OK, I know we already talked about the hot weather once this week, but here comes another dose of it today, especially in the Central and East Texas areas. But the reason I mention this now is that as summer comes, it’s good to be ready for excessive heat, especially if the warming is as bad as it could be.
Your personal alert should be sounding on a regular basis from a number of sources. For one, if you don’t have a NOAA Weather Radio on most of the year, regardless of where you live, that is probably a bad move.
The NOAA Weather Radio is actually called NOAA All-Hazards Radio, and with that comes everything from kidnapping to earthquake, to terrorism response to…oh, yeah, the weather.
As for what today started to shape up as, it was clear by mid-day Thursday when this hit the government’s weather site:
Jun. 16, 2016 – National Weather Service
… Heat advisory remains in effect until 8 PM CDT Friday…
* temperatures… high temperatures will reach the middle and upper
90s with afternoon heat index values between 103 and 108.
* Impacts… heat exhaustion or heat stroke can quickly occur to anyone working or participating in outdoor activities.
A heat advisory means that afternoon heat index values are expected to meet or exceed 105 degrees for at least two consecutive days.
Be sure to check on persons with health problems and the elderly… as they are the most susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Never leave Young children or pets in an enclosed
vehicle… even for a short time… as temperatures can quickly rise to life threatening levels.
Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible… reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.”
So far it sounds partly emergent threat but also kinda routine.
But remembering I haven’t brushed up on heat-stroke for a while, I decided to check out symptoms:
High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.
This one is a bit problematic: It assumes you have a way to check body temperature handy. Bet on the side says in your car, there’s no electronic thermometer. Not that it is a necessity, but if I were traveling – and unlike past years – I might actually get an electronic thermometer for the car.
The reason is simple: When you are traveling long distances (as we usually do) it is a long ways from nowhere out in the middle of rural Utah. Since people seem reluctant to help on major freeways, a car problem could become a health problem inb short order.
•Altered mental state or behavior. …
If you read UrbanSurvival, you know we’ve been on the verge of this symptom for almost 20-years now. Hell ofr a thing, ain’t it?
•Alteration in sweating. …
This one is pretty simple: I don’t like to sweat. Elaine is only interested in “glowing” a bit – and then only when it’s early morning hours and she’s out on her walking excerciser. We don’t do much sweat so this one is easy enough.
Even in the car, dead heat of summer, we set the a/c on about 73. And yes, we have the a/c seats, too – highly recommended when you get a new car.
•Nausea and vomiting. …
This can occur listening to a press conference of Fearless Leader, a certain replacement candidate, or just looking at our trading account – depending on what the market is doing. (See the related Quadruple Witching note which should be above this around 8 AM Central Time).
Point is that when you are traveling, it’s hard to sort out whether a bout of nausea is caused by bad food…vomiting is also problematic…because we have to eat when we travel. Consequently, we’re somewhat particular about what and where we eat when traveling. For breakfast, we stick to the basics – eggs, meat, coffee, a few ‘taters and a slug of coffee. Lunch is usually at a truck stop – and we’ve become quite fond of the Pilot and Love’s truck stops. If you can hold on until 1 PM local time, any food that was sitting around before lunch has likiely been taken by others, so that may reduce one risk. A second one is to ask the attendant, especially if you like the pizza and aren’t sure how fresh it is. Usually, the counter help will give you an idea of when it came out of the oven.
One more thing: We try not to drink anything but bottled water when traveling. Not that it is perfect, but bottled water is usually treated with ozone which kills most viruses. Local water from a drinking fountain – even through it appeals to the Scottish ancestry is a higher risk if you are a ways out of town.
Elaine is always talking about “trying new places” that aren’t part of chains, but I am willing to each some Churches or Popeye’s Chicken before I’d venture into a quaint local place. We carry Imodium, just in case, though.
•Flushed skin. …
This one is easy for me: Over 80F my heritage turns me an unmistakable bright red. Captain Lobstah-Boy was the nickname on the local waterfronts out West. Elaine’s prone to something called Renaud’s syndrome, so her fingers turn white in color below 70F, or so. At 90 and above, she’s just beginning to thaw.
•Rapid breathing. …
Again, this would be a sure sign for me, but not her. She works out regularly. I watch with admiration.
•Racing heart rate. …
Both of us seem to have good tickers. My resting/working at the computer heart rate is about 56, though it may jump above 100 if nearly run off the road by a crazy person. Elaine’s heart beats faster than mine, so racing might work for her.
I am one…so this might not work too well… Elaine never gets them…but we have both had muscle cramps from not enough salt, so don’t skimp on the pickles or salty cheese on the pizza.
A coupe of things we have learned from flying the airplane in miserably hot conditions, some of which apply in the car:
· Wear light clothing even if the car has a/c.
This sounds common-sensical, but an amazing number of our countrymen (and women) are stupid (or fashion conscious). My standard summer attire is a paid of cut-off in some ugly light color and a short-sleeve button down collar white shift.. Elaine wears light, too.
We always care a ton of water (airplane or car) and in the airplane – even though it takes a while to climb to such lofty heights, the ambient air temp drops about 3.5 degrees per thousand feet. So even if it is 100F down on the ground in West Texas, by the time you get to altitude you may be down to 87, or so inside.
For this occasion, we carry a big plastic one-quart spray bottle. Filled from the never-ending supply of bottled water, the pilot and copilot use the sprayer to get fairly soaked from the waist up.
From there, we get about 15 and sometimes 20 minutes of flying done with the air ducts open before we’re both totally dried out again and it’s time to repeat the dance.
· Ensure pets have a cool place to hang out.
Zeus the Cat being pure black, is rather unfortunate. Nevertheless, he has found several places under the decks where the ground is still chilled from the past heating season. Come later in the summer, we will turn on the misters that live between the house and shop.
Live between the house and shop. Zeus then spends most of August trying to find the ideal spot that was wet yesterday, is still cool today, but doesn’t get the wind such that it gets water on him.
By the first of September, he’ll give up on staying dry and accept being a bit damp is not all that bad a thing.
There are lots of other ways to keep cool. At one airplane flying, or other, we picked up some microfiber neck coolers. Basically nothing more than a wash-cloth that you soak and place around your neck. We haven’t tried them, but they look promising.
There are some purpose built airplane cooling systems that can plug into the plane’s electrical system. Sort of like a big ice chest, it blows hot air in and sends blissfully cool air out.
The only problem with it is a) it takes up space, b) it has a fair bit of weight associated with it and c) the airplane is not a high performance climber when the weather is hot. Other than that, my recent eye issues, and the fact that the airplane is still in annual inspection and my new glasses to get legal are all three weeks out, and by then we’re halfway through Hell Months this cabin cooler also puts a decent bite on any remaining wallet contents.
I assume you have enough brains NOT to bring an animal to the store in the summer, or, if you do, you have enough sense to dummy up some service animal paperwork like one person I know does, so the family poochie can come in the store and chill. (“That? That’s a dachshund…service animal for my PTSD…”)
No, I do not sanction such things, I only report them.
So there you have it: A bit of discussion of summer heat…a column which I will duly remind you of in January when we’re all bitching about how cold it is. Global warming, indeed.
Off to work on a Peoplenomics piece on how government is becoming a bigger and bigger partner in your life all the time…and not so silently, either…
Come on back Monday (or sooner if you subscribe to Peoplenomics.com) and feel free to drop in a comment on whatever’s on your mind and write when you get rich…