Extreme heat is a real killer, and it will be all the more so if major storms or an E M P knock out the power grid. We’ve gotten used to living with air conditioning in the U.S. Can you imagine Arizona or Florida without it?
If you’re middle-aged or older, chances are you grew up without air conditioning at home. It was a luxury, especially if you lived in the country. But how many of us could cope without it today?
My Hot Show Guests
They’ve been my DestinySurvival Radio guests several times before, and I’m glad I was able to have them back this week. In case you’re not familiar with who they are, here’s a little info gleaned from their site, DoomAndBloom.net.
Joe Alton, M.D., also known as Dr. Bones, is an M.D. and fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of OB/GYN. Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., also known as Nurse Amy, is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner. You can find their full credentials on their Web site.
Together, Joe and Amy are the authors of the Number One Amazon bestseller in Survival Skills and Safety/First Aid, The Survival Medicine Handbook. They’re also well known speakers, podcasters, and YouTubers, as well as contributors to leading survival and homesteading magazines. You’ll find over 600 posts on medical preparedness on their site.
Their mission is to put a medically prepared person in every family for disaster situations.
The opinions voiced by Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are for post-apocalyptic settings only. In normal times, they urge you and me to seek modern and standard medical care from qualified professionals.
I appreciate the time they took to do another show with me because they’re busy as beavers. Dr. Bones did most of the talking because, once the discussion got going, Amy needed to attend to other matters, so she deferred to the good doctor’s expertise on our topic.
Those “Bad Bugs”
Then we got serious and talked about the possible threat of an epidemic. How real is it? After all, the swine flu a few years ago fizzled. Last year’s Ebola scare eventually wound down, too. What threat does MERS pose today?
Take a Swig of Colored Sweat?
If you’re outdoors working or playing, you may not be aware of how much fluid you’re losing by sweating. You’re losing electrolytes, which are essential for bodily functions.
Sports drinks were created to replace those electrolytes. Dr. Bones says drinking them is like drinking colored sweat.
I’m sure you’ll never see your favorite sports drink in quite the same way now. But you do need electrolyte replacement when it’s hot.
Drinking soda pop or tea with caffeine can aggravate dehydration because you’ll urinate more. Avoid alcohol as well.
Don’t guzzle your drink when you’re trying to cool down. Sip if you feel nauseated due to heat exhaustion. Otherwise, try to drink often to keep hydrated.
If you lose as little as 2-3% of your body’s water content, you’ll be sufficiently dehydrated to begin having mental issues. You may lose concentration, become irritable and anxious. You may develop mood swings and become delerious.
That should be enough motivation to keep hydrated. You want that glorious survival tool between your ears to be working at its best.
Symptoms to Watch For
If you’re experiencing heat exhaustion, you’ll sweat. If it’s heat stroke, you won’t. Either way, be on the alert if you experience nausea, a headache, confusion and weakness. You’ll lose consciousness and experience more severe symptoms with a heat stroke.
If someone’s having heat stroke, get him or her out of the sun. Remove clothing and spray the person with cool water. Apply moist, cool compresses to the neck, armpits and groin area to facilitate cooling.
There’s Hot, and Then There’s Hot!
Heat Is Its Own Natural Disaster
Back in 2003 during a heatwave in Europe, 71,000 people died. A recent heatwave in India claimed more than 2,000 lives. If we’re subjected to a heatwave in the U.S. at a time when there’s no air conditioning, do you think we’ll fare any better?
Meanwhile, pay attention this summer to heat advisories and warnings issued by your local NOAA weather station.
Take It Off, Baby!
Here are some things to try. It makes sense to wear light colored, loose fitting clothing. Wear a bandana soaked with water. Towel off to keep cool.
Drink plenty before you start working or exercising outside. Then take plenty of breaks to drink more. Stay hydrated.
Beat the Clock
The key here is to be aware of your circumstances and what your body can handle. Don’t push it. Don’t over exert yourself when it’s hot.
Starve to Be Cool?
Dr. Bones doesn’t recommend changing diet. The most important thing is to drink plenty of fluids. Be sure you’re keeping up your electrolytes and taking in the minerals they contain.
It’s Not in the Wrist
While there are blood vessels close to the skin at our wrists, it’s wiser to bring the coolness from cool compresses to the neck, armpits and groin area, as mentioned above, because the veins are larger there and will transport cooling to the rest of the body faster.
Keep a Cool Mind?
A Big Word to Know
Get even more info from…
- An online article by Dr. Bones called Heat-Related Emergencies
- An article by Dr. Bones in the July/August 2015 issue of “Backwoods Home Magazine” called Dealing with Heat Stress
- And info on pages 204-207 in The Survival Medicine Handbook.
If you have any thoughts about what you’ve heard in this week’s show or what you’ve read above, feel free to leave a comment below. How do you keep cool in hot weather? What advice would you give to other preppers for keeping cool if there’s no air conditioning for a long period of time?
From the DestinySurvival Archives
View posts I’ve published previously on surviving summer’s heat. As it happens, the first link is to an article by Dr. Bones.
- It’s a Cruel, Cruel Summer!
- A Few Tips for Surviving Summer’s Heat
- Some Tips for Surviving Without Air Conditioning
- Some Survival Tips to Help You Beat the Heat
- Some Survival Tips to Help Your Pet Beat the Heat
- Heatwaves and Teenagers