heat rather than absorbing it. The reflective element regulates room temperatures.
8. During this time, dust may increase affecting household accessories like carpets. To ensure your carpets are clean, consider using carpet cleaners for a clean environment.
Keep Yourself Hydrated During the Heat Wave
9. Dehydration is the primary cause of health complications that arise during a heat wave. Even when not feeling thirsty, drink a lot of water. Also, cut down on your intake of coffee or tea.
10. Adapt your eating habits to the temperature. It is wise to have a food storage plan in your home the entire time. The kind of eating methodology we adopt often affects our body temperature. During a heat wave, eat regular light meals rather than large meals.
11. Adopt appropriate dressing for the heat. Wear light clothes and avoid wearing clothes with polyester or related materials.
12. Avoid engaging in strenuous activities during the heat wave. When working, take frequent breaks to hydrate. That ensures you do not lose much body fluid.
Mind Others in Our Surroundings during Extreme Summer Heat
13. Friends and family might live near or next to us. During an extreme summer heat wave, check on them to ensure they are safe and if any need help, extend it.
14. Do not leave children and pets in parked cars. Doing so would be deadly, even if the car windows are closed for the shortest time. During the heat wave, temperatures inside the car can increase within a short time. This has affected many families, tragically, in the past.
15. Be fast at identifying heat-induced illnesses. Carefully monitor the health of your family members and loved ones. It helps to put in place proper interventions to prevent fatal accidents and even death of a loved one. The vulnerable groups are likely to exhibit such symptoms.
Adequate preparation in anticipation of the heat wave ensures all family members are safe. Following the guidelines mentioned above will reduce the chances for falling victim of the challenging climate. Failure to adhere to them could be catastrophic for you and your family.
Lee Flynn is a freelance writer. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, healthy living, food storage techniques and self reliance. Follow him on twitter @foodstorage101.
Want to read more about emergency planning and preparedness? Check out these earlier posts from Toot Sweet 4 Two’s archives: