Staying Safe During a Heat Wave

  • June 15, 2017

As temperatures rise, it’s important to keep yourself and your loved ones - especially children, infants and the elderly - safe during periods of extreme heat because high temps can lead to an increased risk of heat exhaustion, heat cramps or sunstroke.

Consider these tips from the American Red Cross to stay cool and safe during the summer.

What to Do Before a Heat Wave Hits

  • Pay attention to your local weather forecasts to anticipate any upcoming heat waves.
  • Make a safety preparedness plan for your family and know where your nearest cooling center is. County Extreme Heat Cool Centers are available during periods of extreme heat. Dial 211 on your phone, visit your local county 211 website, or use our Cool Center Locator on our website.
  • Check the contents of your emergency kit in case a power outage occurs. If outages occur, customers can get the latest information by using the SCE outage map. Outages also can be reported at 800-611-1911. 
  • Get contact info from those who may be vulnerable during extreme heat, such as family members, seniors, friends, neighbors and people with disabilities or those who spend much of their time alone, so that you can check on them in the event of a heat wave.
  • Ensure your pets have plenty of clean drinking water and access to shade.

What to Do During Extreme Heat

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water regularly and often, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun if possible. If you must be outside, be sure to wear a hat, use sunscreen, and dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
  • Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat and remember to take frequent breaks. Try to avoid strenuous work during the hottest part of the day. 
  • Check on elderly family, friends and neighbors who live alone or do not have air conditioning to make sure they’re safe.
  • Never leave children or pets in enclosed vehicles, even with the windows "cracked" or open.
  • Pets should not be left in a garage as it can get very hot due to lack of ventilation and insulation.

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