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Texas Department of Insurance
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How to stay safe in the summer heat

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Summers in Texas can be scorchers. Prepare your house and your family to be ready for the next heat wave.

Thermometer
  1. Get your house ready

    As Texans know, high demand on the power grid can cause issues at home. You can help avoid a power outage and stay safe if one happens.

    • Gather supplies. Locate your flashlights, battery-powered fans, and batteries in case you lose power.
    • Check your air conditioning unit. Get regular maintenance to check for dirty filters and clogged condenser coils and drain lines.
    • Conserve electricity. Turn off lights when you can. Use large appliances in the morning or at night. Close your blinds and curtains.
    • Minimize food spoilage. Limit how much you open your refrigerator and freezer to conserve the cold air.
    • Be careful when using a generator. Don’t use generators indoors or in a garage. If you light candles for light, blow them out when you leave a room. Don’t run your car in a closed garage to charge devices.
    • Know your insurance. If food in your refrigerator or freezer spoils during a power outage, most home and renters insurance policies will pay up to $500 or more if the power fails under certain circumstances. Often, there isn’t a deductible. Take pictures or keep a list of the food that spoiled.
  2. Keep your family safe when the heat rises

    Summer also means pool parties and being outside. Stay safe by remembering a few tips:

    • Drink enough water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends drinking one cup of water every 15-20 minutes when it’s hot. Energy drinks, caffeine, and alcohol can cause dehydration.
    • Prepare yourself. Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and choose lightweight, light-colored clothing.
    • Avoid the heat. If possible, stay indoors in the hottest part of the day from 2 to 6 p.m. When you’re outside, take frequent rest breaks in cool places.
    • Keep an eye on children. Never leave children or pets in cars or vehicles.
    • Know your health care options. If you’re not feeling well, there are several ways you can get care.

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Last updated: 5/27/2022