The Ins & Outs of Staying Cool in a Power Outage

Posted by Safeco July 7, 2014
Stay hydrated and safe during a summer power outage.

Ah, summer. It’s warm outside and comfortable inside, with air conditioners and fans blowing a cool breeze throughout the house. What a perfect time of year!

Until the power goes out, that is.

Now it feels just as warm inside as it is outside — possibly worse. Everyone’s frustrated, including the pets. And you can’t even turn on the television for a little distraction.

It doesn’t have to be totally miserable, though. Here are a few strategies to help you through when the power is down, the mercury is rising and you don’t know what to do:

First things first, stay safe.
Drink enough water to stay hydrated even if you don’t feel thirsty. Alcohol and caffeine can accelerate dehydration, so avoid them. If you get dizzy or weak, sit down in a cool place, drink water and wipe your face and body with a damp cloth. If that doesn’t have you on the road to recovery, get medical attention quickly. Also consider taking the family, especially seniors, to an emergency cooling center in your area.

Watch when you open the windows.
Don’t open the windows when it’s scorching outside. Instead, open your windows at night (if you can safely do so) and let your home fill with that cooler air. Then, as soon as it starts to heat up, close your windows and blinds so that air sticks around as long as possible.

Dress for success.
Wear loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothing and as little as possible (when you’re at home, at least). A water-soaked bandana or rag on your neck can work wonders, too. Now’s not the time to worry about fashion — it’s all about comfort.

Undress for success.
If you have a pool, well, what are you waiting for? Get suited up and jump in. Just don’t forget the sunscreen and be sure not to leave kids and pets unattended around pools no matter how shallow they are. If you don’t have a pool or even a sprinkler, a cool bath or shower is an excellent way to bring that body temperature down.

Don’t forget about Fido (or Fluffy).
Animals can get heatstroke too, particularly if they are very young, very old, overweight or have other medical issues. Make sure they are drinking plenty of water and that they have access to shade if they go outdoors. A cool bath or damp towel can be soothing, too, as well as a swim in the morning or evening.

We know there’s just no substitute for that feeling when the air conditioner kicks back on. But following these tips can help ensure that you’ll be safe — and sane — while you’re waiting for that to happen.

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