How To Stay Cool When The Grid Goes Down During A Heatwave

by | Jul 23, 2019 | Emergency Preparedness, Headline News | 15 comments

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    Because New York just experienced a major heatwave that took down large parts of their power grid leaving people without air conditioning as temperatures soared to the mid-90s, it’s important to understand how to stay cool when the SHTF.

    The obvious and easy techniques you can use to keep your family cool are to avoid direct sunlight, close all the blinds or curtains in your home, and dress yourself and children in loose-fitting thin clothing. Everyone will want to stay well hydrated also.  But there are a few ways that you can make yourself more comfortable and cool using solar power: which you should have plenty of during a heatwave.

    Many have become dependent on air conditioning to remain comfortable when it’s scorching hot outside. But there are ways you can prepare for a future heatwave – one that also takes down the grid, as just happened in New York.

    Buy A Solar Powered Attic Fan

    A solar-powered attic fan can reduce the temperature in your home while protecting it against moisture.  For a 40-watt cooler, you’ll pay around $175. This will cool off spaces of up to 2200 square feet.

    Hang Up Wet Sheets

    Hanging wet sheets as a method for staying cool dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Damp sheets or towels hung throughout a home, or even placed on the bed for sleeping at night, cool through evaporation.  This hack may not be as effective as making your own solar-powered cooler, but will definitely help in a pinch!

    DIY: Make Your Own Solar-Powered Cooler

    This particular portable solar-powered air conditioner works by threading cold water through the bucket before being cooled the window screen and dissipated by the fan.  It’s a simple and effective concept and works great for those who want to live more sustainably or off the grid. This simple DIY solar-powered cooler comes from Survival Life.

    What You’ll Need:

    • Yardstick
    • 1 – 2” hole saw
    • Marker
    • Razor tool

    Follow the tutorial by clicking here, or watch the tutorial on YouTube.

    Open All The Windows

    Another simple trick is to open all the windows at night. Consider your area and security before doing this.  If you live off the beaten path, this one’s a no-brainer.  However, use your judgment if you live in the city or suburbs. Once the sun starts coming in through the windows, close them and the shade or blinds. Use reflective window panels if it gets incredibly hot in your area.

    Plant Trees

    A more long term solution is to plant some big trees for shade.  After a few years, you will be able to enjoy the natural shade you’ve created if you plant the trees in locations where you think the sun beats down on your home the hottest, especially during summer.

    You should also take the time to learn what the signs of heatstroke are in both humans and pets.  Knowing the signs and the necessary actions to take should a family member or pet get heatstroke could help prevent the worst from happening during a heatwave.


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      1. Another solution;
        Fly to Nailbangers island ( Maui) and hang out on the beach.
        Stay away from my island, you probably couldn’t afford it anyways.

        • My location is equidistant between mountains and beach. Rather than fight the East Coast crowds, I’d rather head to the mountains specifically either Dolly Sods or Spruce Knob in WV. The key is elevation since not any old mountain will do.

          There is also this no power needed AC built by someone near India. The best thing is it’s nearly free.
          ht tp://

          • Oh, there’s also this using terra cotta tubes.

            ht tps://

        • “How to stay Cool when grid goes down.”
          1. Load beer cooler. Now Get into your truck.
          2. Drive away with beer cooler fully stocked
          3. Keep driving until you reach area unaffected by grid down.
          4. Get a Hotel room. Turn on “news”.
          5. Drink several beers
          6. Go find woman to share your room with, if you didn’t bring your own.
          7. Order room service or a Pizza

          Now you know the Best way to survive a grid down event. You are “prepped.”

      2. Climb in your jalopy, crank up Deep Purple Highway Star and go pick up the gang. Drive to the deep hole. Jump off the rocks and do a cannonball. Swim back to the bank. Fire a smoke up and chug a beer down. Climb back up the trail and do it again. We stayed cool cuz we WERE cool.

      3. What a basket of tripe.

        Run a fricken tub of water and crawl in.

        Anyone that chooses to suffer from the heat needs to.

        For all the wailing crybabies out there, I would suggest that you take a quick trip to southern Arizona sometime in July or August and take look at some of those folks roofing buildings during the middle of the afternoon. Then we can talk about HEAT!

        Whatever a Mac Slavo is this is my last foray into this silliness. Spam!

        • Any Phoenix roofer with half a brain cell left starts at 4am and usually quits by noon.

        • My limited experience in the SW shows me that roofing work in the Summer takes place between about 6 am and noon.

          Ain’t nobody w/ a lick of sense gonna be on the roof in Phoenix in the afternoon….

          Another general item… all these evaporative cooling ideas only work well, or at all, in areas of low relative humidity (like the SW.)

          Much of our pop on the mainland lives in higher humidity coastal areas…


      4. This is one of the main reasons I oppose the idea of cities as habitats. I believe they should be places of commerce where people can visit to conduct business then return to their homes in the rural country areas. Stacking people on top of each other like bees in a hive is no way to live and in episodes like severe weather and / or technology failures, the danger to resident’s lives is catastrophic.

        • That’s gotta be one of the top 10 most asinine things ever said. As far as combatting the heat…DRINK WATER!!!
          Lots of it.

        • Bees will split their colony when it gets too large to be sustainable. Any natural instincts in many people has been drummed out in their early life during a period quaintly referred to as education.

      5. I bought plastic ice cubes at DG. I didn’t like them much because I felt like they weren’t sanitary and who wants to wash ice cubes??
        So, I used a terry cloth strip of fabric(about 18″ X 4″), stitched 3 sides, and put in the ice cubes, stitched the 4th side.
        I kept it in the freezer and when last week it was 93°, wrapped it around my neck while weed-eating.
        IT WAS A GREAT the heat index of 100.
        I thought it would begin dripping down by back and neck but not so.
        So much cheaper at DG..lots cheaper.

        • I love workin outside when it’s blistering hot. I can’t get enough of it. I drink about a gallon of water a day and the heat? It just makes me sweat like a pig, but I love it. It makes me feel soooooo good. I’m 55 years old

      6. (If you’re reading this article, you are not strong or healthy. Don’t do anything I am saying, or you could die of heat exhaustion.)

        Multi-generational, desert people don’t avoid the sun any more than Eskimos avoid the ice. Avoid the pill mill doctor, if you are physically capable to resist. Avoid sun-seeking, French tourists and geriatric nudists. Bohemians (tweakers and hoarders) like places, where no normal person should buy with literal money. Street people and Satanists leave weird things behind. The sun is the the least of your problems.

        Get a sun tan, if you have the genes. Learn to walk on hot concrete with bare feet and to sleep outdoors.

        You can feel rubbery in the knees, get a little stupid, and drink warmish water, until you are ready to vomit. It might not be a literal emergency. Maybe.

        Salt is delicious.

        Feral palm trees and desert bushes leave a spot of shade on the ground, which becomes a work area, at the point when noone can realistically afford to ventilate an enclosed building. Blinds and finishes contort and bubble, as in an oven. The surface of glass becomes pitted, from stinging sands and cement stucco splits open.

        The only time my health actually broke is when I was pit firing some terracotta and stood too close, to see how much I could take.

        Unless you have the flu or are enfeebled, it’s generally a trial by endurance, fueled by water, food, and sleep. Cool is a word in the dictionary and in your imagination. In 100F, the 85F breeze is cool, relatively.

        Mountain biked and planted arid foods in these conditions, this morning. Plants are mulched at ground level, to keep from frying like eggs. Rather than greenhouses, ‘slat’ houses and misters. Animals are provided shade, and ground is dampened, or people report sad losses. Refueling and going out for more.

      7. I live and work in Florida. Hot, humid… is the rule. I’ve said to many who try to work in the heat to emulate those ‘south of the border’ yard crews. Dress for the heat, eat for the heat, drink for the heat. Virtually every one of the men on those crews I mention wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, a hat and often a bandana. Why? Sweat is good as long as you keep it on your body. It is the way our bodies cool off. Biggest error is to keep working when you stop sweating. That’s nature’s way of saying “stop, cool down, drink”. For food – same crews above – eat spicey food and salty food. It aids in sweating. Siesta @ the hottest part of the day. Drink water, fruit juices (the real stuff, not the artificially sweetened b.s.). Stay clear of sugar. Know when to break off and chill.

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