I’m back, albeit a day late this week. I hope everyone had a good holiday; I know that for many, it was unusual in at least one way. As with everything, there are lessons to be learned…
There was quite the heat wave across much of the U.S. last week–my local temperatures topped out at about 105F, with heat indices much higher. For most folks, this would ordinarily not be a problem; it became quite the issue when a Storm of Very Unusual Size (officially called a “Derecho”) tore through a swath from Ohio through the mid-Atlantic, and left millions without power. No power equates to no air conditioning, among other things; the clarion call on the radio stations became “where are the emergency cooling stations,” and the biggest complaint amongst most was, “when is my power coming back on?”.
A better question, in my opinion, would have been: “what can I do to make the heat livable, without power?” While I was fortunately spared the worst of what the storm dealt (a tree in front of my house lost a limb; otherwise, there were no major issues), I nevertheless spent most of last week doing work on the New House. Work that was outside, and the New House–having been built in the late 1800’s–has no air conditioning.
What to do, then, to keep cool? Well, taking plenty of breaks is obviously high on the list. (Not doing manual labor unnecessarily ranks up there, too, but for a variety of reasons it wasn’t an option.) Keep hydrated–if the Gatorade tastes good, you need to drink more of it… Take advantage of evaporative cooling where possible: soak a bandanna or hand-towel or old T-shirt in cool water, and drape it across the back of your neck. Have a basement? Visit it–it’ll be cooler than upstairs.
One other thing to take away from last week’s events: broadly prepping for a wide range of events, as opposed to for one particular flavor of collapse, will tend to keep you more resilient in your responses. (If you’re prepping for martial law/chaos on the streets/Road Warrior, you may not be prepared for going without power for a week…) It remains my opinion that the first step towards being ready for Collapse lay in being ready for all of the various little things life can throw at you.
How did you folks keep cool last week? What lessons did you bring away from the storm and its aftermath?