Do you know what’s hotter than the inside of a Porta-Potty on a 100-degree day?? Hotter than the inside of your car after sitting in an asphalt parking lot all day mid-summer?? Hotter than an attic with zero ventilation?
I’ll tell you what: Vernon, TX, in the middle of a drought.
It was so hot there that I could barely write about it.? Just the thought of 115 degree days made me shrivel up, all raisin-like in my office chair.? The idea that I could probably bake cookies and install a monitoring well at the same time makes me hungry and nauseous at the same time.? I imagine it’s a lot like hell minus the brimstone, so it’s probably good I’m not there.
But Jim Young went.? He traveled to north Texas to install monitoring wells as part of an RI for a federal client.? He said he could take the heat.? He said he grew up in Venezuela.? But then, he stepped out of the truck.
“Holy $^%@!!!!? It feels like an oven here!? It’s like I’m sitting under a giant hair dryer and it’s blowing on me all day long!!”
So, he did what any good environmental consultant would do.? He got back in his truck and drove to Wal-Mart for survival supplies (and maybe a cowboy hat, too).
Kidding aside, the heat can kill you.? The last thing anyone from your company wants to do is pick up your crusty, char-grilled body from the desert, so listen up!? There are multiple products out there that can help you survive fieldwork in extreme conditions.? Here are a few of my favs, in no particular order:
Misting and fanning triggers a super-cooling process.? The chilling fan breeze evaporates the misted water, which draws away body heat, keeping you cool longer.? $12.99
Work shelters block harmful UV rays, and are often water resistant.? The pictured shelter is the The Allegro Hi-Viz Green Utility Canopy Shelter and is perfect for confined spaces sites or any other work zone where shade/shelter is needed. No tools needed for set up! $380.00
Evaporating cooling vests are pretty easy to use, and slightly more fashionable than the average fluorescent orange mesh variety.? Simply soak the vest in cool water for 1 to 3 minutes and you are good to go for 5 to 10 hours.? Average price?? Around $35.00 (Hot guy that probably doesn’t even know what field work is not included).
Heat Stress Meter
In case you didn’t already know it was freakin’ hot outside, this handy monitor will remind you of that fact. This meter provides the most accurate determination of the heat stress index based on the cumulative effect of air temperature, air movement, relative humidity, and radiant heat. $110.00
These bandannas can be worn under hard hats, and stay cool for nearly 3 days!!? Not only that, you can choose from multiple designs, including the American flag, camouflage, and COWBOY BLUE AND RED!!!! Perfect for Texas, right?? $5.00
By no means is this list exhaustive.? There are even more products out there like cooling wrist bands, gum, and even chaps to keep you cool.
Tell us about your experiences working in the extreme heat.? Any favorite products you’ve used that you’d like to share?
Written by: Karen Baer