|Our Objective for shelter is to maintain NORMAL BODY TEMPERATURE (98.6 degrees F.) to avoid Hypothermia or Hyperthermia.
Hypothermia – Body temperature at or below 95.0 °F.
Mumble – slurred speech
Grumble- Apathy, confusion
Fumble – Loss of fine motor skills (control of finger movement)
Stumble – Difficulty walking
Pale or gray skin color
Hyperthermia – can occur when the body temperature is greater than 100–101 °F, but symptoms can at lower temperatures depending on many factors including hydration, salt consumption, and type of disability. When the body reaches around 104 °F heat stroke occurs, which is life threatening.
Confused or Hostile, May Seem Intoxicated
Mumble – slurred speech
Sweating, Dry skin
How do we Gain or Loose Heat?
- Conduction – Direct contact
- Convection – Air & Liquid Currents
- Radiation – Emitting Heat
- Metabolism – Converting Food to Heat
- Evaporation – Heat loss through converting liquid to gas
- Respiration – Heat loss through breathing
How to Prevent Gaining or Loosing Heat
- Insulation – Trapping air between layers to slow the transfer of heat.
- Reflection – Bouncing heat back or away
- Protection – Keeping out the elements
- Absorption – Pulling water and heat away or toward the body
Using these rules of Physics to maintain body temperature.
For COLD WEATHER
1. Layer clothing and shelter
Base Layer – against the skin to pull moisture away.
- Insulation Layer – use as many layers as needed, trapping air inbetween. This also gives vent for moisture to be trapped away from your skin. Remove a layer as needed.
- Outside Protective Layer – Protects against the elements, rain, wind, etc. This may be a coat, tarp, tent, or building. Think of your shelter as an extension of your clothing – the outside protective layer.
- Wear a hat, gloves and socks. Keep heat from escaping your body.
- Insulate from the ground also. Place tarps, blankets, or even leaves on the ground under you.
2. Focus on preventing moisture buildup..
- Keep your skin dry, keep a dry layer of clothing next to your skin. Remove wet clothing.
3. Create a WARM ROOM or area
Reflect any heat or sunlight that is available into your warm room. Use clear plastic over windows during the day so sunlight can come through, Use dark or Mylar blankets at night to keep the cold out.
Make a “nest”. Use blankets, get cozy with the family, snuggle together. Use body heat.
Keep moving. Exercise, walk, anything that will build your metabolism and keep your body warm. However, avoid heavy exercise that will cause heavy respiration causing you to loose heat.
For HOT WEATHER
1. Concentrate on reflection of heat
- Cover the skin with light colored clothing to reflect the heat away.
Wear light weight material such as cotton that can breathe to let air and moisture through.
2. Wet down clothing or place wet sheets in the open window to allow air to circulate and promote evaporation and convection.
3. Make a COOL ROOM. Choose a lower level, away from direct sunlight and afternoon sun.
4. Place foil or mylar blankets directly on windows to reflect heat away.
5. Keep low. Put mattress on floor where it is cooler. Open high windows at night to let out the heat.
6. Limit activities during the hottest part of the day.
Good Sheltering Practices
- Assemble a “Shelter in Place Kit” and choose a room that would be suitable.
- Have chimney, Flue and other Duct work checked and cleaned yearly
- Store fuel, as possible
- Service gas and fuel burning appliances yearly
- Have space heaters checked for safety
- Store extra blankets, sleeping bags, and sweaters
- Check Smoke & CO Detectors monthly
- Check Fire Extinguishers yearly
- Install attic vents and fans