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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the oppressive heat looking to last through next week, I got to thinking how best to deal with this weather without power. Some choices are easy like not using the stove or oven, hanging out the clothes instead of using the dryer, keeping the curtains pulled. However, if the power went out things could get ugly really fast. What mid-westerners understand that the rest of the country does not is when we get the heat; there is no relief at night. Night time lows are in the 80’s with comparable dew points, this is way different than a hot day in the 90’s or 100’s but your night time lows dip into the 60’s and you don’t have the high dew points/humidity or you get a nice off shore breeze. If we have a grid down situation how are we going to keep cool and in some cases alive. Without the air-conditioning temps in the house would climb fairly quickly, and stay hot. This got me thinking about a hot weather plan, short of bugging out to the mountains which would be my first choice!

What I am thinking is to have a cooler packed with a screen tent (see below), an inflatable bed, high thread count sheets, battery powered fans, extra batteries, bug spray and lantern. My rational is a regular tent does not have enough air circulation, air mattresses spontaneously leak-it would be good to have a backup, my houses sheets never seem to fit the air mattresses-higher thread counts are always cooler and fans make everything better, even a small battery powered fan would move the air. Sleeping outside when it gets hot is one of my mother’s fondest memories. I am sure it was fun for the kids but as an adult the heat just makes me unhappy. It would still be uncomfortable, but more bearable than in the house. It would also be better than the basement (I have a hundred year-old creepy, spider infested basement). Everything could be stored in the cooler which would then be empty to store ice; extra coolers on hand would also be a prudent thing to have.

Any suggestions or thoughts?

The air is running constantly, but at least I can sit here at type in relative comfort, was I the one who was complaining about shoveling the snow last winter?:)
 

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I am here in Central Texas, we have not had a day that wasn't 101 or higher. This evening temps dropped to 88 at 10 pm for the first time in 43 days....wow... nice was thinking of throwing on a coat... Got my electric bill 789.67 31 days of service... so not using much power.
My biggest problem is i have 23 dogs,, they need cooling, yes inside dogs.. they have a pool, water but keeping the house cool is hard.
Put dark curtins on windows and have sealed all tiny little places but any advise would be great....
 

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My only other suggestion would be to jump into the pool for a few minutes or a cool shower right before going to bed. Bring down your body temperature and leave your hair wet. And drink plenty of liquids. It keeps me cool on a hot summer night, and makes it a little easier to fall asleep....
 

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RESET CONGRESS!!
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No problems here. We're cool.
Nationwide.. we need to increase our capacity to provide power for the masses.
Coal!! We are not keeping pace with the power demands of the population.
 

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oh yea, I stay in the pool for a couple hours a day, the dogs have a smaller one, blow up.
the horses who just kinds graze all day come by to laugh at me, then get a drink....

But I have tried to cool down the house, use much less power, theses temps are crazy but i think it will be this way for a couple of years...
 

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What would Mal do
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hog farmers southeast dig a long trench, drop some sewer pipe in there (the large corrogated 6ft diameter piping), burry it...deeper the better..cooler under ground..even 6 feet....then they put a fan at one end to draw the air through the piping..air gets cooled down and it blows across the livestock...really helps.

similar thing I'm looking at is we have a pond..barely 10ft deep during drought so not quite deep enough, but run piping down in the bottom and use the cooled water as a radiator to blow across..all these are of course "projects" that the average urbanite can't do. but I'd be looking at some tarps from Walmart that have the silver side on them...strap them on the roof to lower the temp considerably.
make sure youv'e got a good attic fan to get that hot air out so you reduce your heat convection at night.
if you have a basement..circulate the air down there and back up into your house to cool things down.

reflective film or aluminum foil on your windows to keep the passive solar out of the house...and I like your screen tent idea, but I'd add some shiney material to the top of it too...nice breeze underneath and less sun absorbtion on top and you'll have a cool place....cheap water pump on a 12volt batter in a kiddie pool can power a small sprinkler/mister so you get water in the air in front of a fan..cools a lot...what doesn't get sprayed away falls back into the pool and recirc by the pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great suggestions, thanks. However, my concern was what if the power went out during an intense heatwave and how to prep for that scenario.
 

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Great suggestions, thanks. However, my concern was what if the power went out during an intense heatwave and how to prep for that scenario.
I think that is the 100 dollar question. Being in Texas we have been suffering through this heat for a couple of months now. I have been trying to figure out a way to keep cool in the summer should the grid go down (permantly or at least long term) Still haven't come up with anything that won't take electric(lots) or burrowing underground.
 

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Twin 6750 generators, twin 18k BTU window AC units, much preserved gasoline - all is good:thumb:

Although I do get the OP's point. My dad grew up a share cropper just north of where I live, born in '39. He relates when you do not know any better you live a normal life.

There were weeks like this and my grandma was canning over a wood burning stove!! You acclimate, and live....My pop relates they used to lay in the cattle water tank next to the wind mill, and also in the near by creek....

He is alive today and states things are coming full circle.....
 

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screen in your porch, wet your sheets, and add ceiling fans (there are ones that use 12vdc)

On another forum a guy in New Orleans post-Katrina (no power/water for weeks) kept his bathtub full and would have to spend some time in there on the hottest nights before he could get back to sleep (and his place was old, thick walls, high ceilings - built well before a/c)
 

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Bread Baker
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Last July, (2010), we were in the middle of replacing the siding on our house. Eventually we had to have the electric turned off and the service removed from the meter in order to meet new guidelines, for a new meter and mast. Anyways, it was the next day before the power company would come back and reattach the service. No big deal.... right!

That night, being the middle of July, was just a short glimpse of just how miserable the heat could be. I recall looking at the digital thermostat and it said something like 89 degrees! In the house. The wife and I had to go to Wal-mart, around 10 PM just to get cooled off.

When we came home, opening the front door was like walking into an oven. Luckily for us, our basement is finished, our tv room is down there. It was maybe 5, at the most 10 degrees different. Better then being on the main floor.

I think we should all make plans for this type of situation. Power outages and heat. Cause its miserable with no a/c... and I fear its coming. Sooner or later!
 

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wet sheets over the windows and cold wet compresses on the back of the neck, feet in a bucket of water, cool baths/showers are the way to go. many folks sleep outside or on a screened in porch in this weather. You can acclimatize.
For city folk, I haven't a clue how they can deal with it better in a grid down situation...open windows with the wet sheets hanging in doorways and cold compresses are all I can think of.
 

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Krazy Kitty
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wet sheets over the windows and cold wet compresses on the back of the neck, feet in a bucket of water, cool baths/showers are the way to go. many folks sleep outside or on a screened in porch in this weather. You can acclimatize.
For city folk, I haven't a clue how they can deal with it better in a grid down situation...open windows with the wet sheets hanging in doorways and cold compresses are all I can think of.
If the grid goes down how will the pumping stations pump water for baths and showers? This scares me too. I panic in the heat and it's been in the 80's here. I like the screen tent idea though.
 

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I would suggest some frame hammocks they are cooler than an air mattress. Also we have an above ground pool that we really don't swim in but we will use to soak sheets or towels or other wise cool down if the grid goes down. We have a screen curtain for our garage and a screen walk door on the garage if we open the garage and the walk door we get a pretty good cross flow this is nice cause we have a 1/2 bath in the garage so we can sleep there instead of outside. The idea of a water bed is good as they are cool but they are a pain to set up and take down if it is a temporary measure.
 

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Some things you might consider is making sure your house adsorbs as little of the sun as possible. White reflective roof and white walls help tremendously. A case in point was my Garage shop. Although open in the front it would get blistering hot in the Summer. Well above the ambient air. It had a composition roof that was mostly black. I re-roofed it with white painted steel and I noticed the difference immediately. Though it would get to the same temperature as outside it would not exceed it. Plus it would take longer to reach that temperature. The more insulation you have in your home the better and if you have a attic make sure it gets sufficient ventilation. Many homes are built poorly when it comes to exhausting the hot air in the attic which means the house stays warm all night.

As for yourself you should wear lite colored loose clothes during the day. A white straw hat when outdoors helps as well. Move slower, avoid eating heavy foods that warms you. Summer heat means all activities cease.

I always get a chuckle out of the people who have dark painted cars that live in a hot area. Those things are a oven.
 

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Twin 6750 generators, twin 18k BTU window AC units, much preserved gasoline - all is good:thumb:

Although I do get the OP's point. My dad grew up a share cropper just north of where I live, born in '39. He relates when you do not know any better you live a normal life.

There were weeks like this and my grandma was canning over a wood burning stove!! You acclimate, and live....My pop relates they used to lay in the cattle water tank next to the wind mill, and also in the near by creek....

He is alive today and states things are coming full circle.....
Exactly. I also grew up without air conditioning. Heck, I was 25 years old before I ever even had a house with a small window unit. You absolutely will acclimatize. I remember how hot it was in the summer during the day, which didn't slow us down any. It was summer and we just expected heat. And at night, when it would drop down to 85° or so it would be downright pleasant. Only a few nights a year were really oppressive, but we lived. I too remember my mom and grandmother doing the canning over a wood stove in August. Everyone sweated, but would cool off in the evening over some watermelon or lemonade. To this day I have never owned a vehicle with A/C and I never turn on my house A/C until it hits about 100° during the day. Usually around the middle of July. My friends can't understand why I don't just melt, but really, when they are about to feint from the heat, I feel fine. Not saying I don't find the heat uncomfortable at times, after all, if I didn't run the A/C in July and August, I wouldn't sleep as well. Bottom line, to repeat myself, you will suffer for a while and then get used to it.
 
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