“”By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.””
Heat is necessary for the survival of the human body. Most of the processes that take place inside the body require and produce heat which keeps our body running and us full of energy. This characteristic is the reason why most of the people love the summer season. It keeps them energetic and active as opposed to the winters that make them lazy. Summer season is openly welcomed by one and all for the sunshine that it brings. But sometimes this pleasant season can also bring long spells of extreme heat. Known as a heat wave, this weather condition leads to high temperatures and excessive humidity. The process of evaporation becomes quite slow, and the body is required to work quite hard so that it could maintain a normal temperature. You start feeling dehydrated very easily and that further results in health complications such as heat exhaustions, heat cramps or worse, heat stroke. The hot climate created during the heat wave may affect the regular supply of electricity at homes which may lead to a power outage. There are numerous cases in which heatwaves in regions have resulted in bushfires.
In the past few years due to global warming, the average temperatures across the earth have experienced a hike. This global weather shift has lead to increased incidents of longer duration of summer and winter seasons. Most of the times places that experience a hot summer have faced heat waves which have further resulted in a lot of deaths. The prime reason for this is the lack of knowledge about just how worse the heat wave can get. People living in hot areas experience 40 to 50 degrees as their average summer temperature. When the temperatures rise further, they just account it to the weather not realizing that it is unusual. During a heat wave, the temperature can be no less than 10 degrees above the normal. From the loss of human life and animal life, it leads to slow destruction of crops and ecosystems. Combine that with the excessive humidity and survival becomes a challenge. Therefore, the only way to deal with a climatic condition, as dreadful as this is to prepare yourself for it. If you live in places where summers are quite hot, as hot as 40 to 50 degrees, there is all the more reason for you to prepare and prepare well beforehand. Always remember that when the disaster strikes, the time to prepare has already passed. Being ready for something that has a high possibility of occurrence is always a better and more favorable choice, though not so convenient.
To help you get a better grasp of how dangerous heatwave can be if you are meet it unready, here we are with some preparatory measures to help you prep up for this unwanted weather condition.
Cover the windows that are most exposed to the sun
The primary point of entrance of sunlight into your house is through the windows. You have to see the sources from where the sunlight enters your house at different times of the day as that will tell you which portion of your house is responsible for the most heat build up. This knowledge will also help you know which windows you have to shield and to what extent.
Though shades are quite helpful in cutting down the amount of sunlight that enters through the windows, awnings or louvers are a better option because apart from blocking the sunlight, they also maintain proper air circulation. By installing an awning system, you can reduce the sunlight entering your house by as much as 80 percent.
Another alternative is using reflectors. They are also installed in cars to keep them cool by deflecting the sunlight when parked outdoors. In a similar manner, they can also benefit your home. Installing reflectors on the windows that receive most sunlight will keep the heat away during the day. Remove them when it gets cooler outside or after the heat wave has subsided.
Check your air conditioner for any leaks
If you have a central cooling system, before the summer season knocks on the door, you have to double check if all the exit areas are properly sealed. This test will ensure that the cool air does not escape outside. Check your doors and windows for any possible leakage points.
Clean the filter of your air conditioner on a regular basis, especially before you start your cooling system in the summers. A clean filter results in better cooling and higher efficiency.
Maintain your hydration levels
When it comes to preparing for an emergency situation, water is the least prioritized commodity but it goes without saying that it is decisive to our existence. During the summer season, we start sweating which means a lot of water escapes from our bodies one way or the other which is why we also feel thirsty and without us realizing our bodies become dehydrated. Heatwave at times comes in with power outage, so it is important to have water packets, and bottles refrigerated so you can keep drinking water in small quantities throughout the day. Sometimes, due to disruption in power supply, you may not get the regular water supply at your home. So it is important to stock up on enough water so you can survive if something like this happens. You cannot store tap water for long. An alternative is MRE water cans that can last up to 30 years. The individual cans allow you to put them in a bag if you are planning to go to some other place if the conditions worsen.
Stock up on food
Next in line is food preparation. The extreme temperatures during the heat wave make it impossible for you to step outside your house and go for grocery shopping. In fact, even if you gather enough strength to go out, it is advisable not to go because the extreme heat can harm your body. In such climatic condition’s you will hardly find any stores open. So, if you do not have enough food supplies, you will end up starving yourself. Therefore, it is advisable to have food supplies at home that you can use when the temperature soars up. Just like MRE water cans, there are MRE or Meals, Ready to Eat. The MRE foods are a great option when it comes to long-term storage because of some unique characteristics which include:
– Long shelf life: MRE can be stored from 3 days to 5 years without any loss in the quality of food inside them.
– MREs are manufactured in a hermetically sealed environment which means that no foreign material can enter the food and deteriorate its quality. Whenever you open an MRE packet. You are consuming unadulterated healthy food.
– MREs don’t require any special storage conditions because they are rugged and resistant to any external impact. Unlike other packaged and canned foods that you need to store in cool conditions, MREs remain unaffected by the external storage conditions.
– MREs have a high calories content of 1200 to 2000 which makes them a fantastic food option when you cannot prepare healthy homemade food. In a heat wave, you need extra energy to keep yourself active. Consuming MRE foods will supply our body the necessary amount of calories it needs for proper metabolic functioning.
– MRE foods have a good variety of food, in a single day pack which includes breakfast, lunch snacks and dinner. It further includes beverages and desserts. So if you are concerned about the taste and variety, with MRE you can put that to rest. This variety further ensures that you get all the essential nutrients that your body needs from proteins and vitamins to minerals and carbohydrates.
– Some MRE packs come with water supply bags while all of them come with utensils which include plates and spoons or fork. With a limited supply of water during the heat stroke, you don’t have to worry about cleaning your home utensils.
– MREs have a self-activated heating system. This heating system heats up the food content inside the MRE pack as soon as you open it. You can conserve your gas for emergencies because with MRE food packs at your place you will be eating hot, healthy and tasty food.
A heat stroke affects the human body severely. Sometimes, the effect is so extreme that irrespective of how many precautionary measures you take, you will still feel the heat inside your house. If there is a power outage, the air conditioner will stop working, and the coolness will die out soon. Take the following steps to keep yourself cool:
– Unless there is something extremely urgent, do not step outside your house between 11 am and 3 pm which is described as the hottest part of the day.
– Take cool baths and shower regularly. If you have a limited water supply, splash yourself with water every once in a while.
– Maintain a stock of fresh drinks and cool foods such as cucumber and aloe vera. Apart from water, keep drinking healthy fluids as that promotes hydration. Completely avoid alcohol, tea, and coffee that produce body heat.
– Spot that area of the house that is least affected by the heat from outside and remain in that room for the day.
– Wear loose fitting cotton clothes as they keep the body cool.
– Be in constant contact with your doctor. If any health complications occur, ask him on which step to take next. Consult him if any changes will result in your current medication if the level of heat increases.
– Buy cooling packs and cooling products including powder, soap, and lotion that will cool your body down.
Keep yourself updated with the latest news on the weather conditions
Do not rely on television as the sole source of news because with a power outage; you will be cut off from that. Have a battery powered radio with enough extra batteries around to hear the latest developments. Just in case your house is not well insulated from the heat, and you hear on the news that conditions are only going to get worse, you can plan an exit from the house and take refuge somewhere it’s safe.
Heat waves can last for as long as ten days to a month. This duration is enough to inflict serious damage to life if you meet it unprepared. It can adversely affect your health and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heat strokes. It is therefore, extremely important that you start preparing for it while you still have time.”