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How to Survive a Heat Wave: Learn the Basics

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As summer rolls around, the likelihood of seeing more heatwaves affecting the nation increases.

Being ready for the worst is a wise decision if you live somewhere that already experiences higher temperatures than most.

Preparation is the key to surviving a heatwave, including having a backup plan for lost power, access to clean drinking water, and having an emergency disaster kit ready. 

You should prepare your house for extreme conditions by installing weather stripping, insulation, a home generator, and window coverings.

Being ready for a heatwave now is the wisest course of action, especially in light of the changing climate and the threat of rising temperatures in the future.

We’re here to help you get ready for hotter temperatures and ensure that you and your family are safe, no matter the conditions outside.

Increased Number of Heatwaves in the World

heat wave

The thought of living through a heatwave isn’t something that most people had to worry about in the past, but today, it’s a more likely threat.

According to the EPA, data analyzed from 1961 through 2019 shows that heat waves are significantly increasing in frequency, average length, number of days between them, and highest temperature recorded.

A high-pressure system that pushes down during a heatwave traps the air, preventing rain. It also ensures that the warm air stays on the ground and has nowhere to escape, causing a dramatic rise in temperature until the system clears.

We can classify a heatwave as a period when temperatures exceed the usual average for your area, despite the lack of an official definition. This could be just for one day or last for a few, and you may notice a rise in the temperature of up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit during this period.

Common Issues with Heatwaves

A heatwave is more than just a hot day; it can cause a variety of other problems, such as death and serious illness, so preparation is essential.

During a heatwave, there are many serious side effects and consequences that can occur, including:

Ill health

now feeling well

The most concerning side effect of a heatwave is its damage to our health, and when your body temperature rises to 103 Fahrenheit, you will likely develop heatstroke.

Heatstroke and heat exhaustion can make you feel confused, quicken your pulse, cause you to lose consciousness, cause you to stop sweating, and even lead to death.


A blackout or energy disruption is common during a heatwave due to higher energy consumption and the strain that the heat puts on the system.

Sometimes, the town may cut the energy supply during a planned power outage to reduce the risk of further damage.

Water Shortages

drinking water on a hot day

During a heatwave, increased water consumption could potentially lead to a water shortage in your town.

In this type of serious situation, there may be a planned disruption to the water supply, and you should receive a warning, but it can still catch some people by surprise.

Emergency Services are Under Strain

Emergency services will experience strain due to the higher rate of medical emergencies, such as people suffering from heatstroke.

If you require medical assistance, there could be an extended wait time during a heatwave.

6 Tips for Getting Prepared

A heatwave is a natural disaster like any other, and it requires thoughtful planning to make sure you’re prepared.

Here are some simple tips to follow to ensure your household is prepared for rising temperatures.

1. Know the Weather

changes in the weather

Staying up-to-date with weather forecasts so that you know when there’s a warning of a heatwave is essential and the responsible thing to do.

Those who live in areas affected by heatwaves or with warmer summers should prepare their home in advance for upcoming events.

2. Have a Survival Kit

Whether you live somewhere that experiences heatwaves or not, every home should have a survival kit.

In this kit, you’ll keep emergency supplies like food and water, first aid, filtration, sanitation, and shelter in case you need to leave home suddenly and survive on your own.

Pack extra supplies during the winter to meet the additional requirements of surviving a heat wave, such as more water and moisture-wicking clothes.

3. Prepare Your House

If you live in an area where heat waves are common, you should prepare your home with weather stripping, insulation, and window treatments.

Some preparation before summer starts will pay off significantly when it gets warmer.

Many homes also invest in a generator due to potential issues with energy supply, and if you can afford one, it’s a smart buy for all kinds of natural disasters.

4. Stay Hydrated

drinking water outside

Aim to drink more water than usual during a heatwave, but without overdoing it.

The recommended daily intake of water is around eight 8-ounce glasses, and during the summer, an extra two glasses.

In a heatwave, you should have at least 10 8-ounce glasses of water to keep hydration up.

5. Know How to Treat Heatstroke

Take some time to learn what to do if someone develops a heat stroke, as well as how to treat them.

In order to treat this condition, you should immediately cool the person down in a cool bath and place cool clothes on them, but avoid giving them any water or drinks.

Call 911 and ask them to rest while they wait for emergency services to arrive.

6. Beating the Heat

As heatwaves become more intense and more likely to occur, being prepared is the only defense we have against them.

With some carefully planned supplies and a home that’s ready to protect itself from rising temperatures, you’ll be better equipped to beat the heat and survive with no negative effects.


Prepare your home for a heatwave, one of the more extreme weather conditions, with minimal effort.

Read on for some commonly asked questions about survival preparedness to ensure you’re prepared for all types of weather.

How can you prepare for a flood?

If you reside in a flood-prone area, you should build or upgrade your house to withstand these conditions. Make sure you elevate items like furnaces and electrical panels so they don’t come into contact with water, reinforce your home if you live in or near a floodplain, and have an emergency survival kit ready.

What should you do before a snowstorm?

Before winter, prepare your home for a snowstorm by insulating the walls and attic and installing storm windows. Stay indoors during a forecasted snowstorm, ensure your survival kit is well-packed, and keep salt ready for de-icing.

How much water do you need in the heat?

To avoid heat stress during higher-than-normal temperatures, you should aim to drink a cup of water every 20 minutes when working, with the preference being to take smaller sips rather than large amounts. However, never drink more than 48 ounces of water per hour, as it can be damaging to your health.