Summer Safety, a heatwave checklist by Royce E. Barber in 2017.
* There are often numerous cooling centers in any town, which are heavily air conditioned centers with water, for the hottest part of the day. Heatwaves are lethal, so keep your body temperature fairly-cool or end up in the hospital with a huge bill to pay and an angry employer.
* Avoid peek heat hours, according to the weather report. Walk in the shade, ninja. Keep little water bottles in the car for lethally dehydrated strangers, and ensure friends continually drink water in 100 degree Fahrenheit weather. You can't force a horse to drink, but it would live longer.
* Park in the shade with windows down at LEAST a half inch to an inch. This protects the brittle wiring in your dashboard. Thick reflective windshield covers keep that car cool. Put effort into parking in tree shade, while parking close to a store entrance so you're not walking out in the heat. Cardboard or a white beach towel can keep heat off your seats.
* Misting is vital! 02cool makes a lot of mist gadgets and battery fans. Not always the sturdiest, but there are many alternatives. Mist does NOT soak you if it’s done right, you’ll just feel the evaporative cooling. The more powerful the fan, the icier you’ll feel. Walmart often has a great seasonal selection of mist bottles, battery or pump or spritz. They also have misting tips for your outdoor hose which can be placed in front of a high-power box fan for cool outdoor dining.
* A cooling vest is a t-shirt with many heavily insulated pockets, where you place thin cooling packs. You don’t want ice directly on your skin, because it hurts and it would melt fast. NASCAR drivers wear liquid-cooled vests and a battery pack.
* I keep my hair short, but NOT bald, because you want to keep sun away from your hair roots, or you’ll be permanently bald. Keep that hair covered from the harmful rays of the sun.
* Skin Cancer warning: More than two hours of direct sunlight to the skin, every day, can start to be a hazard. If your family has any skin cancer, keep that skin covered. Be it toasty long sleeves or a lite sunscreen spray on exposed skin.
* DON’T put babyoil or any oil on the skin, it will literally COOK your skin in the sunlight. You’ll get a lovely tan but that’s not good on the skin.
* Fast changes to body temperature, can make some people nauseous, so try to not get too hot in the first place.
* What is heatstroke? _________________________.
* What is dehydration? ________________________.
* What are electrolytes? _______________________________.
* Google the weeks weather for your town. Dress wisely, get out them flipflops.
* If heatwave, stay wet! Wet sheets, wet pillowcase, wet clothes. If nothing else, keep the pillowcase wet. The cooling factor will make sleep much easier. A box fan on your slightly-moist sheets, is a miracle for coolness. When jogging, a wet shirt helps a lot and helps prevent dehydration. Many farm workers keep a moist evaporative cloth around their neck, and a large breezy straw hat to keep their skin shaded and ventilated.
* AC vs DIY rednecks: Some people jimmying a little fan into a foam cooler filled with ice chips, BUT the fan size and surface area of the air over the ice, dictates any cooling factor. It can help a tiny room slightly, but not a large room. It’s just a small directional coolness while the ice holds out. You WANT the ice to melt, because that’s what keeps you cool. Just use a swamp cooler or large window AC unit. Use the largest AC unit you can afford, and keep the paperwork and barcodes, for when it dies and you need the warranty. HomeDepot and Lowes often have huge deals during off-season for huge swamp coolers which cost vastly less in electricity.
* Pet health: Never leave a pet in a hot car even for two minutes, or someone will smash your windows…and hood…and doors...and your face. Hot concrete HURTS a dogs paws. Keep the dogs hair short. Dogs pant to keep cool, so water them very often, but never feed them ice because it will harm them. Sit that dog in the shade, don’t have it chase a frisbee in hotter weather than it’s breeds native climate. If you’re hot, your dog (or cat or platypus) will be twice as hot due to their thick insulation/fat/fur. Some dog houses are HOT, keep them shiny white to reflect away the sun heat.
* Digital devices will look very dim in sunlight, and overheat fast in direct sunlight, so work in the dark shade or inside. Gaming in a heatwave is not gonna happen, as the processor will run at minimum speed. If you won't need your big hot desktop PC for awhile, turn it off to cool your room a bit.
* Clothing: Light clothes retain much less heat, reflecting it away. Black clothes instantly collect heat. I keep my wardrobe updated in advance, via sales on used ebay items like lite sports jerseys. It never hurts to visit Goodwill often. Thin cotton is the coolest fabric, because plastic fabrics retain heat, so most underwear and undershirts are made of pure cotton. If your clothes must be made of plastic, they should be a light thin mesh which can breath very easily. For example, a camping tent made of cotton would be vastly cooler than a plastic tent which feels like an oven, but cotton wouldn't hold up to the outdoors or keep away rain.
* Fridge is NOT AC: Is your fridge a whole-house AC unit? NO! 1.) The fridge isn't as power friendly as an official AC unit, and 2.) The fridge outputs a lot of hot air. So every second you have that fridge door open, it will blast hot air out the back as it replenishes cold air for your food. One fridge tip is to have foam blocks to take up space, so when the door is swung open there's much less air to escape, and much less air to cool.
* House cooling: Fill gaps in your home, and thick insulative trim around outside doors. Windows are often thin or have a bad seal, and still let in a ton of heat, so sometimes new windows save money in the long run. Know that heat always rises and coolness always falls downward, so an attic may need ample cooling. Reflective silver bubble fabric over windows in any unused rooms. Close off unused rooms. Dark will be more cool. Wall insulation keeps a house cool, but it’s not something to add on whim due to expense, but you CAN use a thick light reflective paint on the side of your home which gets more sun, because paint can convert a wall from hot to mildly warm or even cool. If someone enters or leaves your home, ensure the door is quickly closed because air pressure will make all your cool air blast outside. Keep windows tightly closed, but please vent out your nasty house at least once a month during a cool part of the day when there's a extra-low alergin/smog factor.
* Cooking. Freely use your super-hot crock pot, but keep it in the garage. Stick to cold-friendly meals, or place your toaster oven also in the garage for cooking. Remember to keep the doors closed, not hanging open.
Scroll down for my Winter Safety Checklist.
Winter Safety, a chilly checklist by Royce E. Barber in 2017. (more to be added)
* Clothing: I keep my wardrobe updated in advance, via sales on used ebay items like thick sports jackets. It never hurts to visit Goodwill often. Black clothes retain warmth better than light clothes. Break out the ugly sweaters, and long underwear to the rescue.
* Portable Body Heat: A super insulated XL-size "hot water bottle" worn on the stomach will increase blood circulation and avoid a cold abdomen and muscle aches. You can also get Reusable Hand Warmers which are a thick plastic pad where you press a button to heat them, then boil them to reset it. There are also Air-Activated one-use hand warmers which take 40 minutes to heat and stay hot about five hours. ZIPPO lighter company (and alternatives) make amazing hand warmers you keep in your pocket, which slowly burn Lighter Fluid, and are a miracle for me in the winter. A thick highly-rated thermos with hot water can really warm you up.
* Weather: Google the weeks weather for your town. Dress wisely, get out them thick flannel boots. I print out the weeks weather and keep it in my wallet.
* House: Your home attic may need ample insulation to keep rising heat inside the home. Hot air always rises, cool air always falls. Fireplaces can put a lot of smoke in your lungs, so don’t leave the fireplace hanging open. Adding thick insulation under and around you tub, such as inside the wall, will make your hot bath last many times longer.
* Sickness: Getting your annual flu/cold shot is optional, but extremely helpful if you live in a big city or ever get a cold. Not having to go through weeks of being sore and gagging, is worth a little shot. Wash or thoroughly rinse hands frequently, because the winter cold turns your immune system to mush. The frequent temperature changes of indoor/outdoor doesn't help any. Many others will have a cold or worse, so protect yourself and keep your germy hands AWAY from your sensitive face. A bad cough can end the life of someone elderly, so keep them germ-free also and have their sheets washed often.
* Pets: Pet doors need to especially be weather sealed, or you'll just be wasting heat. In extreme environments, pets are given a heat lamp or a heated bed, even if it is wasteful.
* Driving: Driving in snow is deadly at best, because you don't want to get stuck in sub-zero temperatures overnight. Or to slide down a hill sideways into moving traffic. Car batteries don't always work in freezing weather, and some require a Battery Tender (charging cable) to keep the battery charged. Keep long battery jump cables and high-quality wheel chains. Keep your phone charged during winter driving, with an external phone battery. Many DollarTree chemicals, can prevent ice from forming on a windshield, [examples to be added]. Freezing weather may make a vehicle hard to start or even cause engine damage if you don't let the vehicle warm. There are engine block heaters for anyone in extreme environments. Let that engine warm four minutes before driving.
* Stay 100% DRY, don't overheat your body in near-freezing temperatures, it causes sweating which cools the body many times faster than cold air. If you get wet at all, go indoors to dry off ASAP. Don't ever let your toes get wet in anywhere near the freezing temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
* What is frostbite? Extreme frostbite is fairly rare, with 200,000 cases per year. During freezing temperatures, skin-tissue and skin over it, start to freeze and can be healed within days to weeks if it's just a mild hand-numbness, but medical attention is required for continued pain or discoloration. Ages most vulnerable are 19 to 60. People lost in the wilderness have quickly lost fingers and limbs to frostbite. Frostbite can happen in just five minutes. Depending on how deep the frost penetrates thin areas of the body such as fingers and toes or ears, is how serious the treatment will be. Skin will often turn pale yellow to white, and feel like "pins and needles" or burning. Advanced "lose a limb" frostbite turns blue and hard, or even black. Avoid frostbite by being waterproof, and wearing many loose layers so body heat can move around your body. A wool or fleece hat should have ear-flaps to keep your ears warm. Boots and socks should cover the ankles and resist water. Never rub frostbitten skin, as the cells are already damaged, just keep it warm and seek fast medical attention if the skin is numb or has blisters. Call 911 if you suspect ANY issue. Blood flow is unlikely to ever return to black frostbitten areas, so that area will be surgically amputated.
* Hypothermia is reduced body temperature that happens when a body dissipates more heat than it absorbs. In humans, it is defined as a body core temperature below 35.0 °C (95.0 °F). Symptoms depend on the temperature. In mild hypothermia there is shivering and mental confusion to the point of having no idea what you are doing or where you are. A frail, older adult in a 60-degree house after a power outage can develop mild hypothermia overnight. Infants and babies sleeping in cold bedrooms are also at risk. Diabetes, thyroid conditions, and good ol' booze will increase your risk.
* Snow Blindness is when an abundance of harmful sunlight UV rays reflect from the snow, up into your eyes. Snow and bright white sand. Like staring into a tanning bed or the sun or welding, your eyes become sunburned. 100% UV-resistant ski goggles prevent UV light from shining up from the snow on the ground, but any form-fitting sunglasses help. Long-term exposure over multiple days can cause permanent eye damage. Mild to moderate snow blindness is cured by remaining indoors for 48 hours and away from seeing any UV source. When driving in bright white snow, also wear UV-rated sunglasses.