The Heat is On. Get Ready!
Creating and promoting your art is hard work and can be even more challenging during a heat wave. You may experience heat related stress or illness. Your art materials and processes can be affected by high heat and humidity. Here are some tips to help you be ready for the summer heat and protect your health and studio.
1. Get Connected
- Download a weather app to your phone to help you be aware of extreme heat forecasts.
- Have a NOAA Weather Radio in your studio for 24/7 weather hazard information.
- Be aware of the Heat Index. The measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity is factored in with the air temperature.
2. Get Ready
- Get ready for a potential power outage. Increased electricity demand during heat waves can lead to local power outages.
- Know the symptoms of heat related illnesses and what to do if they appear.
3. Be “Heat Wave Ready”
- Make sure you stay hydrated and drink plenty of water when working in the studio and at outdoor fairs or exhibitions. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol or high sugar content.
- Monitor and avoid extreme temperature changes. Changes in temperatures affect your health and your artistic process (drying times) and materials (combustible items, changes in paint consistency).
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Wear a hat and use sunscreen (at least SPF 15) if you can’t avoid working in the sun.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, typically between 12-3pm. Check the weather to see if there’s a cooler day during the week to fire your kiln rather than on a day with extreme heat.
- If working in extreme heat can’t be avoided, take frequent breaks. Switch off with a helper if possible.
- If you don’t have air conditioning, consider buying an affordable unit that’s right for your square footage. Check with your landlord about installing an AC, particularly if you work in a historic building. Prepare for an increase in your monthly electric/utility bill. Libraries and coffee shops are great places to cool down for free.
- Use fans to bring cooler evening air into the studio if the studio can remain secure while doing so.
- Keep blinds closed if you can to keep your studio cool and avoid direct sun.