heatwave survival guide


All over our coastal town, a big blob of high pressure is keeping out the cool ocean breezes and keeping us sweating. How are you surviving?

Here’s what I do.

  1. Open up door and windows, try to catch a cross breeze.
  2. Take a cool shower. Wash hair, or at least soak it. For the last minute, just run cold water.
  3. Before your body core temp rises again, dig out the electric fan.
  4. Set it up in front of an open window and angle it just right.
  5. Drape a wet towel over it and set it going.
  6. fan with wet towel
  7. Dump ice cubes in a bowl, add water to cover, and add a washcloth.
  8. bowl with ice and facecloth
  9. Sit in front of fan, with bowl nearby. With washcloth, bathe face, neck, and insides of elbows and knees every few minutes. Replenish ice as necessary.
  10. Play music recorded in an old, dim, damp cathedral. Gregorian chants are good. Close eyes.

Please post any good tips in the comments!

4 Responses to “heatwave survival guide”

  1. Tapati

    During the hot day I keep the windows closed. I open them all at night and get as much cool air in as possible, and close everything up before the heat starts to rise in the a.m.

    I use ice packs in addition to the fan. Pulse points are good for placement.

    I get into a cold pool if at all possible. Cool showers help too if no pool is available.

    Of course I avoid using the stove to cook and have some salads or other cool things that don’t need cooking.

    I cultivate my inner nudist and wear as little as possible.

    When my hair is long I get it off my neck.

    If the heat gets into the dangerous range I go somewhere with A/C.

    If I had an elderly neighbor I would check in with him/her and find out if he or she needs transport to a senior center or cooling center.

    • Jessi

      The neighbors, of course! I remembered them when we had a big blackout, but not when we got this heatwave. Thanks for the reminder, Tapati!

      What’s your favorite A/C escape? Movie theater?

      • Tapati

        It all depends on whether or not I have money. Movies are great for that, followed by a meal. If I’m broke, there are the cooling centers they tell you about in the news, often at Senior Centers or community centers. Then there’s also the mall where you can sit on a bench and read if you like. :)

        In the Midwest, the heat kills seniors much more often than out here. They actually get to the point where they don’t know what temperature their body is and are found bundled up in blankets because they feel cold. So we were always admonished on the news to look out for them, especially if we knew they didn’t have family nearby.

        The heat is harder on me, too, now that I have heart disease.

  2. Jessi

    I think we could all stand to be ultra careful to avoid heat stroke. I worry about kids, too. Lots of classrooms are only portable buildings and they get really hot. My friend teaches high school and her classroom temp was in the 80s on the heatwave days.