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BLOGGING THE VIEW: 9 tips for surviving the heat during load-shedding

When the electricity stops, the temperature rises. Don't let the heat get to you; follow these simple tips to survive load-shedding

While politicians keep up the politicking as Eskom continues to fail, the rest of us are left to deal with the daily reality of load-shedding in the Zululand heat.

Those who are fortunate enough to have inverters and generators will enjoy some respite, but for the rest of us, there are some inexpensive hacks you can try to survive the soaring heat as we approach February.

1. Fan in the breeze
If you’re fortunate enough to have a bit of wind, you can place the fan near an open window as it will pull the air into the fan and circulate around the room.

This is not necessarily helpful in February when the air is so hot, but you could place a bowl of ice cubes or ice blocks in front of the fan to circulate cooler air. This also helps with mosquitos and flies.

2. Shade the windows
Try to keep as much direct sunlight out of the house as possible from early on. Use curtains, blockout blinds, or even sheets to prevent the sunshine from entering and increasing the temperature indoors.

3. Freeze water
Always keep bottles of water in the freezer so when load-shedding hits, you have a few homemade ice blocks to keep cool.

4. Hit the shower
If you don’t have a pool, a cold shower or cool bath will make a massive difference to your core temperature, keeping you cooler for longer.

5. Cool the bedding
When load-shedding hits in the middle of the night, a good option is to wet and wring out a sheet and then either hang it over the window if there’s a breeze, or place it over your body. This will also help to keep the mozzies off you.

6. Open up
As soon as the sun starts setting, you should open up windows and doors for some air circulation. If you can, placing mesh on your windows will assist in keeping unwanted insects out (and monkeys!) while you cool down.

7. Keep hydrated
It seems obvious, but many people forget to hydrate and end up feeling awful. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day is advisable in heat over 30 degrees as your body sweats in an effort to cool you down and you need to replenish this lost water.

8. Avoid synthetics
The materials you wear make a massive difference to your comfort. Synthetic fabrics like nylon don’t breathe, making you sweat excessively. Rather opt for natural fabrics like cotton that allow your skin to breathe and keep you cooler.

9. Plan around the schedule
Check your load-shedding schedule ahead of time and try to plan your day around it so you’re doing minimal activities when the power is off. This way, you can try to have some downtime when the heat is up!

Remember to watch your animals when the temperatures soar. Ensure they have sufficient cool water (don’t leave water bowls in the sun), as well as enough shady space to rest during those hot days.

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