Welcome to part 4 of the Surviving in the Deep South series. In part 4 we will be looking at how to deal with the intense heat and humidity that is so prevalent here in the Deep South. Ways to deal with it as well as how to handle a situation where someone has become over heated. Just remember that I am not a Dr. and have only had first aid training along with a little experience living here in the Deep South. I can only share what I have learned over the years and hopefully pass along a little wisdom that I have gathered. Knowing just how the body deals with heat and the proper steps to take for handling a situation where some one is overcome by it could make all of the difference in a survival situation.
Heat-related illnesses occur when a person’s body cannot properly cool itself off. As the body’s temperature continues to rise, the body begins to suffer from its effects. Other factors such as age, weight, dehydration, and drug or alcohol use can make it harder for the body to stay cool in hot weather. I want to caution everyone to be aware of the hazards of summer temperatures when mixed with high humidity. While anyone can suffer from heat related exposure, some are more susceptible such as young children, elderly persons and the sick or weak. These people are at a greater risk than others and special care should be taken to provide for them.
First, let’s look at why the humidity is so high here in the Deep South. Here in the Deep South, there is a constant warm humid breeze that comes in off of the gulf. We also have a lot of standing water from lakes and swamps that cover most of the area. This standing water is heated during the day and is evaporated by the Sun much like you would have in a sauna. Now combine that with heavy rain and the warm Gulf Breeze and you get a humidity rate that is normally in the 97% to 100% range. Now humidity by itself just makes you wet when it comes in contact with your skin. Now throw in a high heat index and you have a recipe for disaster! Without air conditioning, there is simply no way to get away from it. This can cause a whole host of issues in a survival situation. Everything from heat rash and fungus to heat stroke can be expected. You need to stock plenty of Corn starch and antifungal cream in your prep’s because believe me you will need it.
Now a few ways to stay cool when you have to be out in the heat. Remember that a heat stroke can kill you if it is not caught in time and it’s effects can last for months making you hypersensitive to it. Sometimes, working in the heat is unavoidable especially in a survival situation. When you are forced to work in the heat, here are a few simple ideas to help prevent overheating while out in the sun:
- Ware light weight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
- Drink lot’s of water, don’t wait till you get thirsty to drink.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages as they will actually dehydrate you more.
- Work in the shade whenever possible.
- Ware a wide-brimmed hat or a cool rag on your head to prevent sunburn.
- Place a cool damp rag on your neck to help you cool down when hot.
- Ware sunscreen anytime you are in the sun.
- Take frequent breaks and poor cool water over your head and wrists if possible
- Avoid heat sources like stoves and campfires.
Sleeping in high humidity environment can be a challenge all by its self and there is not much worse that trying to sleep while sweating profusely. We all know that lack of sleep can hamper critical thinking. In a survival situation, the could be deadly. Remember that broken sleep is better than no sleep at all and if you lose too much water, you could wind up in trouble and suffer from dehydration. Try some of these ideas to help you get a good nights sleep:
- Use cotton sheets on your bed or sleeping roll, they will help wick away the moisture on your skin.
- Place plastic bottles filled with cold water under the sheets or next to your body.
- If you are in a building, open window to create a cross breeze.
- Take a cold shower or bath before going to bed.
- If all else fails, try dipping your sheets and clothes in cool damp water.
- Sleep alone as to avoid generating excess body heat.
- If all else fails, take multiple cool showers and cool off frequently.
Here are some of the symptoms of over heating and what can be done to treat it in a survival situation. Be sure to remember that if it is at all possible, the person suffering from heat related distress should always be gotten to a Dr. or Hospitable as quickly as possible. Heat stroke (also known as Sun Stroke) is the most serious form of heat distress and is considered a medical emergency. Heat stroke can kill, so take immediate action if you believe you or any member of your party has had a heat stroke.
SYMPTOMS OF A HEAT STROKE;
- Fainting , dizziness or feeling light-headed.
- A throbbing headache.
- Lack of sweating despite the hot temperatures.
- Muscle weakness of cramps.
- Nausea or Vomiting.
- Rapid Heart beat.
- Confusion, disorientation, or staggering.
- If you encounter any of the symptoms, take immediate action!
First Aid for heat stroke victims is crucial and you should be aware of what to do if you encounter it. Below is a list of steps I found on the web than can be taken to help prevent death of someone suffering from heat stroke. This is no substitute for emergency help and every effort should be made to get help.
- Put the person in a cool tub of water or a cool shower.
- Spray with a garden hose.
- Sponge with cool water.
- Fan while misting with cool water.
- Place ice packs or cool wet towels on the neck, armpits and groin.
- Cover with cool damp sheets.
- Have them drink as much cool water as possible.
- Get immediate emergency help.
Well, this completes our 4 part series on Surviving in the Deep South. I hope you have found it useful and entertaining. I have tried to point out some of the things that must be considered while trying to survive here as well as items that you can use to feed yourself and your love ones. Remember that here in the Deep South, there are dangers everywhere and if you intend to survive here when SHTF happens, then you need to do your homework and prepare accordingly. It is a great place to live and to survive when SHTF happens and I for one am going to be sure that I am ready when the time comes. Until next time, Happy Prepping and God Bless!