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The Power of the Glave
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Sweltering here in Nebraska today. 98F in the shade with high humidity. Supposed to be 105 (!) tomorrow.

It's not that unusual to have heat waves like this in the Midwest. But I am wondering about prep suggestions for surviving a really EXTREME heat wave. Like the one the entire nation experienced in the Summer of 1936.

My Dad (who grew up during the Depression years) often spoke of the insufferable summer of 1936. It got up to 115 on some days that July summer. It reached 122 F in some places in North Dakota. The entire country was under a massive heat wave, that killed 5,000 people. And there were entire weeks where the temperature soared over 100:


My question is this: how would we survive today, if a similar freak event today. What with everyone used to air conditioning.

They didn't have it back then. And since this was before the REA, most farm homes didn't even have electric fans.

And then what happens today if a massive overload on the electrical grid occurs. Due to all the electricity being drawn due to AC and water usage. And the cascading effect that spread throughout the entire grid. Just like what happened with the big Texas "freeze" of a couple years back.

What would happen if we reached Death Valley temps of 130F?

Thoughts? Opinions?

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People sleeping outdoors on the lawn of the Nebraska state capital, summer 1936
 

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You ARE what you IS!
Prepped enough is NEVER good enough!
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Sweltering here in Nebraska today. 98F in the shade with high humidity. Supposed to be 105 (!) tomorrow.

It's not that unusual to have heat waves like this in the Midwest. But I am wondering about prep suggestions for surviving a really EXTREME heat wave. Like the one the entire nation experienced in the Summer of 1936.

My Dad (who grew up during the Depression years) often spoke of the insufferable summer of 1936. It got up to 115 on some days that July summer. It reached 122 F in some places in North Dakota. The entire country was under a massive heat wave, that killed 5,000 people. And there were entire weeks where the temperature soared over 100:


My question is this: how would we survive today, if a similar freak event today. What with everyone used to air conditioning.

They didn't have it back then. And since this was before the REA, most farm homes didn't even have electric fans.

And then what happens today if a massive overload on the electrical grid occurs. Due to all the electricity being drawn due to AC and water usage. And the cascading effect that spread throughout the entire grid. Just like what happened with the big Texas "freeze" of a couple years back.

What would happen if we reached Death Valley temps of 130F?

Thoughts? Opinions?

View attachment 456922

People sleeping outdoors on the lawn of the Nebraska state capital, summer 1936
First and foremost is staying hydrated.
 

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Keep hydrated (drink plenty of water, snack on fruit, salad, cucumbers, etc.), reduce/stop alcohol, reduce daytime activity and get things done at dawn or evenings instead if possible, go swimming and/or take cool showers. If the humidity is low enough, a simple method we use is evaporative cooling by wetting our clothes or laying under a wet towel in front of a fan (even a small battery operated desk fan works), but we have dry hot summers here.
 

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Comm Monkey
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I'm personally not too worried about the heat so much as the likely event of the power going out. Heat I can deal with, but if people are bored and hot then they get angry demanding somebody to do something. Then there is the wild life deciding to go shop at their neighbors while the lights are out.
 

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Sweltering here in Nebraska today. 98F in the shade with high humidity. Supposed to be 105 (!) tomorrow.

It's not that unusual to have heat waves like this in the Midwest. But I am wondering about prep suggestions for surviving a really EXTREME heat wave. Like the one the entire nation experienced in the Summer of 1936.

My Dad (who grew up during the Depression years) often spoke of the insufferable summer of 1936. It got up to 115 on some days that July summer. It reached 122 F in some places in North Dakota. The entire country was under a massive heat wave, that killed 5,000 people. And there were entire weeks where the temperature soared over 100:


My question is this: how would we survive today, if a similar freak event today. What with everyone used to air conditioning.

They didn't have it back then. And since this was before the REA, most farm homes didn't even have electric fans.

And then what happens today if a massive overload on the electrical grid occurs. Due to all the electricity being drawn due to AC and water usage. And the cascading effect that spread throughout the entire grid. Just like what happened with the big Texas "freeze" of a couple years back.

What would happen if we reached Death Valley temps of 130F?

Thoughts? Opinions?

View attachment 456922

People sleeping outdoors on the lawn of the Nebraska state capital, summer 1936
Great subject. With temps here reaching up to 100 or so, My ac has been out all summer for one reason or another. It’s supposed to be fixed tomorrow, we will see. I have been running 3 electric fans in my living room and pretty well sitting/ sleeping during the hottest parts of the day. I don’t know what I would do if the power went out completely other than go downstairs. There isn’t really anyplace on my small acreage that is especially shaded or cooler than any other spot.
I will be watching this thread with interest.
 

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Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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For a suspected heat exhaustion, get some cool wet rags. Place them on your neck, wrists, inside elbows, armpits and in your groin area. This will cool off your blood and prevent medical emergencies. Also as others have stated, stay hydrated and do as little physical work as possible during the hottest part of the day.
 

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In Texas we've had 110° - 117° heat for weeks, it's a rather cool 95° at the moment. The nights may cool to 88° or so. Yes, we have AC but you have to deal with the heat when outside. The best advice I read in an earlier post, besides keeping hydrated, was soaking your feet in water. The people who work outside for a living will tell you keep as much as you can covered with light colored fabric, yes you will sweat but that sweat soaked fabric does catch every little breeze. I am continually in awe of pioneers 100 years ago, tough, hardy people.
 

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Here's when 30" overhangs shade your southern windows and helps keep the summer heat out.
Not a tree on my lot when I got here and I planted maybe a couple dozen trees. Most of them were about 1' tall my neighbor let me dig up next to his woods, some were from cuttings and about 4 I bought a few ft tall.
Shortest one is maybe 12' tall and tallest are 30' or so.
Nice shade for sitting outside and helps keep the grass from burning up.
Basement stays cool and I would have to cover up good if I slept there ...nice and cool.
 

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House design and common sense.
All modern houses are designed to maximize energy use with big South facing windows with no window awning, and high vaulted ceilings.
On New builds plan not to need cooling.
My grandparents hardly ever used even a fan.
he built house with a 7 foot ceiling lots of ceiling insulation, and planted fruit trees to shade the windows and roof on the south and west sides. Also had trellis of roses to keep sun off the walls on south side and roof was only about a 3/12 pitch so during the summer the mature fruit trees shaded some of the roof, and Basically no where for sun to hit the wall and create conductive heat from wall of house in summer.
There was enough thermal mass with everything they had inside open the windows at night to funnel in cool air (which was only time they might use a fan for couple hours to start the air flow) and shut the windows in the morning.

It was always cooler there with no fan than at my parents house with swamp cooler running.

Also one can use the ground and use heat to pull cool air in. What I incorporated on our house design
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In my area 4-5 feet down the ground never gets above 65-75 degrees. Since it’s on bit of a hill I let it come out where it came out. About 30 yards from the center. Even as hot as it has been you can stick your arm in the pipe and feel the cool air.
Be glad when can get it finished.
Got to take a free class years ago put out by poultry company for all growers on airflow and ventilation. Really Opening to see how hot and cold air mixing together can cool or heat an area creating its own air exchange and flow without need of fans.
Also water or concrete as thermal mass can help with both heating and cooling.

As for not using those…just take it slow until get used to it.
Long sleeve shirts with a light cotton under shirt can help too.
Edit: I’ve often wondered if in a flat area if a person could put a water tank under the beginning of the draw (where the pipe ends) and catch the condensation from the sudden cooling got water use.
In my area I put on the hill so water could drain out cause I know it’s so humid here sometimes the dew point is warmer than the ground temperature would be and it could create a lot of water.
When all gets done i plan to put the garden where the drain will be.
 
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