How to stay cool in a summer blackout
Monday marked the latest test of the state's power grid, with officials urging Texans to conserve energy during peak hours.
The big picture: ERCOT didn’t anticipate any "system-wide outages" as of mid-afternoon, but it's yet another reminder to prepare for potential blackouts in the summer heat.
Here's what you should do ahead of time:
- Fill your car with gas, get cash and stock up on water and nonperishable food items.
- Purchase emergency items like a first aid kit, a battery powered radio and fan.
- Conserve energy usage by rotating reversible ceiling fans counterclockwise, closing blinds and setting your thermostat higher.
- Make a plan in case you need to evacuate, and review cooling center locations.
Here's what to do if you lose power:
- Make sure you, your loved ones and pets drink lots of water.
- Keep curtains closed, especially those facing direct sunlight.
- Use towels soaked in cold water and ice packs on the body to stay cool.
- Circulate the air with a battery powered fan and open the windows at night.
- Take a cold bath or hop in a swimming pool to cool off.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to prevent food from spoiling sooner.
The bottom line: Know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Check on pets, elderly neighbors and children.
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