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One thing that scares me about trying to survive at TEOTWAWKI is how to survive in Hot Weather without electricity which if its TEOTWAWKI, I don't expect electricity to still exist. I tried thinking of how people survived the Heat in the 1800s and the first half or so of the 1900s without air conditioning and to a lesser extent fans, and I don't have an answer. Any of you have one?
 

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I've worked in a few factories over the years, no AC and often no fans, but in all those years I saw boxes of salt tablets mounted on posts here and there throughout the factories. I've used the salt tabs but you also have to drink plenty of water as well. Salt is a big factor but sweat is made up of many different minerals which are needed as electrolytes and with a balance of the proper minerals a person can do very well without AC. The trouble with most so called "Sport Drinks" is that they usually don't have a proper balance of minerals and they often have sugars added.
 

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I've never had air con, not even in a car. If you've never had it you don't miss it. We have put a evap. cooler (swamp cooler) in one room of the house just recently but don't really use it as it costs too much to run. I've also cooked on a wood stove 365 days a year most of my life, you just put up with it. We work in the cool of the mornings and evenings, sit the hottest part of the day in a cool spot in the shade. One of my houses had a row of micro sprays on the roof for extremely hot days, run off a tank filled by a windmill. I've lived in inland SA, VIC and NSW.
 

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The Amish here in PA still live without A/C, TV, VCR, AM/FM, iPhone, and virtually every other type of electronic convenience we have become accustomed to in 2015.

The women wear dresses that cover them from neck to ankle 365 days a year and the men wear long black pants, collared shirts and hats 7/365. You become acclimated to heat and/or cold, just like you do conveniences and hardships. I'll certainly miss A/C in the event of a grid down situation, but there are thousands of things ahead of that on my priority list.

P.S. - I used to rent a house that had no central A/C, my bedroom was on the 2nd floor with black roofing just below the 2 windows in the room. The 1st Summer I lived there was with no bedroom A/C, on hot, still nights, I'd grab a bath towel and soak it in the bathtub, wring it out and lay it on top of me with a fan running across me. Some nights I'd wake up shivering and have to take the towel off for a while, then put it back on if I got too hot. It worked like a charm, but not so well that I didn't buy a window A/C unit before the next Summer.

With no electricity, a wet t-shirt cut up the sides and laid atop your body should work quite well.
 

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I'm 60 years old, and I remember living in Atlanta as a child. My dad would leave the doors open on hot summer nights, with just the screen door latched. Of course, that was back when it was safe to do such a thing.

We have lived off the grid, and basically, we did what Wellrounded said. I got all my work done before 10 in the morning or after 5 at night. In the heat of the day, I napped, read a book, or did some light work in the shade. We went through some 100-degree days like that! Plus, you just learn to appreciate sweat. It's God's way of cooling your body. We are made to sweat in hot weather!
 

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AC is one of my most favorite things, I will sorely miss it when TSHTF. I can work in the heat, except from 2-5PM, but it is sure nice to cool off in the AC with a fan blowing on me. :2thumbs: Evaporative coolers don't work in the humidity so the only thing I've come with is an unheated waterbed mattress. A waterbed mattress feels cool even when the room is over 100 degrees so at least I can be cool when I sleep. Amazon sells a queen size for $50. We have an in ground pool & a pond, I may have to say in there until the weather cools down. :D. That's the price we pay for two growing seasons, I guess. Until I'm better at gardening, I need the two growing seasons so I'll have to tolerate the heat.
 

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The History channel and the Discovery channel have had several shows about how AC has changed the way we live. Before AC 85% of the population of the US lived in the Northern states. Very few lived in Florida, Texas, gulf states and the South West states. When AC became common in homes (about the mid 60's) people started to move south because they could always stay in an AC house and not have to fight the cold and snow any more.

I have experienced extended power outages in the winter and in the summer. By far the worst time to have a power outage is in the middle of summer. In the winter it is very easy to stay warm, but in the summer it's impossible to escape all of the heat.

The extended summer power outage that I experienced was unbelievably terrible. No AC, no fans, no ice, no cold drinks, and to make it even worse, we had to sleep inside because the mosquitos were swarming us outside.

I never had AC until I was about 35, before that we would sleep in the screened in porch on hot summer nights and in front of fans. None of my schools had AC and we never had days off because of heat, I worked in a factory the did not have AC and in the middle of summer 120 degrees was not uncommon. Workers were getting sick and I even had heat stroke once. It was 105 degrees and the wind was hot and blowing at 30mph and any sweat you could produce was instantaneously being evaporated. I stopped sweating and became cold and started shaking. All the nurse would do is give me some salt tablets and send me back to work.

If we had an extended power outage now and no one had AC, I think a lot of people would die in the first few weeks. If people thought that the power outage was long term some would start moving back North again. Others would adapt to living in continual heat and without ice and refrigeration. But a lot more would die from food poisoning from unrefrigerated food like they did in the 1800's.
 

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We lost power for a week, some people were out for longer, back in July 2012. We delt with it. My 1 year old got a lot of cool baths that week. LOL
 

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If I remember right, those who could afford it would have both a summer home out in the country or at the seaside and then have their winter homes in the towns and cities.
without all the buildings and people it was cooler out of the towns and cities with clearer air and more breezes.

you'll just have to do work at predawn/dawn to when ever it gets too much in your area and then stop and do lighter work/activities until later in the afternoon/evening/dusk. it will take forward thinking and planning.

same for cooking. we will have to do the most cooking early morning and use solar or even an in ground slow cooker( dig a hole start a fire let it burn down and then set a dutchie on it and cover it) for the evening meals.

to cool drinks use running water like creeks and streams or a deep pond

also people built their homes differently back then too. they had thicker walls, and large walk-thru windows that they could open to catch all the wind/breezes along with deep porches with large roofs. they also had cellars that were cool so they opened the doors to let the cool air up the stairs, they built up off the ground so the wind could cool the floors too in some areas and they didn't strip the lands of the trees like they do now so there was shade to be found, and the homes weren't surrounded by blacktop and concrete like the majority of homes are now.
 

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Just walking at the edge of my grave
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The houses were often built slightly different to take advantage of the breezes to fully exchange the air in the houses. Here in Arizona many houses were built out of adobe with a huge mass that helped keep inside temps lower.
My house is built on a slab and stays relatively cool in the summer months. Yes I have air but its use is very limited. Most nights I sleep with the windows open (but Not in the winter Brrr). I could live without AC but I would like to have a refrigerator so I could have a cold drink although evaporative cooling boxes are easy to make and work down here. Most people are just spoiled and would have to adjust if power was lost for a long period.
There is a reason that in Mexico during the hot part of the day they have a siesta.
 

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I grew up in Texas near Dallas. The house my parents owned had AC but we hardly used it. I just got off the phone with my mom about this and the reason they didn't use the AC was the cost. My mom was a teacher so she had the summers off like I did. She spent her days in the garage with a fan on because of the cement floors. She'd hose the floor down and work on her stained glass art in there. For me she'd set up the oscillating sprinkler in the yard and give me a popsicle. Or the washtub was in the shade full of cold water. What kid didn't play in the water during summer?!

Now we live in the desert of California. We have a swamp cooler and fans. I try not to use either until the temps hit certain highs. We have AC units in the bedrooms but we use them only during the peak of the heatwave. An above ground pool keeps us from using the fans and swampcooler. Even our dogs and chickens have paddling pools to beat the heat.
 

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There's several ways settlers dealt with the heat in Texas.

First and foremost, the design and location of the housing took advantage of anything possible to keep it cooler. This includes having outside kitchens to keep the heat outside, siting housing under or near trees to take advantage of the shade, and siting housing to take advantage of prevalent winds in the summer. Siting housing near water was also done.

There's a very famous house design known as a dog run house that was used quite a bit. It has a breezeway down the middle of the house to keep things cooler.
Up in the Hill Country, the immigrant Germans built stone houses with very thick (12"+) walls to keep things cooler inside. Think adobe except with stone instead of mud bricks.
Later on, Victorian type houses were built throughout the state. These houses had very high ceilings and lots of windows on every side of the house. The high ceilings allowed the heat to rise while the windows allowed winds from any direction to be used for cooling.
Some houses had large screened-in porches where people slept on hot nights.
Any kind of swamp cooler helps too.

In today's world, I'd look at earth-sheltered housing as optimal with rammed-earth or adobe as a second choice. Having some sort of outside cooking area is a good idea too.

The major thing about heat is acclimation. The more time you spend outside in late Spring and early Summer, the easier the heat will be to handle.
 

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I live in Louisiana, and this is something that has come up a LOT. We had a mild summer this year, with it only breaking over 100 a few days, and the humidity has largely not been "so thick you can see water" as well. I've seen it 120+ degrees with humidity in the 90% range.

Basically, you just suffer.

What we do is we go back to wearing clothing from pre-eletricity coming to the area. Kilts and breechclouts don't care if it is 110 degrees or 10 degrees. You wear looser clothing, and you watch a lot of people wearing a lot less clothing than is proper up north, to to ward off over heating. It is actually illegal for the power company to shut off your power in the summer and the winter here, because of how many people die from exposure.

We also do not get a lot of wind. I you feel wind, a story is blowing in, and the heat and humidity can spike for up to several days before hand.

Traditionally, down here, homes are made with high, high seelings, with large windows that stretch almost floor to ceiling whenever possible. You also see dog run house, which separates the living quarters and the cooking portion of the house by essentially a covered porch. The Romans/Italians use unglazed tile, that they pour buckets of water on, and use the breeze to make a swamp cooler. You hear of similar being done with dog runs as well.

Also, if you have a cotton bandanna, if you get it wet, you can snap it through the air, and it will chill for at least a short amount of time.
 

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I've mentioned this a few times before in other posts, when I built our home I didn't install central heating and no AC, all we do is just when things start cooling down toward evening is to open a lot of windows and a sliding glass door in the bedroom, turn on a few small fans and a couple of ceiling fans (only 9.5 watts each on low). At about 8 in the morning we close all the windows and even on a 104 degree day it's never gotten more than 80 inside. It would probably be cooler if I would have built all of the roof as a cold roof, but just having the North roof a cold roof has made a tremendous difference, when I built the addition to the South side I couldn't afford putting a cold roof on, it's also twice the surface area, at least I've got plenty of attic insulation there and I'm sure that helps, as it was I think I was also running up against the rainy season and was pressed to get the roof done, ASAP. Thinking of those old houses, many were built with tall windows that could be opened at the top as well as the bottom, I remember that the elementary and high schools I attended had those kind of windows and no AC, still got hot but it could have been worse without constant air flowing into the rooms because of those kinds of windows.
 

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My house was built in the 1800s and has all of the features listed in several of the previous posts. The dude that built this house knew what he was up to.

It is built on a gravel ridge (excellent drainage). Double brick walls (12" thick) on stone foundations that are 18" thick. It was built as one house separated into 3 separate sections and therefore has an extra thick wall between the main living portion and kitchen portion. The upstairs to the first part is completely separate from the upstairs of the second part; two sets of stairs. Big windows with no windows on the north side and doors complete with transoms and ten foot ceilings and doors between each section of house. Tin reflective roof (now steel reflective roof) Third section was built completely of 18" stone walls with a 16 foot high ceiling.

The house is built to block the winter winds from the N but allows the summer winds to blow right through it. The builder obviously took the time to suss out wind direction for both winter and summer before committing.

The only drawback is that without insulation, and only lath and plaster, this sucker was cold in the winter. There is evidence of chimneys in every room up and down. The original air channels with the fancy cast iron grates are still here allowing air flow between the downstairs and upstairs. The grates can be opened and closed as desired.

I have completed the final removal of the lath and plaster and studded the outer walls to hold R22 insulation. The ancient windows are replaced and R50 in the attic.

We hit 32C/90F last week and didn't need so much as a fan. It was warmish but not unbearable. If the temps. went all Texas on us, we would set up cots down in the basement (also insulated from the upstairs), and make buddies with the spiders. The old stone barn is pretty cool as well, but hubby don't much like the idea of sleeping with the cows and chickens.
 

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I want to add that we have added awnings over all the windows and doors ( without a porch roof) and they lower the temp in the house by 20 degrees just by themselves. that in turn helps keep the ac to a higher setting and it uses less energy to cool the house. so in the event that theres no electricity we will have those to put up every year. its nothing to us to put them up and then take them down again when it cools off and we want the sun to shine in the windows lol

you can make those out of anything. cloth,metal,wood,large plastic sheets if you have them.
 

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Work it!

We also had a mild summer. It did not get to 100 degrees once. We have had summers that were much warmer than this one.

I live in a neighborhood with older 2 and 3 story homes. We really cool down at night. I have a swamp cooler that I run when it gets really hot, but what works is just what Viking said. I turn on the fan only on the swamp cooler at night, and turn it off in the morning, keeping everything shut up. I run a window fan in second story windows. They suck out the hot air, while the cooler air is coming in. The house get significantly cooler over night, and after closing it up in the morning, it stays really cool. It is most noticeable how cool it is when I come in from the heat outside.
 

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People are a lot heavier on average than they were 100 years ago. A lot of people today wouldn't survive without air conditioning.

I'm a big guy. I hate the heat. Wisconsin winters are cold but the summers are still hot and humid. I wish we had central air. We have air conditioners in the living room and bedroom. We have air conditioning in our cars. I'm not looking forward to living without it.
 

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Shade. That's how to survive the heat. Shade trees for the house. Shade trees scattered throughout the yard.

Even when we were youngsters and didn't live in houses with air conditioning, we'd stay outside during the day and be either under the shade trees or playing in a water sprinkler on extremely hot days. Sometimes we used fans at night; but, as was previously stated, the older homes were built for fluid air flow. Everyone had a covered porch; some people were lucky enough to have wrap-around porches.

You could acclimate to not having AC; however, as Bill said, these last generations are much heavier than we were all those years ago so the acclimation time might take much longer these days.
 
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