June 14

The Medic Shack: Heat-Related Illnesses and Alternative Refrigeration

The Medic Shack, Heat, Heat-Related Illnesses, Alternative Refrigeration, Power Outage
Photo Credit: Emilian Robert Vicol

The Medic Shack 7pm/EST (8pm/Ct, 6pm/Mtn, 5pm/Pac)
To listen live on Just Measures Radio Network, click here.

Join us this week on The Medic Shack where we discuss heat and heat-related injuries. The first day of summer is just around the corner. The temperatures are rising, and gardens are sprouting. However, we have also had multiple attempts at sabotage of power stations in California and Arizona.

If the power were to fail, whether due to sabotage, an EMP, or an aging power grid unable to bare the load, this would eliminate air conditioning and refrigeration for most people impacted by the blackout.

Some places, like hospitals,will have back-up generators. Many individuals have smaller generators or solar technologies as well. However, if Hurricane Sandy taught us anything, it demonstrated that even hospital generators can and do fail. Depending on the cause for the blackout, such as an EMP, there may not be any power at all, even with generators.

There are heat-related injuries every year, even without a grid-down event. However, if one were to happen, the scale of these illnesses would be a serious problem. Most people in the US have become accustomed to temperature controlled climates, and cannot handle the heat well.

In tonight’s episode, we’re going to discuss Heat Stroke, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Prostration (heat cramps). For each, we will cover:

  • What is it
  • Symptoms
  • Complications
  • First Aid Applications
The Medic Shack, Heat, Heat-Related Illnesses, Alternative Refrigeration, Power Outage
Photo Credit: Emilian Robert Vicol

If we have time, we may also discuss sunburns. While sunburns are not caused by heat, but by radiation, they are very common once the warmer weather arrives. People who have spent the majority of their time indoors at school or work begin to spend their time off outside wearing shorts and short sleeves in an attempt to stay cool, but who also have no real tolerance for the sun’s rays.

In addition to air conditioning being unavailable, our refrigerators and freezers wouldn’t work either. This leaves our daily food and freezer storage at risk. It also leaves something else at risk as well: medications. While storing all medications in a cool, dry place is optimal for storage anyway, certain medications require refrigeration. Some of the most common medications that must be refrigerated are insulin and antibiotics which are suspended in liquid (often for children).

We will discuss a number of alternative ways to create back up refrigeration for your medicines and food. Some are very low-tech options, others require a little skill to put together. But, with a little forethought, a viable solution can be in place well before a natural or man-made event cuts off your access to power.

Don’t forget, Cat’s rant is back this week! It’s going to be explosive.


alternative refrigeration, Heat, Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustions, Heat Prostration, Heat Sickness, Heat Stroke, Heat-Related Illness, sunburns, The Medic Shack

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  1. Cat, do you have another way of accessing this Medic Shack show? I can’t get to it by using the link above (unless I don’t know what I am doing, which is very possible). I want to listen to it to learn about keeping medicines refrigerated, and I have a link to a pdf on how to create refrigeration by using the sun only.

    1. Hi Scott,

      It’s a little confusing. You need to click on the icon for the Google Drive. Chuck posts all of the archived episodes to the Google Drive. Once there, to make things easier, I usually click the option in the top right hand corner which changes the view to a list. Then you need to look at the date of the show. Let me see if he’s got last night’s episode up yet.

      1. Just checked. It’s not up yet. I do know he’s working on a bunch of stuff for The Medic Shack today, so it will likely be up before the day is out. I would love to read that PDF! I can tell you that last night we discussed the Crossley Ice Ball as well as zeer pots.

          1. Thanks! I think this is an adaptation of the Crossley ice ball that Chuck talked about last night, but rigged to run on solar power. I love the fact that there is a materials list for this. (I think my husband just got a DIY project. LOL)

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