Heat Wave Kills
Since we live in California, we are always thinking about earthquakes. But the recent heat wave in the middle and eastern part of the US. reminds us that there are other emergencies, too – and they can be just as deadly.
Heat waves and storms go together.
Big differences between temperatures and air pressure create climate “events” that bring down electric power lines. That stops electricity to refrigerators, to air conditioners, to fans. That’s what happened last week and that’s what killed some people.
Could they have done things differently?
Some of them could probably have found safer places to ride out the storm. But most had no defense against the ultimate killer – the heat!
At night, no electricity means no light. Unless you have flashlights or lanterns. You can’t read, watch TV, cook, or repair things. You are pretty much stuck where you are, not moving.
During the day, no electricity means no air conditioning. . . for day after day after day, and at night, too.
- At home, you simply swelter. Meanwhile, all your food goes bad because your freezer and your refrigerator are off.
- Freezers and refrigerators at local stores are off, too, so they run out of supplies very quickly.
- And roads, the lifeline for supplies, may be blocked by downed trees and power lines.
What would YOU have done?
Whether it’s high winds or heavy rain that took out the electric service doesn’t matter. What does matter is whether people had water.
Water saves people two ways.
- When it’s hot, you need to drink. Steadily, and a lot. You can tell if you’re getting enough if you have to pee often, too.
- When it’s hot, you can spray or sprinkle yourself (your children and your pets) with water and let evaporation help keep skin temperatures down.
A couple of the people who died were hit by debris from the storm, or crashed because of rain. But most of the casualties simply succumbed to too much heat and too little water.
Don’t let this happen to you! Make sure you have water supplies at home and at work and enough to save someone else besides yourself. It’s the simplest preparation of all!
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