The Survival Buzz #174

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 1, 2019

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

This week I was in the Phoenix area and it was hot.  When I say hot, I mean 112 degrees in the shade.  Two interesting things occurred.  First, the radio newscasters continued to put out messages asking everyone to check on neighbors who might not have air conditioning.  The emphasis was on the sick and the elderly.  This was good to hear and I applaud these public service oriented messages.

What do you do when it is 112 degrees outside - Backdoor Survival

A bit more distressing is that I asked at least six people how they cope when the power goes out and it is sweltering hot.  The answers included jumping in the pool, staying in the shade, taking cold showers, and “I don’t know”.  Honestly, doesn’t the power grid ever go down in Arizona?

This is not to say that I have any answers.  To the contrary, I was attempting to learn some tips that I could pass on to others that might be in a similar predicament.  The next step is to contact some officials in an emergency management position and see what they recommend.  Still, tips from real people and families that have lived through a power outage or electrical brownout during sweltering heat would, in my opinion, be more useful.  What do you do and how do you cope when the power is out and it is 112 degrees outside?

My trip was not without incident starting with long lines at the TSA checkpoint, a flight delay due to storms, and other woes of a more personal nature.  Travel is exhausting, for sure, but at least I was prepared as much as one can be for life’s little events.  I updated my emergency travel kit for this trip and as soon as I can get some photos, I will share it with you.

One hint?  My SunJack Lightstick has become one of the most used items in my travel kit! You can read my review of the SunJack Lightstick here.

Review of the Sunjack Waterproof Lightstick - Backdoor Survival

Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips

This question came in from a reader.

“I am wondering like when a company has a sale is it because the use by date is becoming closer and closer to its end. would they be good still? if we are expecting to get a 25 year are they being relabeled? I do not want to buy something that is already old and expect it to last another 25 years.”

I don’t believe this is happening (and hope this is not true) but I did ask Mountain House for their opinion.Here is their response.

Our dealers run sales usually as a way to boost sales and create buzz. Same for us. If we have clearance items that have already run a little bit of its shelf life we always clearly state it in our sales copy. So no worries.

My advice is that if you do see a promotion that is too good to be true, ask a lot of questions up front.

Want to Get Rid of Old Food Storage?

Speaking of Mountain House, if you have some old MH products sitting around gathering dust, you might want to trade them in for fresh new pouches.  Mountain House wants to continue testing older products to determine their maximum shelf life and will send you 6 new pouches for each pre-2008 pouch you send them.

They are specifically looking for the following:

  • Rice & Chicken
  • Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
  • Beef Stew
  • Chicken Teriyaki
  • Chili Mac with Beef
  • Noodles & Chicken
  • Raspberry Crumble

If this is something you might want to do, contact MH at [email protected].  Have any old Y2K stuff sitting around? This might be a good time to recycle them for new.

Free Online Course in Disaster Preparedness from the University of Pittsburg

I know I have mentioned Coursera before but as busy as we tend to get, it is easy to forget that they provide universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses for anyone to take, for free.

I just received notices on a course on Disaster Preparedness being offered from the University of Pittsburg.  This looks terrific and I hope to take it myself.  Here is a summary:

This course will teach the student how to survive when everything we normally take for granted is gone, when the structures we depend on have failed. We will examine the Disaster Cycle, particularly the Mitigation and Recovery phases.

Students will prepare an extensive personal preparedness plan covering such topics as supplies, communication, food and water, shelter, security, and comfort (yes even in survival there can and should be comfort). We also look at preparedness on the institutional and government levels.

We will look beyond these plans towards the one aspect of survival, which will enable a person to survive when all planning has failed. Disasters, by definition, overwhelm all available resources. If all available resources are gone, only one thing will keep a person alive and that is their attitude. A persons awareness and attitude, the two are closely linked, allow a person the means to remain calm, avoid panic, and draw upon resources within and outside the person to survive when their world has failed. In truth not everyone survives in extreme circumstances; people die, but, even in death, attitude, if it cannot save you, provides some degree or comfort.

Here is a link for more information:  //

Current Giveaways

This is the giveaway that many of you have been waiting for.

UV Paqlite Emergency Lighting without Batteries - Backdoor Survival

UV PAQLITE: Emergency Lighting Without Batteries + Giveaway

With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.  Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article.  This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.

Spark Naturals Free Shipping Offer

I apologize for the late notice since this offer is only available through Sunday, June 21.  Still, any time you can get free shipping on any sized order, it is worth mentioning.

Spark Naturals Free Shipping Offer

Spark Naturals Free Shipping Offer

If you are just getting started with essential oils, I would like to suggest Lavender, Peppermint, and Rosemary.  These inexpensive oils are components to my DIY Miracle Salve and I am confident that you will not be disappointed.  This is also a good time to purchase accessories such as droppers, jars, and spray bottles.

As always, enjoy a 10% discount at Spark Naturals using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.

Other Announcements

Ramping up next month is the next Prepper Book Festival.  The books are selected and ready to go; I just need to get the interview questions out to the authors.  I also have four gear giveaways lined up so I hope you are not tired of them.

If you happened to have missed my article on Canning Jars last week, you might want to take a peek.  It has already been shared thousands of times on Facebook which just goes to show you that there are a lot of jar-aholics out there.

Canning Jars 101 - Backdoor Survival

The Final Word

Something I did not mention is that my garden is going crazy this year.  I should clarify: crazy in a good way.  We have harvested lots of lettuce and a couple bowls of pea pods. In addition, the tomatoes are way ahead of schedule, even though they are being grown in partial shade. The weather in the Pacific Northwest this year has been sunny, warm, and simply fantastic.  We are lucky.

You might also have noticed that the Survival Buzz is a day late.  A year ago, I would have been over the top frantic to get an article out on time.  Now?  Stuff happens and I just move on.  I feel that letting go of these little bumps in the road, as difficult as they may be, are the only way to truly prepare for an uncertain future.

So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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The ALMOST FREE Department

It is time for a Survival Buzz “Almost Free” item. Shelly found these on sale recently. It is a great deal given that the match holders alone are worth the cost.

Trying to Drown Matches in Salt Water - Backdoor Survival

Wind & Waterproof Survival Matches: 2 Packs of 20 + Holder

When I tested these matches last summer, I tried to drown them in salt water first; both inside and outside the waterproof plastic case. They really are waterproof!  As of this writing, $2.29 with free shipping.

Here is a mixed bag of favorites for you to consider, including a number of solar items.  Remember, the small commission I make helps support this website and the price you pay is the same.

SunJack Waterproof LightStick: The versatile SunJack Lightstick is impressive for its compact form factor and extremely durable, waterproof casing.  In addition to providing portable lighting, it will charge 3 USB devices on a single charge.

Solar Powered LED Inflatable Air Lantern by Survival Frog:  These are fantastic!  I own two and want to get more.  They just work!  For more information, read: Review: Inflatable Solar Air Lantern for Emergencies.

Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack:  This study solar power pack is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit.  I especially like that it has 2 USB ports.

RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers.  For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports.

SunJack USB Battery Charger for AA/AAA Ni-Mh and Ni-Cd Batteries:  Keep your AA or AAA battery powered devices fully charged anywhere. The SunJack USB battery charger charges your AA/AAA Ni-Mh/Ni-Cd batteries from any stable 5V USB port or power bank.  It will charge fully drained batteries in about 5 hours.

SunJack Portable Solar Charger:  SunJack® helps mobile users stay charged on the go anywhere the sun shines. The SunJack® is able to fully charge its internal battery pack in about 5 hours of direct sunlight, or directly power any USB device. When the sun isn’t shining, users can still energize their devices from the powerful SunJack® battery, which holds enough charge to power up to 4 iPhones.

Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards:  This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out.  Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness pantry.

Ticket To Ride: This my favorite board game, bar none.  Family friendly, you will spend hours in front of the fireplace playing Ticket to Ride with your favorite people.  This is worth the splurge.

Mason Jar Storage Caps Set of 8: These are fantastic!  These plastic lids screw onto a mason jar and are perfect in the pantry or to cap you salves.  There is both a regular and a wide mouth version.  I can’t believe I have not mentioned these before!

NOW Foods Essential Oils:  I use essential oils from Spark Naturals.  For healing purposes, I feel they are superior.  On the other hand, NOW Foods has decent essential oils at a budget price.  Here are a few to get you started:  NOW Foods Rosemary Oil, NOW Foods Peppermint Oil and Now Foods Lavender Oil.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


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Updated Jul 1, 2019

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23 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #174”

  1. Air cools through water evaporation. When I lived in Arizona, I sprayed my tshirts with water, and that kept me cool as the water evaporated. Respray as it dries out. Also a bandana kept damp and tied around your neck is very cooling – just keep re-wetting it. When you are really hot, wash your hair or dunk your head in cold water. I found that cooling down my head quickly really helped cool me down fast. And of course, you need to drink a lot of water.

  2. We lived in the southern part of West Virginia where it got into the low 100’s but the humidity would suffocate you. As a small child, my mom keep cooking down to a minimum. Due to heating the house. Windows open and a wet towel on the fan. Dropping the temperature. Wetting ourselves down would help as well. Lots of ice water.

    Now I am in Anchorage, AK. Believe it or not we have no air condition. However, this summer has been very hot at times. Miserable. . . .

    Our upstairs is where the kitchen is and we cook enough for several days. We block the windows downstairs with sunblock curtains. The difference is close to 10 to 15 degrees.
    Dress with light weight clothing and keep our activities to the outdoors to a minimum.

    The heat is not forever and it will pass. Remembering the pass and looking into other
    methods will help for the future.

    • Good reminders. Once visited my MIL who lived in Eagle River, we went inland a bit to look around and I noticed the temp difference. Stay safe from those wildfires k?

  3. I am an ‘elder’, but when I was young, my mom would open the windows at night to let in the cooler air, but come morning, all windows would be closed as well as the shades and curtains. It kept the inside of the house relatively cool. Summer can be quite hot during daytime hours….so I do the same thing as mom did. With electricity, I have fans blowing the cooler night time air into the house.
    Recently, I bought 3 pair of light blocking curtains. I mean they totally block the light. (From Amazon, of course.) They get closed before I go to bed…so the morning sun is blocked from shining in the windows, heating up the room. It was really worth the money! Morning routine…close windows, close blinds or curtains. Keeps the house cool most of the day…at least 10 to 20 degrees cooler than outside. Luckily, we were able to get solar put in a few years back. No grid electricity…the switch is flipped to solar only. No feedback to the grid either. We have to be careful to keep electricity usage down during that time, but at least the freezer and refrigerator keep running! Our well is always on solar…thank goodness!

  4. It’s not just about temperature, whether hot or cold; humidity also needs to be considered. Having lived in dry climates and humid ones, it’s easier to deal with dry climates if/when water is available. Whenever I have lived in dry climates, when the high temps come, I pull out my janitorial quality spray bottles. You know the type, the ones which can be adjusted from fine spray to jet spray. While living in Utah and walking a paper route with my child, we both carried one; at times we sprayed ourselves, sometimes we would spray in front of us, then walk into it. I have those soil polymers too for which I have used in bandannas, for both around the neck and as a headband.
    Living in a humid area with high temps,totally different. The real challenge is taking the moisture OUT of the air. For those with internet during that grid down, this will help .
    In both cases, when I was first married, my first landlord gave me a tip. Get up as early as possible, open all the windows and doors (as possible). Allow the air to blow through the house. Then about ten a.m. or whenever you feel that temp rise–close the house up. This will keep it bearable until about 4 p.m. or so, it will get stuffy if your able to keep the house closed up. I haven’t been able to figure out. (Except to rig some way of having a fan move around the air. Where I live, we have a maritime afternoon breeze which helps then.
    SIDE NOTE: Friday, I went with my daughter to our county courthouse. Now, both she and I have one of these—the 10-in-1 credit card multitool . Well, they found mine but didn’t find hers. So mine was confiscated until I left, while she carried hers around inside. Did they pinpoint me for something? I dunno, it’s usually the normies which get that treatment not the disabled. lol Do preppers put off an odor or look? Again, perhaps, but I dunno. What’s your take? O good post, Gaye, I’ll be challenging myself with this heat wave we’re due for this next week. Sure love these challenges. 🙂 BTW: Basil makes a great companion for tomatoes and peppers, where we planted basil, the tomatoes and peppers are thriving while the ones companionless are just managing. another lesson learned.

  5. I’m looking forward to your post outlining your emergency travel kit. I haven’t been on an airplane in 10 years, but will be flying from the east coast to Arizona this fall. I’ve been working on a list of must-haves to add to my carry-on and would love to see your recommendations!

    • I live in Az. I just flew to Fla. When I landed I went to the nearest Wal mart and bought all the liquid items I would need for 7 days. When I flew home I left all the things with the kids. I ended up with less weight, no bottles breaking open and ruining clothes and luggage, and I didn’t have to lug around heavy suitcases on long lay overs. I did this one thing and it really pays off. In my carry on bag I have a pair of p.j..s. a tooth brush a change of clothes so if my luggage doesn’t make it I have something to sleep in and a fresh set of clothes. I have all medicines with me, cell phone, snacks, a bottle of water bought at the airport, pepper spray, and my credit cards are in a metal sleeve so my numbers can’t be stolen from my wallet. I hope this helps some.

  6. It rarely gets discussed, but the best way to deal with the heat (or cold) is to acclimate to it. My apartment AC quit working in 2008, and instead of calling to have it fixed, I learned to live without it. I’m 50 now, and I deal with the heat using fans, open windows, and, when the heat is worst, a small portable evaporative cooler. Where I live the heat is low humidity; it would be much less livable in a muggy place like the South or Midwest.

  7. We also do the open windows at night and close them during the day. I actually do this for a couple weeks when summer starts if it’s cool enough at night and not humid. It is the humidity that kills. When our power was out last July, we sat out side in the shade since there was a breeze which helped keep you cooler. We also use the spray bottles and I have a few battery powered personal fans. Actually one is a combo spray bottle/fan that my husband picked up at an amusement park.

    On the Disaster class by Coursera, I found it not a good use of my time. I gave up after the second week. There was quite an extreme of students, some were super Prepper’s and others were new and just looking for information. There was good basic information, however the “super Prepper’s” took over the discussion board and were scaring the new people. It was ridiculous because there was no real moderation on the discussion. I took the class last year, so it may be improved by now so ymmv.

  8. I’m surprised no one mentioned sleeping on the floor as a way to deal with no AC or CAC. Which do you prefer over carpet: tile, concrete, vinyl, or dirt? And, what’s the best way to get back up?

    The last few months I have been testing the cheap spray can of cooking oil which I applied liberally to my push mower last Fall as a potential last resort to prevent rust from forming and to act as a lubricant on outdoor tools and equipment. It is working great. When I pulled the mower out of the leaky damp shed, unlike years prior, it looked the exact same as when I put it in last Fall. The spray does get a bit tacky, I wouldn’t spray it on areas that get handled often or brushed up against, but it is nothing much reeally. I thought maybe the heat of the Sun would melt the spray off, or dry it out, but not so far. The spray does attract and hold particles more than any other wax or WD-40 type of stuff I have used. The final test will come this Fall when I wash everything down. I think the key is to make sure everything is completely dry before applying the spray as I imagine the spray would trap moisture and cause rust to form.

    In place of a gas powered weed-whacker I used a manual Grass Whip to lop the tops off the weeds growing in my lawn. it saved me from having to mow and got me to thinking about the need to control growth near buildings in order to attempt to control insects. I thought about buying an old-fashioned reel mower. …Every now and then I drive past a particular property where the lawn was transformed into one which needs no mowing. Up until now I’d just read about them, but to see it up close, is something else. I intend to talk to the owner about it. The time is never right though. Like yesterday when I asked a 75 year old woman about a lantern she had in her shopping cart. She just went on and on. She sure was lively for a 75 year old. I haven’t been around any in awhile and I forget what it’s like. She volunteered her age to me slightly as if she were apologizing. I should have asked if I could see her lantern collection she described to learn more about them, but I just wasn’t in the mood to even think it.

    Also, I put together a “Tornado Bag”. I put snacks, drinks, cups and space blankets (among other things) into a cooler and set it in the best spot to be in when a tornado warning sounds. Pointed this out to those who might be stragglers as the warnings sound and they stop to get a snack and drink on the way. … it’s almost as bad as trying to grab the cat from under the back of the couch while exiting a burning building. Imho.

    I opened the battery compartment on a head-band type flashlight for the first time. I learned I do not want to have to do that in the dark.

    I tested burning an unprotected candle outside. They worked better than I thought they would. I placed them behind some flower pots to block the slight breeze. Then I learned how attractive the flying JuneBug beetle thought those flames were. Just one JuneBug can smother a candle. And then the JuneBug catches on fire. Lots of potential problems there.

    I imagine a good candle lantern would stop the JuneBugs, but small moths? Perhaps. Point: to flashlights and glowsticks.

    I noticed Energizer claims their batteries now last 12 years in storage. I like the competition going on between them and Duracell. I wonder, if they proclaim a 12 year period, ‘officially’ …will that battery really last 15 or 20 years? 25? Heh, Who will emerge as the next ‘Mountain House’ of the battery world? [I’m really impressed by the M.H. testing BTW, thanks for that info.] Anyway, that all prompted me to replace the dead battery in a smoke detector. The detector has a battery charge level indicator on it and I noticed the cheap no-name brand battery I bought a year ago was less than half charged. I’m glad I only bought a few.
    I wonder how the charge level relates to the guarantee by the battery companies?

    The Wal-mart in the upscale part of my city never had a gun sales counter, until this month. They also have a new section in their sporting goods area labeled something like, Survival Prep. It was mostly a collection of items they sell in the camping area. I just thought it was interesting. There weren’t any bare shelves, everything looked fully stocked, well, except for .22.

    SunJack Lightstick, eh? I’ll have to read that next.

  9. In the less humid areas battery/solar powered swamp coolers can get a bedroom from 100’s to 80’s and at night to high 70’s you can rest ..
    There are dozens of DIY’s .;. or you can roll your own… if you are a pack rat and keep pieces and parts 🙂
    While evaporation is a really good way to cool things off .. in the Southeast where I live .. high humidity makes that much less efficient.. but even 4-5 degrees is a plus .. I lived no AC t all for a long time.. before i turned into an AC baby. Misted water and moving fans is about the best you can do.. Alcohol evaps quickly and can cool someone down that is having and issue ..
    Sleep on the floor .. cook away from where you rest.. sleeplessness is the biggest issue we had.. Stay under cover mid-day and work AM and Evening (figure out the “skeeters” though)..

    I’ll also say .. that my Grand father had root cellars .. lots of options.. But basically dirt dug up and mounded around and entry .. leaving a depression about 6ft deep .. a small room .. The ground keeps temps moderate .. water and roots don’t freeze, nor do they get so hot to spoil.
    We had cantaloupe and watermelon “Shellacked”.. is what he said .. While not great it was edible.

    I remember there to be a very marked difference in temps when I walked in .. of course I was 10 so .. take that with a grain of salt .. everything is exaggerated at that age..
    He did say that when he was growing up in Alabama .. they slept the “bad” parts of summer in the root cellar… I may have to try that one when I get a “round-to-it”.. sigh! I’d be interested if anybody does one before I do. I mean a room not buried coolers and the like .. I have a friend that digs in his Aqua-ponics Talapia containers and runs his hot house no heat and they do not freeze, nor does the water he uses to irrigate with it.. so it seem plausible ..

  10. I’m responding to your recommendation of the plastic lids for mason jars. I’ve used them on both regular and wide-mouth jars and wouldn’t recommend them at all. They’re not water-tight and therefore probably not air-tight either. Many others complain about this in the Amazon comments section. I stored home-made herbal tinctures in them and found that the slight rocking motion of my RV as I drove caused spillage. Hopefully, the tinctures weren’t ruined. You can test them yourself by holding your jar upside down or just tilting it. I tried inserting a Tattler ring inside that plastic lid, but that didn’t prevent spills. I finally stopped the leakage by placing the normal flat canning lids over the jars before screwing on the plastic lids. However, at that point, I’m not sure what I gained over normal canning lids other than a nicer looking lid that won’t rust and is easier to label.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I use mine to store dry goods for day to day use so it never occurred to me that being air-tight would be an issue. I will go do some testing so I can report back in an upcoming Survival Buzz. I so appreciate your letting me know!

  11. I’m thinking that this does not pose a problem for the honey I have in glass jars with plastic lids.

    Also, all day I’ve been thinking: 112 degrees vs. 68 degrees. It’s funny how I’d trade ya, and days like these,… i think it’s partially why SnowBirds go to Az.

    There’s a slightly cool and quite delightful breeze blowing outside right now, but you couldn’t tell from looking at a flag or the leaves on the trees, according to them, it’s dead calm outside. Inside is clammy calm, too. Open the windows and it winds up hot and uncomfortable inside,… but only yesterday, it was the opposite, with similar conditions. Justa slight twist in the weather and the inside is toast.


  12. I live in Texas and it seems to be always hot to me.When electricity is out I pull out my collars I made with these crystals that hold ten times their weight in water. soak them in cool water for a few minutes then I have a great cooling collar for around my neck on those pressure points . i also made some for the top of the head too for wearing baseball caps. mist with cool water as they warm up lasts for hours when done let them dry out well then put away. if they get musty smelling just wash by hand with warn sudsy water.. i have also been known to stay in a pool or take cool showers.thanks for answering my question about the long term food items.

    • What are the crystals you use and what do you mean by “collars you make”? Sounds interesting.

  13. I’ve lived in Arizona since 1990 and never experienced a power outage during the summer. Perhaps it is because we have the largest (reportedly) nuclear power plant in the nation sitting to the west of the city.

    I would like to direct my fellow readers to a recent article posted on the Graywolf website. (See Graywolf is a prepper living in the Phoenix area who offers solid information without the doom and gloom drama. That is also one of the main reasons that I read the Backdoor Survival website….no fear mongering – just helpful, actionable information.

    Anyway, Graywolf has written a wonderful article regarding how to build your own non-electric swamp cooler for use during the hottest months of the year here in Phoenix. The article includes pictures and detailed instructions. I am not mechanically inclined, but I think even I can follow the clearly presented instructions. Apparently, Graywolf uses one of these devices on a regular basis in his home to reduce his electric bill, which in Phoenix can reach to $300+ per month. Yikes!

  14. I lived for nearly 20 years in Arizona, Phoenix and Tucson. For about half that time my vehicle had no or inadequate air conditioning ! So I think I know a thing or two about coping with the heat. 😀
    Firstly–head for the Shade. it can be ten to fifteen degrees cooler in the shade–enough that you can feel the difference.
    Secondly–Drink water ! don’t wait until you’re thirsty–you’re already dehydrated by then. If you’re doing physical labor, you might want to think about adding some electrolytes (calcium, potassium, magnesium) to your drink.
    Thirdly, in a dry climate, the idea of getting yourself wet and using evaporative cooling really does work ! I did this when I’d get hot in those vehicles I mentioned.
    Also, in a grid-down in any climate, battery-operated fans can be a godsend. I used both of mine last year in Iowa after we had a derecho (high wind) event and the power was out for three days.

    • I to have lived in Az over 40 years. I wet a bandana tie it around neck and it lowers my body temp immediately. We shut the blinds use fans and we rest day time hors then when the desert cools down we open windows and turn on fans it cools the entire house down. We have hammocks and sleep outside on them when we have had a power outage but that hasn’t been but 6 times in 40 years.

  15. I’ve lived in more than a few hot locations with power and without. Here some things I picked up.

    Open the windows and shades at night. Close the windows and every shade during the day (and keep them closed). That one step is incredibly important.

    Use a swamp cooler, place a box of ice in front of a fan. We used that extensively in Louisiana.

    Use hand held fans, those Japanese ones do work very well.

    Have a bath tub or a pan with a low level of water in the bottom. Use it to cool your feet off throughout the day. We used to use one for the whole household.

    Try to avoid activities that require excessive exertion in the heat. If you feel at all wobbly, stop what you are doing immediately and head for the shade and cool off.

    Good luck!

  16. The section in Wal-mart was called, Emergency Prep.
    I had to go back for something so I checked.

    I noticed that the many stores which used to carry the crank emergency radios do not carry them at this time of year. Seems like every store had them last Winter. Even department clothing stores.

    …Do people only buy those radios in order to give them away as a Christmas holiday present? Not for themselves? Seems that way.

    I eventually found an overpriced one, five stores later, for 50 bucks. I kept walking.

    Emergency Prep.

  17. Keeping cool in the south is not easy. No matter what you do, you cannot expect to achieve the same cooling as if you were in an a/c room. My parents were much older than my friend’s parents and I got a look into a world that most kids never learned about.
    One thing to keep in mind is that up until 50ish or so years ago, most homes did not have a/c. What we suffer through, as hot, was a normal summer day for them. They had generations of acclimation while we have none. For the really hot days my momma would tell me to stick my arms into a pot of cold water (the cooler the better), stick my feet into a tub or cool water, apply a cold towel to my neck, get wet and stand in front of a fan (yes even in humid areas), strips of flannel soaked in water in front of the window while a fan placed outside brings the air in the house and hits the wet flannel. You need to use a heavy fabric that will not dry out as quickly for this method. At night, jump into a cold shower and get soaked (naked, undies or even a bathing suit) and lie under a ceiling fan or have a fan blow on you and keep a spray bottle filled with ice water or wash cloth and a bowl of ice water by the bed to dip into when you wake up dry and hot. If no ice, then of course use cool water with a fan blowing on that too. If there is no power, your wet body will still be much cooler than if it were dry, if there is any breeze. Lots of people are going to say “yuk who wants to sleep all damp?” but I say bring it on if it helps me sleep. Many people slept outside on the ground to keep cool too. However, if you are in a mosquito ridden area, other precautions need to be taken as well. The goal is to cool down and not expect to be as comfortable as if you did have a/c.

  18. I took the Coursera Disaster Preparedness course in January 2014. The class participants were from a number of states and countries so you got a good feel for different thought processes and what people were facing in their daily lives. One of my “classmates” was from the Ukraine and was dealing with an invasion at the time. I learned a lot from the class; it certainly made me look at things a bit differently and I would like to take it again. For me, it was well worth my time.


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