Coping with extreme temperatures

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This week temperatures are forecast to rise into what’s been described as ‘brutal’ conditions with a real danger to life. There are things you can do to limit your exposure in the coming extreme temperatures, but if you’ve left it until now to buy portable air conditioner units you’re probably too late. Marketplaces are unlikely to be able to deliver until late in the week with stocks in fulfilment already depleted. Over the weekend, checking mainstream retailers like Argos, B&Q, Curry’s, John Lewis and the like, none could be found in stock for collection and again deliveries will be too late in the week to help.

What are extreme temperatures?

So what are these extreme temperatures we can expect? In old fashioned Farenheit which many still will understand, 70’s is a nice summer day, 80’s is hot, 90’s is unbearable. Well this week it’s expected that much of the country will see extreme temperatures of over 38C and that’s tipped over 100F. It’s also worth noting that temperatures are measured in the shade. When you’re in full sunlight the effective heat will be much worse and if you try walking barefoot on sand, concrete or tarmac you’ll be burning the soles of your feet.

Coping with heat

The very best thing you can do is open all your doors and windows early in the morning when it’s coolest to purge the heat from your building – I’m writing this at 5.30am on Sunday morning and it’s almost chilly! Then when the sun starts to rise it’s time to shut all your doors and windows and draw your curtains or blinds over windows facing the sun.

Don’t travel on Monday or Tuesday unless you absolutely have to, although for many a drive in a car with air conditioning turned on full might be the only respite you get for a couple of days. Trains and underground travel are definitely contra-indicated unless for essential purposes.

For warehouses, often with metal roofs, it’s not going to be pleasant unless you have air conditioning, but again open all bay doors early in the day and, if possible, reschedule shifts to start in the early hours of the morning and try to get the bulk of your work down before the sun is above the horizon. The peak temperatures are likely to be between about 11am and 3pm, but the bad news is that there will be little relief on Monday night with temperatures holding in the mid 20s overnight.

Drinking plenty of water will be key and if you have to travel make sure you have water with you. It probably shouldn’t need saying, but steer clear of the booze as your bodies will need all their resources to cope. It may seem strange but keeping windows shut and curtains on sun facing windows closed will make a big difference but bear in mind it may be cooler outside in the shade, especially if there is a breeze.

Cooling showers will definitely help, and if temperatures do end up in the high 30s as forecast you probably won’t need too much encouragement to stay out of the sun as even breathing the hot air will soon encourage you back into the cool.

Finally, don’t forget to check on elderly or vulnerable relatives and friends – make sure they are coping, know how to minimise the impact of heat on their homes and don’t for instance throw their doors and windows open at the height of the heat each day in an attempt to cool their houses – in fact try not to go out at all as every time you open a door you’re letting another blast of hot air into your property.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for this. No e-commerce company has ever survived a summer day before.
    Not sure what this industry would do without this life-saving advice.

  2. While I was in Japan I noted that a lot of the shop keepers and wash down the area around their shop in the afternoon sweltering heat. Originally I though it was to keep the dust from being brought inside but subsequently realised that the evaporation generates local cool spots which were very noticeable esp when the air was very still.

    Probably lots of other tricks to learn from around the world before we all try to climb inside our fridges 🙂

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