Just do a quick perusal of the internet and you’ll find countless articles explaining what to buy and how to warm your house in the event of a winter power outage. But do you know what to do in the event of a summer power outage?
Thousands of people die each year from hypothermia (abnormal cooling of the body’s temperature), but thousands also die from the direct opposite: hyperthermia (abnormal warming of the body’s temperature). And when it’s blazing hot outside, the power goes out, and you no longer have air conditioning, hyperthermia will become a significantly bigger threat.
There are certain areas in the United States where the risk of suffering from heat stroke is very real. Look no further than the burning deserts of the Southwest or the hot and humid wetlands and subtropics of the Southeast. Even the northern areas of the United States can become incredibly hot in the summer.
Here are nine things you should consider getting before it gets any hotter outside.
1. Awning – Other than a very large tree, an awning is the best form of shade when you’re outdoors. The best awnings install easily, don’t require electricity, are large enough to provide plenty of shade, and are very easy to open and retract.
2. Aluminum Foil – Aluminum Foil can be used for lots of DIY survival purposes, and in this case it can be hung around your windows to reflect the sunlight away from your home. Go with aluminum foil that is of a standard strength and has plenty of length so you can get the most out of a single roll.
3. Cooling Towel – Cooling towels are sports towels made from a soft and breathable material that is activated when soaked in water. The towel will remain chilled for several hours and can drastically reduce your overall temperature when wrapped around your neck or body. What makes cooling towels stand out from normal towels is they won’t drip and are actually dry when touched, even when soaked. Furthermore, they offer protection from harmful UV rays.
4. Battery Powered Fans – Battery powered fans actually work much better than you might think. As long as you have plenty of batteries (or rechargeable batteries and a solar battery charger), you’ll be able to cool off during a power outage. Putting your face in front of a fan for a few minutes can be very refreshing.
5. Travel Fans – Travel fans are essentially battery powered fans that hang around your neck or fit in your pocket and allow you to cool off wherever you are. Most travel fans will take AA batteries; so again, as long as you have a healthy stockpile of batteries you can run these. I recommend using larger battery powered fans to cool your home and then use travel fans to cool yourself when you’re outside.
6. Heat Blocking Curtains – The concept behind heat blocking curtains is very similar to aluminum foil; the biggest different is that the curtains are thermal insulated and made specifically for reflecting heat. You can even install heat blocking curtains in your home right now to reflect the sun and allow you to spend less on your electricity bill each month, meaning they are a very frugal investment as well.
7. Spray Bottle – The concept behind this is simple: You pour water into the bottle, switch the spraying mode to mist, and then spray yourself with water sporadically when you’re outside on a hot day. It is wise to purchase multiple spray bottles not only so everyone in your family has one, but so you have backups.
8. Gatorade – Who doesn’t like Gatorade? It has been around for over four decades and scientific research has proven it is one of the most effective ways to replace electrolytes that you lose while sweating. It’s for this reason that athletes will commonly drink Gatorade to stay hydrated. It comes in a variety of flavors, but buying combo packs will allow you to have a variety so that everyone in your family is satisfied with their personal favorite.
9. DIY Air Conditioner – Graywolf Survival wrote an excellent tutorial on how to make your own air conditioner. The problem with most DIY air conditioners is they require ice. But if the power is out for a long time, ice won’t be available. With Graywolf’s plan, you don’t need any ice. You do need several things, though, including PVC pipe, a fan, a water pump, cooler pads, some hose, bailing wire, and a container to put it in. Even with high humidity, it can lower the temperature of a small room about 10 degrees, and as much as 30 degrees if humidity is low.