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HOW TO STAY COOL WHEN THE GRID GOES DOWN DURING A HEATWAVE

Mac Slavo
June 22nd, 2021
SHTFPlan
Comments (15)

This article was originally published by Mac Slavo at SHTFPlan on July 23, 2019.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I am republishing this because it may be helpful. We are seeing record-setting heatwaves across large swaths of the United States and there are constant warnings of grid failures and hackings.  I have updated this with recent and correct links to help make finding things easier, however, the article is otherwise, unchanged.

If you have your own tips or trick that have worked, please share them with readers! Let’s help each other out.

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 your 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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    Author: Mac Slavo
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    Date: June 22nd, 2021
    Website: www.SHTFPLAN.com

    Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

    SHTFPLAN is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

    15 Comments...

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    1. Darth Skippy says:

      I have always said:
      — own as much independent infrastructure as physically possible.
      — worthless people feel threatened, on a gut level, by useful tools, so will be found where they don’t belong. They will linger, and gravitate, and gawk, and don’t like the looks of whatever milquetoast thing you are doing.

      Anywhere there is other people, half the problem is the actual problem.

      Half is the people.

      Useful things are planted, all around. They keep sun off the hot stucco, new plants, and tender grasses, and provide an income stream.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Tack the wet sheets up in a doorway and put a battery operated tent fan behind it. When the “cool” stops spray the sheet down again with water from a spray bottle. Also if possible keep a pool (any size), stock tank or even 5 gal buckets full of water at all times during warm weather. Sitting in water or even soaking your feet will lower body temp.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or instead, drink the water. Lots and lots of it. I went to army basic training in the late summer. Ft Benning Ga in a place called Harmony Church. It was in the 90’s almost everyday until October. We had no ac. We drank lots and lots of water. I remember laying in my bunk, just dripping with sweat. Nobody died, nobody got heat sick. It was because we drank lots and lots of water.
        What did people do before ac?

        • Darth Skippy says:

          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windcatcher

          Olden buildings would have been designed for ventilation, or people have died from hygiene problems — a majority without obits or gravemarkers.

      • Genius says:

        Burlap works better, it lets more air through. Makes yer house smell like a tater cellar though lol. Or you could just pee in the wind 🙂

    3. makeready says:

      What i did when I was young living 17 stories up during the 1970’s, humidity was unbearable at those heights especially during 2 week heatwave we had was to wet towels, place them on myself and have electric fan blow on me. If power goes out have battery operated fans handy. Purchase rechargeable batteries and get a solar charger.

    4. Simple options:
      – take a bath or shower to cool down,
      – wet a bandana and around neck,
      -spend more time outdoors during the spring and summer months to acclimate to warmer temperatures.

    5. Anonymous says:

      Move north in summer, south in winter. Act like a Canuk.

    6. Genius says:

      Or I will just switch my grid tie solar over to off grid and run the swamp cooler.

    7. Stupid is says:

      Just wear only underwear. Then urinate in it when hydrating. This way you waste no fluids. It will be warm at first but will cool down once you did the deed.

    8. Able says:

      The South West Solar evaporative cooler works exceptionally well. We have one at out off grid home. They use about 10% of the energy of a regular swamp cooled and will lower the temperature about 30 degrees. Ours is 24 volts and runs off the battery bank. We have a large solar system.

      http://southwest-solar.com/solar-evaporative-cooler/

      A 200 watt panel will work fine. You will need a battery and a charge controller.

      Evaporative Coolers only work in dry climates. If you live in a humid area you need a refrigerator cooler which will work well in humid climates. These units use a lot of electricity. Your options for grid down are a medium size solar system or a generator. The typical 3600 rpm air cooled propane generator has a life span of 800 to 1,000 hours.

      A low speed,, 1800, RPM liquid cooled propane generator has a life span of 8,000 to 10,000 hours. Kohler, Generac and Cummins makes these low speed generators.

      The new Outback solar set up is plug and play. The unit puts power into the grid to turn your meter backwards and can pretty much zero out your power bill. If the grid goes down it can simply be switched to the battery bank and the solar array will keep the batteries charged so you always have power.

    9. I see there are also portable battery powered condenser type AC units that only use about 200 watts on 12v and you can buy a rechargeable battery pack. I think that equals about 17 amps. A small solar system should be able to handle powering that up for an outage.

      They will cool up to 200 sq ft. I would think these would be better in a humid environment than a swamp cooler since a swamp cooler puts humidity into the air and a condenser unit (much as a window unit) takes it out. Humidity is the major reason for uncomfortable heat. If you live in a dry climate a swamp cooler is a good way to go.

      Close off a room and just cool it instead of the whole house.

      • Genius says:

        Dry as a bone here. Fires everywhere. I was going to put a window AC in the cabin but I found a swamp cooler that cools 5X as much space and uses less power. Wanna buy a 5K btu window AC never used for cheap?

    10. Adino says:

      Spray bottles filled with water, squirt on skin for direct evaporative cooling.

      They make caps, wristbands, towels, and neck gators that are designed to be evaporative. Mine are from a company called Mission and have held up well.

      If your environment allows, hammocks with bug netting is the coolest way to sleep.

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