According to the people who predict these things, the Midwest is about to see some serious heat. Temperatures in the region are expected to rise above 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it’ll feel more like 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit once humidity is factored in. That’s bound to get pretty uncomfortable. For all our readers getting set to brave the heat, here are a few tips for how to stay cool during a heat wave.
Before the fact
If you have time to prepare, you’ll want to do the following:
1. Invest in an air conditioner. Your body will thank you, even if your wallet does not.
2. Install window reflectors in your house to reflect heat back out. These can be as simple as a sheet of aluminum foil over a piece of cardboard. Place them in your windows between the drapes and the glass. Close your drapes and pretend you’re in a science fiction movie.
3. Put weather-stripping around your doors and windows to keep cool air in and warm air out.
During a heat wave
When the wave strikes, fight back by following these tips:
1. Stay indoors.
2. Drink lots of fluids. Preferably water. Avoid sugar-heavy, caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. Only get drunk if you really, really have to.
3. Stay downstairs. Heat rises, and unless you’ve got air conditioning, your upstairs rooms are going to feel like furnished ovens.
4. Eat small meals frequently, as opposed to a few big meals in a day. Try to go easy on the salt, as it just makes you thirsty.
5. Don’t leave children or pets in cars. In-laws are okay.
6. Wear loose, lightweight clothing in light colors. No black leather pants. Sorry, guys.
7. If working outdoors, take frequent breaks. In fact, do this if you’re working indoors, too.
8. Turn off unused electronics and lights, as these produce extra heat. Try not to use an oven or other heat-generating kitchen appliances when preparing food.
9. If you don’t have air conditioning, consider spending your day in an air-conditioned public building, such as a shopping mall or a movie theater.
10. Buy a box fan. Sit in front of it all day.
11. Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature. Ask your girlfriend to join you.