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10 Steps to Prepare for a Heat Wave

Heat waves may sound like an overused phrase to describe the month of August in many parts of the country, but they can actually be very dangerous. According to recent data trends, heat wave frequency and length are both increasing in the US. A heat wave is classified as a period of high heat and humidity, with temperatures over 90 degrees for at least two to three days. When compared to data from the 1960s, scientists find that heat wave season is 47 days longer in the 2010s. 

When facing extreme heat, your body overworks itself to maintain its normal temperature, which can become very dangerous. According to Ready.gov, extreme heat is responsible for the most weather-related hazards each year. Here are some tips that will help you prepare now for a heat wave you may face in the future. It is never too soon to take action on these simple steps that can help your family feel safe in the face of an unexpected event.  

1. Install An Attic Fan Or Ventilator

A powered attic ventilation system or attic fan will regulate the heat level of your home’s attic by clearing hot air. This will prevent any heat from working its way down into the rest of your house, which could cause your AC-unit to overwork itself. 

2. Add Insulation That Keeps Heat Out

When it comes to insulation, most people may think that it is only meant to keep heat inside of your house during cold months of the year. In reality, there are also types of insulation that can keep your house protected from outside heat during hot months. This tip can be helpful in saving you money on your air conditioning bill throughout the year, but can be hard to implement. This may be an idea to keep in the back of your mind for the future.

3. Weather-Strip Doors and Windows

Weather-stripping may be easier and more affordable than you think, and is definitely more accessible than insulation. Weather-stripping seals openings in the frames of doors and windows. Commonly installed to keep water from leaking in during rain storms, it can also keep interior air in, exterior air out, and thus saves you money on your energy bill. 

4. Window Air Conditioners

Air conditioning is recommended as the best way to stay safe during a heat wave. If your home doesn’t have a central air conditioner, you could begin investing in window air conditioners. You can have as many or as few as you’d like, and choose which rooms they go in. Decide with your family which rooms of your room you spend the most time in, and begin by installing on there first. 

5. Stock Up on Water

It may never be more important than in a heat wave to stay hydrated. While you typically wouldn’t lose access to your in-home plumbing and water faucets, you can never be too prepared. Purchase some gallons of water and other hydrating liquids, like sport drinks, that can help your family stay hydrated in case of an emergency.  

6. Find Local Cooling Zones 

Cities that experience frequent heat waves often have designated public places that provide an air-conditioned environment for anyone without power or AC-access. Local spots may include a movie theater, mall, or other large meeting space like a gymnasium that can be dedicated to the purpose of providing shelter. Find out where your closest cooling zone is located, and if you have elderly neighbors, be sure they are aware of this resource, as well! 

7. Purchase a Backup Battery Generator

It isn’t uncommon during a heatwave for people to experience a blackout. In 2017 alone, 36.7 million Americans were affected by 3526 power outages. Power companies may turn off electricity to your area to prevent more lasting damage to the system, or it could overheat and cause blackouts on its own. In either case, you can benefit from purchasing a backup battery generator for your home. Generark’s HomePower ONE is completely portable, allowing you to set it up wherever it will best suit your family’s needs. It’s high-power output and wide-ranging compatibility allows you to charge your communication devices, power home appliances, keep security systems operating, and even plug in home medical aids. In a heat wave, you can plug fans into the generator in the case of losing power and air conditioning. Depending on what you choose to power, a single charge can last up to seven days.  

8. Try a Solar Panel Power Generator

In addition to a battery generator, you could benefit from a solar panel power generator. Generark’s SolarPower ONE is compatible with the HomePower ONE, allowing you to recharge your battery generator while still charging your devices. The SolarPower ONE is also USB-compatible. If you live in a sunny area, the SolarPower ONE is a great fit for you. You can even bundle the items to save. 

9. Learn the Warning Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses

Three consequences of a heat wave can be heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Heat cramps involvemuscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms or legs. Heat exhaustion can cause heavy sweating, paleness and similar cramps or headache. You may also feel tired, weak, dizzy, faint, and nausea leading to vomiting. For both of these conditions, immediately move to a cooler location, remove any excess clothing, and drink a cool beverage with sugar and salt, like a sports drink. Taking a cool bath may also help, but if symptoms persist you should seek medical attention. Heat stroke is the most dangerous of the three, causing extremely high body temperatures of over 103 degrees and red, hot skin without sweat. Dizziness, confusion, and risk of unconsciousness are also possible, making it imperative to call 9-1-1 as soon as symptoms begin.

10. Cover Your Windows

When in the midst of a heat wave, you want to cover up your windows to keep the sun out and your home as cool as possible. In addition to drawing curtains and closing blinds, you can board up your windows with cardboard. Attach aluminum foil to the side that faces out of your home. This will reflect the sun’s rays back outside, instead of into your home. 

Summary

Heat waves may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about weather-related emergencies, but they are especially dangerous. Taking steps to make your home safer and more comfortable for a potential heat wave will only benefit you and make you feel more relaxed when facing the stress of an emergency situation. Some steps can be done easily, like learning about cooling zones and heat-related illnesses, while others you can make a plan to tackle in the future and throughout the year, like purchasing a generator or air conditioning unit, and weather-stripping the windows. 

 

About Generark: Generark is the most reliable source of emergency backup power for your home and community. From the HomePower ONE power station providing portable access to electricity, to the SolarPower ONE as a source for recharging, never be disconnected from what matters most to you. Learn more about how Generark and its industry-leading 5-year limited warranty can bring protection and security to your family on our website. Never face a power outage alone with a backup battery generator and solar panel from Generark. 

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