Keeping Cool in California (or Michigan for that matter)

By Kathrine C: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Temperatures in California are at an all time high and we at Where it’s AT would like to share some tips and assistive technology (AT) that might help get you safely through the recurring heat waves.

Be aware of weather forecasts and approaching temperature changes. Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS). Here is the site listing the frequencies for the 35 stations in California.

Be aware of weather forecasts and approaching temperature changes. Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS). Here is the site listing the frequencies for the 35 stations in California.

You should be aware that experiencing heat is not only a matter of high air temperatures, humidity can dramatically impact how your body experiences heat. The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined.

(experienced temperature)

To find out how your current weather falls on the heat index, simply visit the National weather service website and enter your city and state or ZIP code into the “Local forecast” search bar in the upper left-hand corner of the site. You get a variety of information, including your area’s current heat index. The number indicated is the effective temperature a body will experience while being in your area that that time.

Stay indoors.
Do you best to stay inside from the hours of 10am to 4pm and limit any other time spent outside.

To be sure that your AC is running as efficiently as possible, resulting in cooler environments, lower strain on the energy grid and lower energy costs, you can:

Check AC ducts for proper insulation.
Be sure to clean or replace AC filters.
Install a smart thermostat, like a Google Nest Thermostat, for features like voice control and precise control of your environment which can enable you to conserve energy, not only saving you money on your energy bill but also lowering strains on the power grid that can cause power outages.
Purchase an air/room sensor to easily control your home’s air conditioning. You can set them to turn off all your AC when no one is in the home, only have rooms that have current occupants running AC, and create schedules, all working toward controlling your heat safety and energy consumption.
A home generator is a good backup in case of a power outage.
It is ideal to have air conditioning in your home, but not everyone lives in areas where air conditioning is common, has the finances to afford an AC unit, or they could simply own an AC unit, but be experiencing a brown out or PSPS. Since a few hours of air conditioning can help mediate heat-related illness. A few options can go a long way.

Find a place where you can spend peak heat hours during heat events, and please consider your area’s social distancing regulations and recommendations. You can look into visiting your local;

  • Library
  • Mall
  • Community center
  • Theater
  • The home of a friend or relative who has air conditioning
  • Public cooling center

To find a designated public shelterText SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 93301).

If none of the above places are accessible, you can fortify your home against the heat using some of the following tips:

  • When the temperature is 90° or higher, fans alone can’t prevent heat-related illness, in fact, they actually push around hot air and can raise body temperature. So, if using fans, put a dish of ice in front your fans to cool the air being moved around.
  • Be sure to clean or replace fan filters.
  • Hang heat/light blocking curtains and keep them shut.
  • Use heat/light reflecting window film or removable window reflectors.
  • Inch-thick insulation panels with reflective backing are cheap and can be placed in windows to reflect heat and block and non-reflected heat from entering a space, just be sure that they are easily removed, for safety concerns.
  • Purchase personal air conditioners in a small room and keep the family to that cooled room during peak heat hours.
  • If installing window fans or air conditioners, be sure to insulate the points of installation.
  • Check that weather stripping is in good condition to keep hot air out and keep cool air in.
  • Stay on the lowest floor in your home, as hot air rises and cool air sinks.
  • Take a cool bath or short shower to help regulate your body temperature.
  • Cool off using wet washcloths or spray bottles on your wrists and neck (Try out these awesome cooling wristbands or mountable battery operated misting fan!).
  • Purchase a hydro-powered sleep system, a cooling weighted blanket and a cooling pillow to turn your bed into a cool haven.

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