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By Miriam Raftery

Sources: National Weather Service and San Diego County News Center

August 28, 2017 (San Diego) -- A dangerous heat wave will continue the rest of this week across all of San Diego County, with isolated thunderstorms through Labor Day weekend also forecast, the National Weather Service advised today.  The County of San Diego also issued an alert urging residents to take precautions during the extreme heat.

How hot will it get?  An excessive heat warning is in effect now through Friday for the inland communities of Escondido, El Cajon, San Marcos, La Mesa, Santee, Borrego Springs and Poway. A heat advisory is in effect for the rest of San Diego County.

Temperatures could reach as high as 117 degrees in low desert communities, 109 in high deserts, 106 in valleys, 103 in mountain areas, 100 near coastal mesas, and 85 along the coast. 

Where to stay cool:  The County has over 115 cool zones in air conditioned buildings.  Find locations and hours of cool zones near you on a new interactive map on CoolZones.org, or by calling 2-1-1 San Diego (dial 2-1-1). You can also call 1-800-510-2020, ext. 6 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The sites are identified by a light blue polar bear Cool Zone logo.

The County is also extending Cool Zone hours at the Borrego Springs branch of the San Diego County Library, which will be open Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler. Do not rely on electric fans for cooling if temperatures exceed 90 degrees.

More ways to cool down:

To avoid heat-related problems, health officials recommend the following:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol and sugary drinks) and don’t wait until you are thirsty
  • Take cool showers
  • Never leave a child, elderly person, or pet unattended in a car
  • Keeping pets cool in hot weather
  • Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities outside during the hottest part of the day
  • If you’re going to hike, go early or late in the day and be prepared for the heat
  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear a wide-brim hat if you need to be in the sun
  • Avoid using the oven to cook

Signs of heat stroke – and what to do:  An extremely high body temperature (103 or higher), dizziness, nausea, confusion, and headache are signs of heat-stroke or exhaustion. If someone shows these signs, call 9-1-1 and begin cooling the person by:

  • Moving them to a shaded area
  • Spraying with cool water and fanning them
  • Placing them in a cool shower if they are alert
  • Monitoring the body temperature and continue cooling efforts
  • Do not give the victim fluids to drink

Check on elderly or ill neighbors and relatives:  Elderly people (65 years and older), infants and children, and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress. People with elderly neighbors should check on the well-being of the older persons.

Look up air quality: The hot temperatures can also affect air quality. You can check the latest air quality index online.

Don’t spark a wildfire:  People should also be extremely cautious about activities that could spark a wildfire during these hot, dry conditions. People should not use lawn mowers or power equipment; make sure trailer chains are not dragging and never pull over in dry grass; and make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished.

You can find more reminders and safety tips on the CAL FIRE website.

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