There area probably a lot of people googling “How Do You Survive A Phoenix Heatwave?” this week. I have done it many times in the past, and even after being here for years.

Summer is usually hot here, but every once in awhile we get a stretch of heat that even the natives get upset about. This week we are about to embark on at least 10 days over 105, and some days above 120. It is pretty unbearable!

I need to work and get my daughter to summer school every day, and we are both sensitive to the heat. Let me tell you- the AC in my car is great, but nothing really keeps up when it is 121 degrees.

So- here is a list of the things we do to survive a Phoenix heatwave:

1- Car shade- if you can find it, even a patch of shade from a tree or building- use it.

2- Sun screens in the car- we have several- I have a big collapsible one for the front, a giant screen for the hatch back, and little ones on the side. I like these screens, as they are easy to place in my windows, and move around. I actually double them up on my commute home, when the sun is at it’s strongest on my arms.

3- A noggle or DIY noggle

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I have my daughter in the center in the back seat in her carseat. It gives her direct air from my center console, but it is not enough at first.

So I also add the diy noggle to my passenger side air vent.

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I used a vacuum hose and some bungee cords to secure it. I also tie it off on the headrest so it doesn’t come loose when we drive.

Mine is ugly, but it is effective to get some extra air on her fast. The real noggle is better, but a little pricey for us. I spent $10 a few years ago for the hose- which I cut in 2. The bungees were around the house. The clips were a few bucks. It makes it hard to have a passenger, but we just take it off for that. The Noggle is much easier to deal with of course.

4- Water- this should really be listed first, but I think everyone here knows to keep water in their cars. You get thirsty, and it happens.

I actually fill a glass water bottle with ice before I leave work and keep it in the drink holder.

By the time I get my daughter it is mostly melted and she has ice water with some ice to drink. I wrap it in a cooling towel, and if it sweats, the towel keeps the moisture from getting everywhere. It usually does not sweat in the car though. It is pretty dry (2% humidity) right now.

5- More water- I don’t advise leaving water in the car, but I do. I drive so much. and drink so much water that even plastic water bottles that leach are better than thirst.

6- Phone and charger- I keep my phone charged at all times. If we get stuck somewhere we need to get help! The desert is no place to be without a phone.

7- Bug out bag- I carry one at all times. I keep emergency type supplies handy. I use an old backpack, and keep it out of sight. It has emergency blankets, some basic supplies. No food, as that just explodes in the trunk, but pockey knives, more string and such. Can use all that for shade if needed.

8- Ice packs– If you have a kid in a car seat, you know they are like sweat machines. I have a little quilted thing that I insert ice packs into and I place it on the car seat before I leave work.

It is like this one on Etsy- 

Car seat cooler
Image from Etsy listing- julieschoice

It is totally not frozen when I get there, but the seat is cool, and the cooling is deep in the seat. It helps. I used to use this when I went to the mall and such and placed it when we got out of the car for awhile. It keeps baby comfy.

Once a kid gets burned on a carseat buckle, you will have a a hard time convincing them it won’t happen every time!

You can even wrap the packs in a towel and cover the buckles. Anything helps

9-Commute changes- if you have any control over your schedule, try not to be outside in the hottest parts of the day. I am SO lucky I was able to change my schedule back 2 hours recently. I am out in the heat, but not as much heat as it was 2 hours later. It makes a difference. Plus there is less traffic, and things actually move faster.

10- Stay home. If you can of course, and if you have AC.  When my first summer hit us with 123 for a few days straight, all I had was an evap cooler in my home. It was nice for most of the year, but not at 123. Our cars also had no ac. We spent a lot of time at the mall and library that week.

The next summer we were able to afford a small window unit to cool the living room. We slept in there all summer. The best was when we could upgrade to a full size unit, and life was good.. but man the electric bills were not!

In my current home, we have a great new ac unit and solar power. Life is so much nicer with that. EXCEPT when the ac broke over and over (before we replaced it.)

We got by with one of these portable ac units from Home Depot-

It cooled one room very well, and was portable. We just ran the heat exhaust out the bathroom window. It was nice to have in the garage too- when there is something that needs doing out there, we just roll it out and hook up the exhaust line.

However you manage, you have to make sure you are hydrated 24/7. Power outages and unexpected situations can literally kill you in this heat. Try to be prepared and stay cool!

That is how we Survive A Phoenix Heatwave.