Tips for Thought

Surviving the Heat

Our previous article taught us the importance of preparing for El Niño. To effectively combat this calamity, it is crucial to consider various factors such as staying updated on the latest weather information, dressing appropriately for the heat, staying hydrated, regularly applying sunscreen, maintaining a nutritious diet, and conserving water. Now, let’s explore the essential items required to accomplish these goals.

First, here is a compilation of what you need to be well-prepared.

  • Outdoor Thermometer: An outdoor thermometer helps you monitor the current temperature in your immediate surroundings. Look for a model that is durable and weatherproof.

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  • Rain Gauge: A rain gauge allows you to measure the amount of rainfall in your area accurately. Consider purchasing a wireless or digital rain gauge that automatically records and stores rainfall data.

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  • Wireless Weather Station: A wireless weather station is a display unit that wirelessly receives data from outdoor sensors. This allows you to monitor weather conditions from inside your home. Look for a model that provides accurate and timely updates.

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  • Portable Weather Radio: A portable weather radio is a handy device that receives broadcasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio. It provides severe weather alerts and updates, including tornado warnings and storm advisories.

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  • Wide-Brimmed Hat: A wide-brimmed hat provides shade for your face, neck, and ears, protecting you from direct sunlight. Choose a hat with a wide brim that offers good coverage and is made from breathable materials.

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  • Sunglasses: Invest in a pair of sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful sun rays. Look for sunglasses blocking UVA and UVB rays to provide adequate protection.

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  • Electrolyte Drinks: In addition to water, electrolyte drinks can help replenish electrolytes lost through sweat. Look for electrolyte powders or ready-to-drink beverages that provide essential minerals and hydration.

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  • Cooling Towel: A cooling towel is great in hot weather. These towels are designed to stay calm when wet, providing instant relief when draped around your neck or placed on your forehead.

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  • Sun-Protective Clothing: Consider purchasing sun-protective clothing designed explicitly with built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) to block harmful UV rays. These garments offer an extra layer of protection for extended periods outdoors.

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  • Portable Fan or Misting Device: A portable fan or misting device can relieve you if you anticipate being in sweltering conditions. Look for handheld fans or misting bottles that are compact and easy to carry.

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  • Healthy Fats: Include sources of healthy fats in your diet, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These provide essential fatty acids and can be used for cooking or as additions to meals and snacks.

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  • Nutrient-Dense Snacks: Stock up on nutrient-dense snacks like nuts, dried fruits, granola bars, or protein bars. Look for options with minimal added sugars and natural ingredients.

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  • Herbal Teas: Explore a variety of herbal teas that offer health benefits. Options like green tea, chamomile, peppermint, or ginger tea can provide hydration and additional nutrients.

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  • Rainwater Harvesting System: Install a rainwater harvesting system to collect and store rainwater for later use. You can purchase rain barrels or larger storage tanks online to capture rainwater from your roof or other surfaces. This water can be used to water plants, wash outdoor areas, or even flush toilets.

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  • Drip Irrigation System:A drip irrigation system is a highly efficient way to water plants and gardens. It delivers water directly to the roots, reducing evaporation and water waste. Look for drip irrigation kits or individual components online to set up a customized system for your needs.

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Now that we’ve compiled the list of things we can use to prepare for El Niño, let’s try to understand it a bit more.

During El Niño events, atmospheric CO2 concentration increases.

El Niño is a natural climate pattern that can impact global weather and climate. However, human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation can exacerbate the effects of El Niño by increasing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to global warming. 

One way to reduce the potential impact of El Niño is to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing our carbon footprint means making choices in our daily lives. 

What can we do?

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Cut down on what you throw away, try to reuse items as much as possible, and always recycle. Producing new items creates more greenhouse gases, so by recycling, you help reduce the need for new materials.

  • Switch to Renewable Energy: If you can, switch your home’s power source to renewable energy like solar or wind power. Many energy companies now offer a renewable energy option.

  • Drive Less: Try to limit your use of cars. Instead, walk, bike, carpool, or use public transport whenever possible. Consider buying a hybrid, electric, or fuel-efficient model if you need a car.

  • Use Less Energy at Home: Simple changes like switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, unplugging electronics when they’re not in use, or adjusting your thermostat a few degrees can greatly impact your energy use and carbon emissions.

  • Eat Less Meat: Livestock farming produces many greenhouse gases. Instead, try introducing a few vegetarian or vegan meals into your week, and when you do eat meat, opt for locally sourced or organic options.

  • Buy Local: Imported goods often have a high carbon footprint because of the emissions from shipping. Try to buy local produce and other goods when possible.

  • Plant Trees: Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. Planting trees in your yard, or participating in tree-planting initiatives in your community, can help offset your carbon emissions.

  • Fly Less: Air travel is a significant source of carbon emissions. Limit the number of flights you take, and consider taking trains or driving for shorter trips.

And that’s it. Understanding El Niño and its potential impacts on global climate is crucial for preparedness. These events and ongoing human-induced climate change can drastically affect our weather patterns and overall living conditions. Simple actions listed above can have a profound effect on our planet. We can contribute to the global effort against climate change by staying proactive.