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Homeowners without power find unique ways to stay cool

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - It has been a tough few days for people still without power. Many of them are coming up with creative ways to stay cool until electricity is restored.

"[I have] my little reading area, where I've been sleeping, resting, reading, when I can," said Nancy Hiller, who is without electricity and is sleeping on her lanai to stay cool.

Hiller evacuated Sarasota just before Hurricane Irma, but she returned days later to a home without power, making it tough to keep her house at a comfortable temperature.

"A neighbor loaned me [this gate] which really comes in handy with the animals so I can leave the front door open while I'm here and get some air in here," said Hiller.

She's also trying to keep the cool air inside her Styrofoam cooler and is keeping what's salvageable from her refrigerator inside of her freezer. Her neighbors are in the same boat. Hiller is still able to communicate with them by her cell phone, because she can still charge it with a portable charger.

"I charged it up to 75% so when I go to a friends house later this and a laptop and another one of these will be charging," said Hiller.

According to Hiller, the real challenge is once the sun goes down. It's hard to navigate through her house with just the moonlight. She said she made one of her best purchases after losing power in a previous hurricane.

"This light I can hang it from the chandelier outside, the ceiling fan and it illuminates the entire room," explained Hiller.

After days without power, Hiller admits it's a lifestyle she could follow during the winter months. She said it's taught her to appreciate the luxury of having electricity.

"My heart has expanded from this whole experience," said Hiller.