As California experiences more complex weather events that are supercharged by climate change, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is taking proactive steps to keep California’s safe. Ahead of a warm week leading into a warm Labor Day, Cal OES would like to remind you how to stay safe during the heat.
For years, heat has been the number one cause of weather-related deaths in America. Workers, including farmworkers, farmers, firefighters, and construction workers, are disproportionately impacted by extreme heat.
There are several basic steps you can take to protect yourself and your community from extreme heat. Learn more at: www.heatreadyca.com.
- Stay Cool: Avoid being outside in the direct heat for a long time. Try to stay in air-conditioned spaces, at home with your A/C set between 75-80, or at your local library, shopping mall, or community center. If staying home, keep blinds closed and wear loose, light-colored, lightweight clothing.
- Stay Hydrated: Sip water all day and consider supplementing with sports drinks. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Look After Each Other: Check in on friends and family and have them do the same for you. Extreme heat can also lead to wildfires, energy issues and other secondary impacts.
- Find a Cooling Center Near You: Visit Cal OES to find a cooling center.
When weather extremes put pressure on the electrical grid, Californians should sign up for “flex alerts” to stay informed and help conserve energy. A Flex Alert is a call for consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity when there is an anticipated shortage of energy supply. More information can be found at: www.flexalert.org
To do your part during a Flex Alert, follow these basic tips:
Before a Flex Alert
- Pre-cool home by lowering AC: Lower your thermostat earlier in the day to pre-cool your home when energy is more plentiful.
- Use major appliances early: Use major appliances such as dishwashers or washers and dryers early in the day.
- Close window coverings: Closing window coverings helps insulate your home and keep the hot air out and cool air in.
During a Flex Alert
- Set AC to 78 or higher, if health permits: Help conserve energy by setting your AC higher.
- Avoid using major appliances: Major appliances can demand a lot of energy, avoid using them during a Flex Alert.
- Turn of unnecessary lights: Turn off lights when leaving a room, and only turn on lights when they are needed.