England, and from what I hear, Europe, is undergoing a heatwave.
Temperatures in the UK are around 30°C. Where I am it’s gonna hit 32°C in the next couple of hours.
To you Americans, you Australians, that’s nothing. It’s a mild day, we’re weak, whatever, I’ve heard it all, the thing is, WE AREN’T EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THIS.
The average temperature in the UK in July is 17°C. It is in the 30’s today. We simply are not used to it. We are used to rain and sleet and hail and wind, not heat. And our heat is a damp heat. A humid heat.
Because of all the sea around us we have an extremely humid climate if it gets warm. The air literally feels heavy right now. I am struggling to cool down because the humidity is fucking with my sweat, and as a trans man, the high amounts of water in the air, combined with my binder make it difficult to breathe, and I assume a lot of asthmatic people have a similar problem.
When temperatures in the UK are like this, people die. Don’t laugh about it. It is serious. It may not seem like much to you, it may not seem warm to you, but in a similar heatwave in 2013, 760 people died.
Our infrastructure is not built to cope with this. The house I live in, for instance, was built when the Thames still used to freeze over. It was built to be warm. The walls are thick, the windows are small, some rooms don’t even have windows that open, it was built with no though to air circulation, and this is one of the most common types of home in the UK. The UK government subsidises insulation. People fill every gap in their home with stuff that will keep the heat in. And nobody - literally nobody - has aircon. A lot of businesses don’t even have it. We have no use for it 99.9% of the time. Hell, I don’t even own a desk fan or even a hand held fan.
It is very different here to where you are. And we are used to and equipped for very different things. Instead of laughing, teach us how to stay cool. Instead of making jokes or quips, make info posts, and things that will help us.
Remember, this may be an average day to you, but to us it’s a heatwave. We cannot cope. And for some, particularly children and the elderly, it’s literally a matter of life and death.
Repeating this cause there’s another heatwave going on in Europe at the moment. This is reality for us.
A moment - or an ice bucket - for @wizzygold
Wow, I wouldn’t bat an eye at humid 32°C weather (a mild summer day, by all accounts here) but I also live in a two-bedroom apartment with two ACs for a reason. Can’t imagine going at it without the usual creature comforts people who are used to heat (think 50°C on Christmas) have.
Stay hydrated, for the love of God. And bathe in sunblock. BATHE.
At least in Valencia(Spain) people have fans, ceiling fans or even an …abanico, can’t remember the word, here? NOTHING
God, I can’t picture it. Take extra care, please.
Some other things to do!
Keep to basements if you can- warm air rises and cool air descends and all that. Idk if they keep even that insulated there.
If the temperature gets too much, ice baths can really help lower body temperature if and when you can. (I don’t mean running cool baths- I mean dumping some ice in your bath tub of water and sitting in it.) Keep in mind! Do not stay there for long periods of time, you can still get frost bite or whatever.
Key points for cooling down your body are: your wrists, back of your neck, stomach and chest, between your legs. Your hands and feet will get hot or cold quicker than anything else, but keeping them cool won’t cool you down- you gotta focus on your torso and such for a more dramatic effect.
Or even putting a bowl of ice around a fan can cool things down as well.
Wet your hair. WET. YOUR. HAIR. Leave it wet. If the dripping bothers you, dry it only enough that it’s not dripping. LEAVE IT WET.
Wear natural thin fabrics like cotton and linen; polyester is made of plastic and will not breathe. Light colors are better. Jump in the shower wearing them if you can. Wear them damp. (Yes, it’s okay to go underwear-less for this. Nobody likes damp panties all up their asscrack.)
Hang blankets over your windows. Wet them down. DON’T OPEN THE WINDOWS. Keep your shades drawn.
Cold wet towel on the back of your neck. Keep it cool. Put it in the freezer for 15 minutes before wearing. The first three minutes you’re going to want to die and then the next hour will be bliss. It will help cool your blood.
If you are lucky enough to own a fan, point it at the ceiling. Hot air rises, and this will circulate the air and more efficiently cool it.
Sleep under a damp sheet if you can deal with dampness on you.
Drink a lot of water. I live in the Sonoran Desert and where the standard American recommendation is a gallon of water per day, we are advised to drink 1.5 gallons. If you’re not peeing every few hours, you’re not drinking enough. Tea is okay. COFFEE AND SODA POP ARE NOT.
Make sure you have some salty snacks on hand. Sweating a lot and drinking a lot will fuck up your electrolytes, and you’ll want to replenish them. If you feel like you’re craving salt, you need it. Eat.
Juicy fruits and veggies like watermelon, peaches, and cucumbers are your friends. Eat them.
You probably won’t be very hungry during the day. That’s fine, but try to eat a sandwich or piece of fruit around lunchtime so your body doesn’t freak out and go into starvation mode. If you’re still doing afternoon tea, substitute fruit, finger sandwiches, or a similar small meal instead of cakes or muffins.
If you’re cooking dinner, do pan-fried instead of using your oven. If you don’t know how, look up some American recipes. We do a lot of seared and pan-fried here.
An American Who’s Also In A Heatwave (it’s 46C here right now) But Does This A Lot, And Wants You To Be Safe.
Just turned 28C and expected to be around 30-32 by 4pm-6pm. It means it gonna be a hot night. Take care, drink plenty and stay indoors
It was +36C today and I live in Siberia, so this is super useful
thank you so much for not disregarding this, right now the humidity is up to 81% where i live and it’s been averaging 26-27 degrees all day. my house has so much insulation in it (the walls, the attic, the floors) that it’s like living in an oven. i’m also asthmatic so this humidity is honestly causing me so many problems rn. thank you for all this info, hope your heatwave breaks soon
STICK A BOWL OF ICE BEHIND YOUR FAN. This cools the air quickly by drawing it over the cold ice. Sticking ice all around it also works, but it’s kinda inefficient? If you want more ice, stick one in front and behind the fan only.
If you have ice packs in the house, you can cool your pillow some by laying them across your pillow for the half hour before you go to bed.
Another alternative to damp sheets is sticking your sheets in the freezer a half hour before you go to bed. Heck, you could to this with your pillowcase too.
SLEEP AS CLOSE TO THE GROUND AS POSSIBLE. Even with AC, I do this every summer. You might not think it, but those few extra feet lower can make a huge difference in sleeping comfortably.
Leaving doors open (except for the ones to the outside) helps with airflow. If you have fans, sticking them in doorways can help keep air from stagnating in one room.
If you have a ceiling fan, set it to rotate counter-clockwise. Dunno why it works better in the summer that way, but it just does.
If it’s super humid, try turning on your bathroom and oven fans. Sure, they’re loud, but they’re very good at clearing away hot, humid air.
Yep. I live in the converted attic of an old, stone building. The walls are thick, the windows are small, there’s no fan or ac and the windows only open halfway.
Heatstroke isn’t a joke.
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