The Southern California heat wave is expected to last at least through Thursday, but possibly without Labor Day weekend records.
This heightens concerns about power shortages, public health and the potential for wildfires.
Temperatures are expected to soar again on Tuesday, hitting the mid-90s for much of the Southern California metro area and up to 115 in the interior valleys and mountains – although slightly below the record highs seen this weekend. -end, according to the National Weather Service,
Downtown Los Angeles, Irvine and Anaheim are expected to see highs near 95, while Palm Springs could hit up to 115, Palmdale up to 108 and Burbank up to 102.
Forecasters are now calling for the heat wave to last at least until Thursday, although they expect to see a “slow cooling” as the week progresses, the NWS said.
California officials again called for a flex alert on Tuesday, hoping voluntary energy conservation can prevent power outages as demand peaks.
The key to avoiding blackouts on Monday and Tuesday, officials say, is to reduce power consumption during peak consumption times: late afternoon and evening.
Californians are urged to reduce their electricity use by setting thermostats to 78 or higher, health permitting, avoiding the use of major appliances and turning off all unnecessary lights, officials said.
“We need two to three times more conservation than we have experienced to maintain power with these historically high temperatures and demand,” warned Elliot Mainzer, chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, which runs the power grid. of State. at a press conference on Monday.
In response to an initial Flex Alert issued on Wednesday, Californians reduced their energy use by about 2%.
You can monitor the forecast for your area by going to the National Weather Service website and searching by city, state, or zip code for the latest weather updates and alerts. Follow local authorities and agencies on social media for advice and information on resources available in your area. Keep an extreme heat checklist to make sure you’re prepared.
Stay indoors and wear light clothing
Officials from the National Weather Service and public health units are advising people to stay indoors as much as possible, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is strongest. If you exercise outdoors, it is recommended to do so early in the morning or late in the evening.
If you don’t have air conditioning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends going to a mall or public library. You can also check your county’s website or call the local health department to learn about cooling centers in your area. Other options include taking a cool shower twice a day or even finding a shaded yard or park. (UCLA health officials say electric fans won’t prevent heat-related illnesses when temperatures reach 90 and above.)
Watch out for heat-related illnesses
According to the CDC, heat-related illnesses can range from skin rashes and sunburn to more serious conditions, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and result from the body’s inability to cool itself. while sweating. Signs of heatstroke, the most serious of heat-related illnesses, include a temperature of 103 degrees or higher; hot, red, dry or moist skin; rapid and strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion and loss of consciousness. If you experience these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. The CDC advises against drinking anything and recommends moving to a cool place and a cold bath or using a cold cloth.
Signs of heat exhaustion include profuse sweating; cold, pale and clammy skin; a rapid, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; fatigue; dizziness; headache; and fainting. If you have these symptoms, get out of the sun immediately, find a cool place or cold towels, and drink water. Monitor your symptoms and get help if you vomit, symptoms get worse, or last longer than an hour.
Drinking plenty of fluids, especially before going out, is essential to prevent heat-related illnesses. UCLA officials warn against waiting until you’re thirsty to drink. During periods of extreme heat, it is best to drink at least two to four cups of water per hour. (For those who work outdoors, the CDC suggests a cup of water, or 8 ounces, every 15 to 20 minutes.) Health officials also advise against drinking alcohol during times of extreme heat. , as this causes dehydration and increases the risk of heat. diseases.
It’s also important to replenish the salt and minerals your body loses when it sweats by drinking low-sugar fruit juices or sports drinks. Dietitians also recommend eating foods with high water content — think watermelon, celery, and cucumbers — as well as drinking the right fluids.
Signs of dehydration in adults include extreme thirst; fatigue; dizziness; dizziness; dry mouth and/or lips and infrequent urination. In infants or young children, look for dry mouth and tongue; no tears when crying; no wet diapers for more than three hours; sunken eyes and cheeks; a sunken soft spot on the top of the head and irritability or listlessness.
(If your doctor puts you on a special diet or regulates the amount of water you drink, ask them what steps you need to take during heat waves to stay properly hydrated.)
Check on the most vulnerable
In addition to protecting yourself and staying healthy, check frequently with people at high risk, including the elderly, children, pregnant women, homeless people, those who work outside and those who are not air-conditioned. Heat also affects your pets, so keep them indoors or if they will be outdoors, make sure they have plenty of water and a shaded area. Never leave a child or pet in the back seat of a car, as temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly skyrocket, even with cracked windows.
To help the homeless, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suggests donating water, electrolyte packets, light, loose clothing, tents, towels and other supplies to organizations. local.
Los Angeles Times