With recent heat waves here and there (I write these posts ahead of time, it’s actually Friday the 29th of June), and Ohio is about to get some really high temperatures this weekend, but elsewhere, parts of the U.S. and even the U.K. have already been hot, some places uncharacteristically so…so today I am grateful for three things: weather forecasting, electrical power, and AIR CONDITIONING.
At the moment, it’s 91 degrees (32.7 Celsius) , which is pretty hot for Cleveland Ohio, but tomorrow, temperatures are forecast to hit 96 degrees (35.5) and Sunday, 95 degrees (35) with high humidity and heat indexes over 100 degrees (37.77) making for very dangerous weather in a region where many people don’t have air conditioners in their homes. Even if they do, widespread use increases the likelihood of power outages.
However, thanks to weather forecasting getting more and more accurate, and emergency management in local areas noting local hazards, planning accordingly with Homeland Security, and improvements in getting local citizens to prepare for all kinds of weather related hazards, we can minimize some of the risks, especially for animals and at-risk populations such as the elderly and disabled.
For instance, thanks to advanced weather forecasting, heat advisories have gone out through various communications channels, and individuals can prepare in advance for even a power outage. I have past experience growing up in South Florida, dealing with hurricanes, which cause power outages that last for days, or weeks. You learn to make do; and one thing you can do is freeze gallons and half gallons of water ahead of time.
Why? First, a frozen solid gallon or two of water in the freezer will keep your freezer colder longer, or you can switch one or both to your refrigerator to keep it colder. Second, as it melts, cold water for drinking. Third, if you get overheated, it can double as an emergency ice pack, though small bottles of frozen water work better for this, and even better, a few quart size plastic Ziploc bags also work very well and are reusable.
You can also prepare pets with adequate shelter and water; check on elderly family members, make arrangements with family members who don’t have air conditioning to spend the time with family members or friends who do, and locate other places such as indoor malls, or emergency cooling centers that may open in some locations especially if heat waves persist for long periods of time.
So, I am grateful for the weather forecasts; I stashed a couple of gallons of water, plus some extra smaller water bottles in the freezer tonight so that by tomorrow afternoon they should be frozen solid. I do have air conditioning but I also know there is a higher likelihood that with the entire region being as hot as it will be, everyone with an air conditioner or fan is going to be powering up too. Power outages may be likely.
My place gets rather warm with no power and I have four cats. And I also have an elderly relative who does not have air conditioning. She does animal rescue and fostering so I will be checking on her periodically over the weekend. By having warning early enough, I can plan accordingly and stay as cool as possible during the worst of the heat. So, thank you meteorologists, the power grid, and air conditioning!!!