30 Of The Best Reactions Texans Had To Being Told Not To Use ACs During A Heatwave
Living in Texas this year has been a true challenge—the power grid can’t handle the drastic weather changes and millions of people are suffering as a result. There’s a blistering heatwave ravaging Texas right now, reaching over 90 degrees F (32 degrees C). And Texans are urged to conserve power so as not to overload the independent power grid the state uses and to avoid an emergency like earlier this year.
Back in February, a massive and deadly winter storm hit the state and left millions without power because the infrastructure wasn’t upgraded to deal with such events and because Texas has its own electric power grid, managed by ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. More than 151 people died because of the cold and the power outages and several power companies went bankrupt.
Now, during the heatwave, Texans are asked to set their thermostats to 78 degrees F (25.6 degrees C) or higher during the day and 82 degrees F (27.8 degrees C) at night to save energy. Which means no relief from the heat. Bored Panda has collected some of the most spot-on reactions to ERCOT’s demands. Check them out below.
With temperatures soaring during the summer, we need to know how to remain healthy, hydrated, and cool. I reached out to Dr. Andrew Carroll, from Arizona, to hear how to survive in extreme heat, no matter where you live. "Living in Arizona, you learn how to live in the heat. We are currently in our own heatwave, with our temperatures hitting 117 degrees F in the afternoon (47 degrees C)," Dr. Carroll told Bored Panda.
"Dizziness, headache, abdominal pain, fatigue, body aches can be the first signs of heat exhaustion. If it’s a hot day and you start seeing these signs, get into air conditioning and start drinking fluids with electrolytes (PediaLyte, Gatorade, etc)," Dr. Carroll warned. "You should not return to outdoor activity anymore that day. Heatstroke is typically extreme fatigue, confusion, abdominal and body aches, and lack of sweating. Heatstroke should be evaluated at an Emergency Room, as it can be life-threatening."
Image credits: MiiSS_JAZZY_B
During heatwaves, how you structure your entire day can shift dramatically. Dr. Carroll explained how the people living in Arizona survive the heat and it's applicable to everyone.
"We survive it by:
-Going out to exercise as early as 4:30 am in order to get back by 5:30 am;
-Most people who work outside (construction, landscapers, roofers, farmers, etc.) start working around 5 am, and make sure to get back indoors by 2 pm at the latest;
-Get most errands done early in the morning (groceries, gas, etc.);
-Wait until the sun is no longer shining down before returning to outdoor activities;
-Park your vehicle under a tree when you can find one."
Dr. Carroll advised everyone to drink twice as much water or electrolyte fluid as they think they need during heatwaves. "Wear clothing which covers the skin completely and a wide-brimmed hat. Exposed skin will lead to dehydration more quickly, and increase your risk of skin cancer due to sun exposure. Do not wear confining or constricting clothing as it can impede your ability to sweat, which is crucial in keeping you cool," he said.
ERCOT also asked Texans to unplug unused devices and avoid using large electric appliances (e.g. washing machines and pool pumps) until the demand for power drops down. This is the second energy conservation alert in Texas so far in 2021.
Texas’ independent power grid means that the state has far more independence, energy and decision-wise, it also means that when it gets overloaded or an emergency happens, there are fewer options to support your everyday Texans, who suffer as a result.
There’s less federal regulation but the cavalry won’t be rushing to the rescue every time that the state needs help, either, so it’s quite literally risking your people’s welfare for the sake of more freedom.
Back in May, ERCOT officials promised that the power grid would be able to provide enough electricity to meet the peak demand for energy in the summer. However, now there are fears that the demand is getting too big and that the power reserve margins are too narrow. Hence, the demand to conserve energy.
While in February, over 4 million people lost power as power generators iced over. And while some progress has occurred since then—lawmakers have made changes to ‘weatherize’ power plants to deal with extreme temperatures—experts believe that these reforms aren’t enough to prevent another similar disaster.
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