The Southern California heatwave is expected to last through at least Thursday, although possibly without the record highs of the Labor Day weekend.
That increases concerns about power shortages, public health and the potential for fires.
Temperatures are expected to rise again Tuesday, reaching the mid-90s for much of Southern California’s metro and up to 115 in the inland valleys and mountains — although this weekend is slightly below record highs, according to the National weather service,
Downtown Los Angeles, Irvine and Anaheim are expected to reach peaks of nearly 95, while Palm Springs could soar to 115, Palmdale to 108 and Burbank to 102.
Forecasters are now calling for the heat wave to last at least through Thursday, though they expect it to “slowly cool down” as the week progresses, according to the NWS.
California officials again called for a Flex Alert on Tuesday, in hopes that voluntary power savings can prevent advancing blackouts as demand peaks.
The key to avoiding blackouts on Monday and Tuesday, officials said, is to reduce energy consumption during the hours of greatest use: late afternoon and evening.
Californians are urged to cut electricity consumption by turning thermostats to 78 or higher, if health permits, avoid using large appliances and turn off all unnecessary lights, officials said.
“We’re going to need two to three times the savings we’ve experienced to sustain power at these historic highs of temperatures and demand,” warned Elliot Mainzer, chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s electrical grid. at a press conference on Monday.
In response to a Flex Alert first issued Wednesday, Californians have cut their energy consumption by about 2%.
You can track 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 officials and agencies on social media for tips and information about resources available in your area. Keep an extreme heat checklist to make sure you’re prepared.
Stay indoors and wear light clothes
Officials from the National Weather Service and public health agencies advise 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 outside, it is recommended to do this early in the morning or later 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 your local health department to learn more about cooling centers in your area. Other options include taking a cool shower twice a day or even finding a shady yard or park. (UCLA health officials say electric fans won’t prevent heat-related illness when temperatures reach the high 90s and above.)
Beware of heat-related illnesses
According to the CDC, heat-related illnesses can range from heat rash and sunburn to more serious conditions, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and result from the body’s inability to cool down through sweating. Signs of heatstroke, the most serious of the heat-related illnesses, include a temperature of 103 degrees or higher; hot, red, dry, or moist skin; fast, strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion and loss of consciousness. If you experience these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. The CDC does not recommend drinking anything and recommends going to a cool place and taking a cold bath or using a cold cloth.
Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating; cold, pale and clammy skin; a fast, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; fatigue; dizziness; headache; and fainting. If you exhibit these symptoms, get out of the sun immediately, find a cool place or cool towels, and drink water. Monitor your symptoms and seek help if you vomit, worsen, or last for more than an hour.
Drinking plenty of fluids, especially before going outside, is critical in preventing heat-related illness. UCLA officials warn against waiting until you’re thirsty to drink. During times 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 drinking a cup of water or 8 ounces every 15-20 minutes.) Health officials also advise against drinking alcohol during times of extreme heat, as it causes dehydration and increases the risk of heat-related illness. diseases.
It’s also important to replenish the salt and minerals your body loses when it sweats from drinking low-sugar fruit juices or sports drinks. Dietitians also recommend eating foods high in water — think watermelon, celery and cucumbers — and drinking the right fluids.
Signs of dehydration in adults include extreme thirst; fatigue; dizziness; dizziness; dry mouth and/or lips, and irregular urination. Watch out for dry mouth and tongues in infants or young children; no tears when crying; no wet diaper for more than three hours; sunken eyes and cheeks; a sunken soft spot on top of their head, and irritability or listlessness.
(If your doctor puts you on a certain diet, or regulates how much water you drink, ask what steps you should take during heat waves to stay well hydrated.)
Control the most vulnerable
In addition to keeping yourself safe and healthy, you should regularly contact people at high risk, including seniors, children, pregnant women, those without housing, those who work outdoors, and those without air conditioning. Heat also affects your pets, so keep them indoors or if they are out, provide plenty of water and a shady area. Never leave a child or pet in the back seat of a car, as the temperature inside a car can rise quickly, even if the windows are cracked.
To help the homeless, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suggests donating water, electrolyte packs, light and loose-fitting clothing, tents, towels and other supplies to local organizations.