We live on the East coast and have been deluged with constant rain for a week, and we are expecting more rain for another week. Fire seems impossible.
Yet, out west it is burning Hell’s fire of scorching temperatures and burning flames engulfing hundreds of homes and threatening towns. Can you imagine flames moving as a wall against you, some 200 feet high?
There are a number of factors that will impact on the rainy East Coast with this unbearable heat and disruption of thousands of now homeless people. We could start with the ranchers who are losing the grazing for their animals with subsequent non-availability of meat in the market place and what is available will be higher priced. Farmers with vast fields of vegetables, grapes, lettuce, cantaloupes etc. will dry up with the loss of water for irrigation. Probably the worst scenario is the drop in Water to Lake Mead, supplied from the non-existent snow packs of the last winter, resulting in the great Hoover Dam being not able to provide electricity to millions of people in the South Western states.
Having lived out west decades ago, the west was intolerable. With out air conditioning-we had to sleep outside under the porch roof, gasping for cool air as the temperature hovered at 105 F at sunrise. Today, with climate change it is hovering at 120F and rising as summer takes hold in July, August, and September. What people do not understand is that each degree of temperature rise exponentially “boosts” real felt heat higher that what the thermometer says. I would surmise that the thermometer would reach 130F this summer in the desert regions of the western states.
There are some things you can consider if you choose to remain there and have the resources! This article, as a how to, focuses on heat. Normally I focus on cold, but we need to talk about Hell.
National Geographic has an interesting article talking about how much heat you can stand. 107F and you are dead from dehydration; 104F and you become a prune from dehydration. The bottom line you require a quart and a half each hour and get in the shade of a cooling center.
I have modified my truck (again) to tolerate the increasing heat. I have replaced the anti-freeze with a coolant especially designed to keep the temperature down. I have removed the thermostat that restricts water flow. I have replaced the shroud around the radiator after hosing the radiator clean. The last project on the cooling of the engine is installing an additional 2100-RPM fan on the opposite side of the radiator to add airflow when the regular factory fan is insufficient. By the way factory fans are designed, at least in my truck, to slip stream stop at 35MPH and let normal air push through the radiator -saving gas is the consideration. However at 130F I want two fans going, and if I am 4 wheeling or winching I need extra cooling. Keep in mind that the road itself is a frying pan, much hotter than the air temperature. Coolant and these HD extra coolant 5 blade factory replacement fans and electric 2100-RPM fans are available from www.JCW.com , or local specialty automotive stores.
I am always amazed how automotive tires hold up on the road. Your tires might not if the tire air pressure is wrong. You must inflate or deflate the tires, according to the manufacturer after the tire is cool, not after driving or sitting in the hot sun. Worn tires blow out at the wrong time. I look for six ply tread and four ply walls with stainless steel air terminals for refilling. Do not forget airscrew down caps.
Your auto air conditioner probably needs a recharge. You can buy the kit at Wal*Mart or any automotive store. Check the belts. Tighten to specifications. Replace worn belts.
Check oil constantly- ignore gauge reliability. Hot weather is bad for the engine with lightweight reclaimed oil. Go a heaver grade made for trucks. In the summer I use straight weight 30 or 40 weight Texaco blend oil.
If you really want to get into the swing of things, remove the oil pan, clean it and install a HD, or racing oil pump.
Check your fuel lines and gasoline fuel pump pressure. Carry a big fire extinguisher.
For home cooling, moving to the mountains helps however if you are stuck in the valley-such as Phoenix, you are doomed to Hell’s heat. Although your new air conditioners in each room window are new, the sun side keeps it toasty and inefficient. Run these at night and switch rooms. Plant trees for shade. Run the rain run off gutters to these trees in case it rains.
Consider if you can afford it to put on a double roof with an air gap. Rotating wind turbines work, you have to cool your attic, or the heat pushes down into the house. Stay out of the attic in the summer, as temperatures will exceed 150F. Big strong attic fans help. The more amperage the attic fan has the more powerful and they last longer. These are used in conjunction with your air conditioners. Notice I am promoting a plural room air conditioner as different people require or perceive different temperatures and also remember the hot side of the house. As the outside temperature goes up, so does your electricity consumption. I am not in favor of one whole house unit as when it breaks down, you are again gasping outside.
Speaking of fans if you are outside in the shade or evening 105F, a misting big floor fan really works well. Connected to a garden hose the volume of water, however small, is a mist, and it will drop heat 20F in some regards.
Drink more water-avoid sodas.
For the hikers on vacation recall that hundreds yes hundreds of illegals pass away from the heat trying to gain the USA each year, and the worst is in the summer. Hikers are advised to hike in the cooler fall and spring and drink water.
There are going to be “brown outs” and loss of electricity for unknown periods. If you buy a permanent mounted generator install it on the cool side of the house. There are also water-cooled generators that may be advantageous. Consider the special coolant.
Wear a big brim hat, sun protective dark sunglasses, and a neck scarf. Avoid shorts and suntans. You do not need to burn up. On line, are specialty stores that sell desert and high mountain clothing.
At this point you might, if living in the artic, think I am extreme. Listen Well; high temperatures can result in death.
Do not leave pets and children in your car while you shop. As for children and especially dogs, have an outside kiddy $15.00 wading pool; bring the pets in the house like I do.
Drink water, and if all fails, locate a “Cooling Center”.
Old Timer in the shade,
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