13 ways to cool down on hot days

by Jan 3, 2022Survival

 

    How to cool down on hot days?  Summer in the Southern Hemisphere brings heatwaves, hot nights, blackouts and more. 

     In the tropics the humidity traps the heat making life unbearable, so how do we cool down on hot days.

     Here are some options for cooling down when there is no grid power available –

    1. Cool showers
    2. Swimming
    3. Cool suits
    4. Sit in the shade
    5. 12-volt fan
    6. Hand fan
    7. Rechargeable fan
    8. Increase airflow
    9. Keep the heat out
    10. Cooldown the environment
    11. Wear cool clothes
    12. Cool food and drink
    13. Alternative power

     

    Have more than one option available as the electrical grid can fail during big heatwaves.  Saving electricity is also good for the budget.  It always pays to have options to keep going without electricity.

    Don’t forget your pets they need cooling too.

     

     1. Cool showers

    A cool shower on a hot sweaty day is so refreshing.  It is also a good method for cooling down if you are getting too hot.  Stop heat exhaustion early.

     

     

     

     

    Emergency Kit

     

    2. Swimming

    Cool off in the pool, local waterhole or the beach.  Just stay out of the sun especially at the beach to prevent overheating in the first place.

    If the water is too cold you could over cool your body and start shivering after a while.

     

    3. Cool suites

    Various types of clothing have been designed to cool down when they are wet.  Such as

    • vests,
    • neck scarfs,
    • caps,
    • beanies and
    • even a face mask. 

    These articles of clothing are designed to keep you cooler in hot environments.

       

     

     4. Sit in the shade

    Two things that raise your body heat are physical labour and the sun.  So, during the heat of the day find something less strenuous to do in the shade. 

    Take a break, start work early and then start again later in the evening.

     

     

    Emergency Kit

     

    5. 12-volt fan

    Camping and caravan shops are the best place to find everyday items that don’t need 240v electricity.  A small 12v fan is a good stand in to cool down on hot days. 

     You will need a car battery to run it and even a solar recharging system if you want to go that far

     

     6. Hand fan

    The traditional fold up hand fan that has been used for millennia.  Or you can use a piece of cardboard or a magazine anything to move the air.

    7.  Rechargeable fan

    There is a range of small rechargeable fans available in your electrical store.  Keep them charged so you have a fan when the grid goes down.  Also, useful for cooling in areas away from power sockets. 

     These fans are small enough you could put one in your household emergency kit for use after a disaster.

      

     

    8. Increase air flow

    House is getting hot and stuffy and there is some breeze outdoors.  Open up the windows and doors and let the airflow. 

     If you have high windows or roof vents this will help remove the hot air from the building as hot air rises.

    9.  Keep the heat out

    If you are trying to cool your home with air conditioning or similar keep the heat out.  Have the walls and roof insulated. 

     Prevent the sun from shining directly into your home which will heat up the floors and walls.  This can be done with roof eaves, window awnings, screens and other shade devices.

     

    10. Cool down the environment

    There is a breeze but it is hot.  Cooldown the environment around your home to cool down the breeze.   Sun shining directly on hard surfaces absorb heat and then radiate it out into the air.

     Evaporation cools the air and surfaces nearby.  To cool down your environment you need to –

    • Shade hard surfaces, paths, driveways, decks next to your home.
    • Have vegetation, trees, plants to shade the area and cool the air.
    • Have a pond or pool on the side the wind comes from.
    • Have misting irrigation to cool the air and keep the plants happy.

     

     

     

    11. Cool clothes

    I’m not talking about the latest fashion.  Cool loose clothes are made of natural materials such as cotton.  They absorb the sweat and when it evaporates it cools you down. 

    Synthetic fibres don’t draw the sweat away from you and just stick to the wet skin.

    12.  Cool food and drinks

    Hot weather and sweating can dehydrate you fast.  Drink plenty of cool water to stay hydrated.  If you are really hot having very cold food and drink can give you stomach cramps and chest pains. 

     Eat a balanced healthy diet to replenish your electrolytes that are lost when sweating.

     

    13. Alternative power

    If the power grid has failed or you are in a blackout.  You may have access to alternative power such as a generator or solar panels and batteries. 

     DON’T connect a generator to your home unless the switchboard is designed for it.  This could be deadly and the generator may not be big enough for the whole house and you could damage the generator or electrical items in your home.

     You can plug a pedestal fan into a small generator directly. 

     DON’T RUN THE GENERATOR INDOORS.  The fumes are deadly.

     Being in the city with solar panels on your roof will not mean you have power in a blackout unless the electrician designed the system to be isolated and run stand alone.

     There are solar power exhaust fans that can be used to draw the hot air out of your roof and the building.

    Conclusion

    There is a range of methods you can use to prevent overheating and cool down on hot days. 

    You may need to change your schedule so that you are not working outdoors in the middle of the day giving yourself and those around you heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

    Don’t forget your pets and farm animals they need cooling, shade and lots of cool water too.

     

     

     Further reading

    How to prepare for a heatwave

    https://www.redcross.org.au/get-help/emergencies/looking-after-yourself/how-to-prepare-for-a-heatwave

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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