Packing and moving in the hot summer sun can be uncomfortable as well as dangerous, especially when temperatures peak in the 90s or 100s. Fortunately, you can protect yourself in many ways if you’re moving this summer. Knowing what you can do to prevent heat illness and how to avoid the worst of the heat can help make your moving experience safer and a little more pleasant.
Keep a Flexible Move Date
You can’t control the weather, but you can control when you move. Maintaining a flexible move date enables you to postpone moving if the temperatures soar. If possible, select a two-week window of time for moving. This way, if the weather gets bad, you can wait until it cools off.
The night before your move date, go get lots of ice and drinks for everyone. Fill your refrigerator with beverages like water with electrolytes and sports drinks. If you’re getting help from friends or neighbors, consult with everyone to find out what kind of beverages they prefer to drink. Stock everything you can to keep your helpers going strong.
Do the Work When It’s Cool
If you’re spending the summer packing, pack in the early morning and the later in the evening when the temperature outside starts to drop. Block out time for yourself to do this work a little each day so you can avoid a last-minute rush that requires you to work throughout the day.
If you’re loading everything into a truck, spend the morning loading the truck and spend the afternoon disassembling furniture and doing other indoor activities. When the sun starts to go down, finish loading the truck.
Take Frequent Breaks
When you’re in the groove, whether you’re packing boxes or loading a moving truck, you may be tempted to push through the heat and keep going to the end. This is a good way to get sun stroke or some other form of heat illness. Taking frequent breaks is the best way to avoid sun-related illnesses.
In the morning, take breaks every couple hours. When things heat up in the afternoon, set your watch or timer on your smartphone for every hour on the hour. Take a 5- or 10-minute break every hour. During your break, sit in the shade and sip your drink.
Keep the A/C Running
When it’s time to load up the moving truck, you might be tempted to turn off the air conditioner. After all, with the door open, all of the cool air will escape into the outdoors.
Unfortunately, many homes can heat up dramatically with the windows and doors open in the summer. Keep your air conditioner running even if it’s inefficient. You’ll thank yourself if you manage to keep your home 10 degrees cooler than the temperature outside.
Work in a Big Team
When you work in a team, whether you’re packing boxes or loading them onto a truck, the work goes a lot faster. Working in teams prevents anyone from feeling the burden of the work and can prevent anyone from getting sun sickness.
If you choose to work in a team, talk to everybody before they begin their work to ensure that they know what their role is and what to do to. This prevents people on your team from repeating a job that has already been done or undoing someone else’s work.
Know the Signs of Heat Sickness
You should know the signs of heat sickness. Heat sickness can come on quickly and can sometimes be subtle.
The signs of heat exhaustion include:
- Cool skin
- Increased heart rate
Heat exhaustion is a condition that often goes away on its own. Have the person experiencing this condition sit down in the shade and drink cool water. You can also soothe the person with cold compresses. Contact a medical professional if the symptoms do not go away after an hour.
Heatstroke is another condition that people can experience from sun exposure. This condition is far more serious than heat exhaustion and must be treated in a hospital. Call 911 if you or someone else you’re working with experiences any of the following symptoms:
- Very high body temperature
- Fainting or dizziness
- Excessive sweating
- Hot, dry skin
Allow the person to lie down in the shade and remove any outer layers of clothing. Ask the person to drink cool water while you wait for the authorities.
Get Professional Help
Of course, the best way to avoid any serious heat-related injuries is to get help from a professional mover. A professional mover can load and unload your truck for you without risking anyone in your household.
For more information about how to make your move as simple as possible, contact your local, full-service movers. At Bekins Van Lines, Inc., we’re happy to answer your questions. Contact us today.