Hot tips to survive a heatwave

Weather | January 2019

It’s been hot, there’s no doubt about that. So, lets get straight to it, we’ve done some research and here are the hottest tips around to keep cool during a heatwave.

1. DIY AC

You can do this a couple of different ways, but the easiest one – place a bowl or ice-cream container full of ice in front of a plug-in fan. The airflow will be colder after it passes the ice. Just make sure that you don't leave your ice box too close to the wiring and plugs; and keep an eye on it when it starts to melt.

If you want a more robust DIY AC, check out SuzelleDIY on YouTube.

2. DIY cold compress

Yep, more DIY. But again, this one’s easy and can be made with household items. Simply grab a clean sock, fill it with rice, tie up the open end and place in the freezer for about an hour. Now you’ve got yourself a nice cold pack for your forehead or the back of your neck.

3. Sleep like an Egyptian

No, not in a sarcophagus. The “Egyptian Method” of sleeping involves soaking your sheets in water right before going to bed. Here’s what you can do so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle: soak your sheet and run it through a spin cycle in the washing machine, your sheet will come out damp and not dripping. Put a towel or light blanket underneath you, then sleep with the damp sheet on top. Or if you don’t want your entire sheet damp, try it with clothing.

4. Drink like a fish

Make sure you’re staying hydrated and drink lots of water. Avoid alcohol as it can increase your body temp. The recommended intake is six to eight glasses of water a day, but when it’s hot you should be drinking much more, two to four glasses each hour!

5. Stay cool on the move

“Pre-cooling” your car before setting off on your journey isn’t the best use of your time. The AC works much better when the car is moving. Instead of cranking the AC when you’re parked, why not try and turn down the back windows and swing your door back and forth to force the hot air out before jumping in.

Got pets? Here’s some tips to help keep them cool during a heatwave.

Dogs:
  • Freeze your dog’s favourite treat in water for a nice ice lolly surprise.
  • Remember the three-second rule – place the palm of your hand on the ground, if it’s too hot to leave your palm there for three seconds, then it’s too hot for your pooches paws. Try to move your walks to first thing in the morning or later in the evening.
  • Set up a kids paddling pool – dogs like to swim too. Just make sure it’s small enough for them to get in and out of easily.
  • Buy a pet friendly sunblock – yes dogs (and cats) can burn too.
Cats:
  • Run a chilled bottle of drink across their tummy (if they let you). Or try a cold flannel.
  • Cats like to nap in warm weather, so don’t freak out if they’re sleepier than usual.
  • Sprinkle some ice cubes in their water bowl to keep it cooler for longer, and place some extra bowls around the house.
  • Try to brush your cat(s) more often in the heat to avoid any matted fur.

The SPCA has a range of tips for all pet owners, so check out their website to find more.