Question for those living in warmer climates... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

How are you (or your government) planning on dealing with the heat? Have "cooling centers" been designated?

I've seen some very nice Aussies on the board lately, and am concerned about the heat they might be dealing with soon. Heard that the heat around Alice Springs is a killer.

Best wishes to you all.

-- Deb M. (, November 19, 1999


We, in Hawai'i have little problem with excessive heat. Most of the homes on Kaua'i don't even have air conditioning. The trade winds keep us reasonably cool...

On the other hand, most desert heat is a dry heat. When I lived in the California desert, we didn't even have air conditioning. You either adapted or moved away. Or went inside/underground during the day and came out to work at night. That would be a viable alternative for those in hot climates.

-- Mad Monk (, November 19, 1999.

Hey Man, I'm just gone walk on the shady side of the street.Otherwise you'll find me liming under dat old mango tree.I don't plan on moving much once it gets past 10 am!

-- Liming Around (, November 19, 1999.


-- flora (***@__._), November 19, 1999.

People lived in hot climates for thousands of years before A/C was invented. Here in South Florida, I've gone through a couple of mid-summer A/C breakdowns, and while uncomfortable, it's not a killer unless you are doing strenuous manual labor and forget to drink plenty of water.

-- Bob (bob@bob.bob), November 19, 1999.


If a certain Texas senator back in the earlier part of this century were alive today he'd probably welcome a power grid collapse. Here's what he said back then: "Air conditioning coming to Texas will be our undoing -- now when the Yankees come down here to visit they're liable to stay!"

Bill (a Yankee who's moved to the South permanently, and who got through this past summer without air conditioning. Whew!!)

-- William J. Schenker, MD (, November 19, 1999.

122 degrees w/o AC -- yeah, right! AC basically never shut off that day, kept kids inside as it was too dangerous for them to be out. News media wasn't even outside doing that stupid egg frying on the asphalt stuff.

-- claurann (, November 19, 1999.

I grew up with out AC but we had window fans and attic fans. Some houses had sprinklers on the roof. The heat in the south is a killer when the humidity reaches above 90%.

-- Carol (, November 19, 1999.

I live in Phoenix (AZ). Staying cool in the summer is of utmost importance. I noticed that my temper became less than desireable toward the latter part of summer, which was only last week.

As I understand it, people living in these parts many years ago would hang wet sheets so that the air moving thru them would provide some relief, albeit small, via evaporation.

Another tip is a spray bottle to mist yourself with. Uses very little water.

These techniques will work as long as the weather is dry.

We have our "Monsoon" season which usually begins late June thru early Sept. Similar to the Gulf portion of Texas, but not as severe. The humidity for some can be unbearable. It is this particular time of the year that will be the most difficult to keep cool. The rain is a relief, but the next morning when the sun comes out, the rest of the day is awful.

Most people seek relief in the higher elevations. Travel restrictions may prevent this.

Any quick fix suggestions to maintaining one's cool are most appreciated!

-- (Imnot, November 19, 1999.

Most Australians can survive without A/C. However the aged, the infirm, the young and the sick tend to have a higher mortality rate when we get above 40 degrees celsius.

Personally it won't bother me if our A/C is working or not as I am used to working in the heat. I do live with my grandmother and I am concerned about her.

So yeah while you over there will be freezing to death we will be most likely dying of heat stroke/exhaustion.

Regards, Simon

-- Simon Richards (, November 19, 1999.

solar panel/marine battery/inverter/low watt fan

-- mmmm (, November 19, 1999.


Even here at 40 north latitude, it gets hot enough for me. Mostly, I plan on being reeeeeeal whinnnnney.

-- Bokonon (, November 20, 1999.

Hi Deb,

I haven't tried this, but I suppose it might work?

Natural Air Conditioning

There was a technique used or invented by the Romans a long time ago. A natural form of air conditioning / ventilation was used roughly as follows:

1.A trench 6 to 12 feet deep and 100 to 200 yards long was dug leading from the "house" in a straight line away from the house. 2.Into this trench a large diameter pipe (these days corrugated drainage pipe 2 or 3 feet diameter) was laid, with holes drilled into the bottom to drain water that condensed inside the pipe. The trench was then covered over. 3.At the far end a 90 degree elbow was attached and more pipe added so that it reached above ground and the end covered with some sort of wire mesh attached to keep out unwanted things such as rodents, etc., and then another elbow could be added at this end to shield against rain. 4.The house end of the pipe entered the house and was the source of incoming air. 5.The key to making this work is to add a convection chimney. 6.The Convection chimney is built such that it's inside opening is at a high point inside the building. 7.On the outside, two intersecting sides of the chimney; are painted flat black, and the resulting V formed by the two connecting sides face south. In other words, the V needs to face the mid point between where the sun rises and sets. 8.The two other sides must be transparent, Plexiglas or some equivalent. Also, the higher/larger the chimney, the better.

How it works: the sun heats up the chimney causing the air inside to rise, thus drawing air through the cool pipe. The pipe cools the air drawn from the outside to the temperature of the earth at the depth at which it is buried (which is virtually constant year around at this depth). By the way, an interesting note: Even in cold climates where the ground is frozen, the incoming air is only 32F when the air outside may be much colder, we need only heat the air by 38F to bring it to 70F; as opposed to heating outside air of say -15F to 70F we would have to heat the incoming air by 85F - quite a difference in the amount of heating energy we would have to supply by some other means.

Of course, without the sun to warm the chimney (or some other source) the system isn't worth fooling with.

-- Laura (, November 20, 1999.

Nobody is thinking about summer heat. Everybody "assumes" the problem will be done by then. W/O air conditioning, it will be very bad here in the Central Valley of California. It easily gets 110 F in the summer and most of us worker bees are in stuffy offices with no way to open a window short of a brick. Want to see a bunch of white collar types go home sick? It will happen en masse. Nobody is used to going without a/c, and commercial office buildings recycle their air. My home a/c went out about 2 weeks last summer and when I was home I did very little between 11 am and 8 pm. I agree, a water spray bottle is wonderful and cheap.

OTOH, if we still have insufficient electricity to run air conditioners starting in May, office blocks will be uninhabited regardless. TEOTWAWTKI, don't you know.

-- Margaret J (, November 20, 1999.

Years ago, a construction worker who worked in the desert told me to take a cucumber, slice it, and put the slices on my forehead--wrap a bandana around them to keep them there. He swore that this method works to keep you cool. (and he was working in 110+ degrees every day.) I've never tried it, mostly because I would feel silly under normal circumstances walking around with cucumber slices bandana'd to my forehead...but under not-so-normal circumstances, if you happen to have a cucumber, it'd be worth a try.

-- cukes (, November 20, 1999.

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