County News Service; photo via PhotoSpin
June 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--With prolonged high temperatures expected to reach up to 115 in San Diego County deserts over the next few days, County health officials are reminding the public to take precautions to avoid heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses.
The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a heat advisory in effect now through Sunday at 7 p.m. for the lower desert areas of eastern San Diego County. Temperatures inland will be anywhere from 5 to 10 degrees above average with high temperatures forecast of 112 to 115 degrees. Nighttime temperatures will only drop into the 80s. Mountain and foothill areas in the county are expected to be warm as well with highs in the 90s. Coastal areas will be near-normal temperatures.
The County operates the Cool Zones program and has designated more than 115 air-conditioned buildings as cooling centers. Locations and hours of operation can be found on a new interactive map on CoolZones.org or by calling 2-1-1 San Diego. The sites are identified by a light blue Polar Bear Cool Zone logo.
The Cool Zone at the Borrego Springs Library will be open additional hours until 8 p.m. Wednesday for residents seeking to escape the heat.
To avoid heat-related problems, health officials recommend the following:
- Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day. Even a few hours in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler. Don’t rely on electric fans for cooling if temperatures are over 90 degrees.
- Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
- Drink plenty of water and don't wait until you are thirsty. Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
- Take cool showers
- Never leave a child, elderly person, or pet unattended in a car, even for a brief time
- Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities outside during the hottest part of the day
- Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear a wide-brim hat if you need to be in the sun
- Avoid using the oven to cook
- Don’t hike in extreme heat. If you do hike during warm weather carry extra water and leave your dog at home.
- Carry ample supplies of water when driving, especially in desert areas.
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 individual 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
Elderly people (65 years and older), infants and children, and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress. The county advises people with elderly neighbors to check on their well-being during this extreme heat wave.