In the summer months, power outages can be more than an inconvenience – it can be very dangerous, especially if you do not have a game plan to keep cool and minimise risks.
With all the heat waves that have been occurring lately, here are some tips on how to stay cool when the power is out.
Drink lots and lots of fluids
• Your body needs water to keep cool, so drink plenty of water even if you don’t feel thirsty. Dehydration can lead to heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or even heat strokes.
• Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine – they can cause dehydration.
• If you get overheated or dizzy, rest in the coolest part of your home and wipe yourself down with a cool, wet towel.
• Above all, remember to keep physical activity to a minimum.
Keep the house cool
• Keep windows and doors closed. Try not to let the outside air come in or the inside air go out. Quickly open and close the doors if you need to leave.
• Block the sun. Pull the curtains, blinds or shades to block the sun from coming in and heating up the room. This could even be taken a step further by hanging up a blanket over the window, or lining it with aluminum foil and newspaper.
• Make sure all air vents are free of obstructions. If they are covered with furniture, the cool air won’t circulate.
Staying comfortable is important
• Trade your hot shower in for a cold one. When you get out, the water on your skin will evaporate and cool you off even more. Use the cold tap water in your home to cool off in a cold bath or shower.
• Let your hair air dry after a shower, and enjoy the cooling effect of wet hair while you wait for it to dry.
• Apply cold water or ice cubes directly to your wrists can help with cooling you off.
• Wear loose-fitting, light colored cotton clothing or a wet shirt, and wrap a damp bandana around your neck.
• Using silk or satin bedding will feel cooler than other materials.
• Read a book – it takes the least amount of energy, distracts you from the heat, and makes time pass.
• Don’t cook or eat during the heat of the day. Instead, eat real early or real late. Digesting food takes energy and generates heat.