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The summer has just begun and it has already been a scorcher. Our country, as a whole, has been experiencing some seriously warm temperatures mixed with freak storms and severe fires. An air conditioner has certainly been a friend to most of the country so far this summer. But what happens when these weather occurrences knock out power? In heat waves this can be very dangerous, especially for the elderly, so here are some tips on how to stay cool without the help of electric power.
1. Get wet – We all love backyard and community pools, however when the power is out, that means the filter is off. Invest in a cool slip and slide or kiddie pool. Or even bring out the ol' sprinkler. Sure, all may take more effort to get cool instead of just jumping into the pool, but they will get the job done and will work off some extra calories.
2. Go to the woods – The forest provides a lot of shade, which even with the heat, makes it practical to be outside. If you have vacation time from your job, see about taking a day or two and heading out for a camping trip. If you can get a spot on a lake, pond, or river, you will have all you need to cool down. Plus the nice lake breezes can break up hot, humid air.
3. Have a fight – Not a real one of course, but a good game with squirt-guns or water balloons will keep the kids occupied and everyone refreshed. Put some challenge to it, think along the lines of Paint Ball rules, and have some fun while keeping cool. This is also a fun activity at family get-togethers, especially for the kids.
4. Give me shelter – Tarps are great to create an outdoor shaded space. If you don't have a tarp, try stringing an extra large bed sheet, light colors work best for reflecting sunlight and keeping the underneath area cooler. If there’s a breeze that day it’s definitely better to be outside than in a hot stuffy house. Your sheet-top won't be waterproof, but if you are trying to beat the heat, rain is always welcome.
5. Staying in – If you plan on staying in your house for the duration of a heat wave with no power, tips to staying cool include investing in battery operated fans. Stick a bowl of ice (if you can find any) behind the fan so it pushes out cool air. You can also grab some drapes for the windows (or thick blankets) to keep the penetrating heat out of your house. Also, keep your windows closed during the strongest heats of the day and open as often as you can – especially if there’s a breeze.
Just like with any instance where a loss of power can become a nagging pain, you might have to get a little creative. Most importantly, remember to drink water. Regardless of any other measures you take against the heat, staying hydrated is on the top of the list. Not only does it help to cool your core body temperature, but it allows you body to restore water that has been lost as perspiration. Also, don’t forget to make sure to check on elderly relatives or community members in need throughout the day and help them keep cool!