With summer in full effect, more people are using the air conditioning as a means to cool their homes. The only issue with that is our power grids are not capable of everyone using their AC at once. When a heat wave occurs, there is a chance of everyone losing power. In that case, the heat wave and excessive use of AC will prevent you from staying cool. If the temperature is too hot, the situation can turn deadly. In this article, we discuss how you can prepare yourself and your home for a heat wave event.
Why does the power go out?
Firstly, power loads are highest during the summer, particularly in hotter environments. When this occurs, power plants can overload and shut down, therefore, everyones’ power goes out. There are additional failsafes incorporated into the framework, however when one plant goes down that additional limit can disappear, leading to the utility company to need to drop load. Secondly, transmission lines can get over-burdened. Lastly, as loads increase, transmission lines can sag and touch trees below. This can cause the load to trip. In many cases, this can cause a chain reaction as the loads build up; then, the next line will also trip.
How can you prepare for heat waves?
In this article we focus solely on how to prepare for heat waves. It is self-explanatory, but in a heat wave, your largest concern should be the extreme heat. Air conditioning is the best option, but as previously mentioned, the AC usually goes out during heat waves. If this occurs, your best friend is ventilation. As long as your indoor temperature is not too high, fans can be used, and they are a huge help. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if the temperature inside is greater than 90 F, fans do not help. Be sure to have fans that are battery powered or a generator on hand.
While fans are great, in the event of hot indoor temperatures or prolonged periods of heat, you will need something else. Water is a great solution for this problem. Keeping your skin moist with a wet towel can increase the rate of evaporation off your skin. During evaporation, some of the heat from your body will leave as well. Water is also extremely important to drink. Stock up and drink it often.
What are the next steps to prepare for a heat wave?
During times of natural disasters or emergencies, many vulnerable people are forgotten about, such as the elderly. Make sure to check up on family members, friends, and neighbors who may not be able to take care of themselves. Ensure they have a place to stay that is cool. Also be sure to watch out for your pets.
Prepare for Power Outages
If you would like to learn more about how to prepare for power outages (in general), please check out our latest article on power outages and remedies for them. There are many other steps that you should take to prepare yourself!