Pakistan at Risk: How to survive a heat wave without air conditioning?
Here's everything you need to know.
The biggest summer season challenge has made its way towards Pakistan – heat waves. Every year, heat waves strike the country during the peak of summer, leaving citizens melting when outside or inside.
Due to budget restraints, many Pakistanis are unable to afford air conditioning. Therefore, surviving extreme temperatures becomes a challenge for them. Here are ten ways to help you beat the heat even if you don’t have an air-conditioned home.
Beat the Heat with these ten tips:
1. Eliminate extra sources of heat
Incandescent light bulbs can generate unnecessary heat, as can computers or appliances left running. Eat fresh foods that do not require you to use the oven or stove to prepare.
2. Try to visit public buildings with air conditioning
3. Maintain an adequate level of hydration
You’ll need to consume more water than you usually do when it’s hot. If you’re sweating profusely, you will also need to replace electrolytes by eating a small amount of food with your water or drinking specially-formulated electrolyte replacement drinks. Thirst is the first sign of dehydration; you should drink sufficient fluids before you feel thirsty to prevent dehydration.
4. Don’t eat large, protein-rich meals
These meals can increase metabolic heat and warm the body.
5. Use box fans and ceiling fans
Promote air circulation throughout your home. Opening doors in the house and using box fans to push hot air outdoors can function as an “exhaust” system and draw cooler evening air into the house. In the cooler evenings, open all windows and promote as much air circulation as possible. When the sun rises, close all doors and windows, making sure to close curtains and blinds as well, to keep the indoors cool for as long as possible. When the outside air cools to a lower temperature than inside (usually in the evenings or at night), open up the windows and turn on the fans again.
6. Avoid caffeine
These substances can act as diuretics and promote dehydration.
7. Head downstairs
Since hot air rises, the upper stories will be warmer than the ground floor. A basement can be a cool refuge from the midday heat.
8. Take advantage of the cooling power of water
Fill buckets or basins and soak your feet. Wet towels and bandannas can have a cooling effect when worn on the shoulders or head. Take cool showers or baths, and consider using a spray bottle filled with cold water for refreshing spritzes throughout the day.
9. Recognize emergencies
Recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and true heat emergencies (heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, heatstroke). Call emergency services (115 and 1122) in the event of a heat emergency and try to cool the victim until help arrives.
10. DIY AC system
For a homemade “air conditioning” system, sit in the path of a box fan aimed at an open cooler or pan filled with ice.
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