California officials issued an urgent warning to save electricity on Tuesday, saying the record-breaking heatwave means power outages are very possible.
California’s independent system operator said residents should be “prepared for potential rolling power outages on Tuesday evening as the hottest weather in this historic heat wave is expected to push electricity demand to an all-time high. record”. If outages are triggered, consumers can expect to receive notifications from power providers about the affected areas and duration.
The agency noted that “electricity demand is currently forecast at over 52,000 megawatts (MW), a new all-time high for the grid.”
The heat wave is now expected last until Friday, but the worst could be over for the southern half of the state – even if temperatures remain dangerously high.
For much of Northern California, the heat wave is expected to peak on Tuesday – likely reaching all-time highs – and temperatures are expected to remain well above average throughout the week, according to the National Weather Service.
In a video posted on Twitter on TuesdayGovernor Gavin Newsom called the heat across California unprecedented and warned the state was only now heading for the most severe stretch.
“The risk of outages is real and immediate,” Newsom said. “These triple-digit temperatures across much of the state are leading, unsurprisingly, to record demand on the energy grid.”
He said the heat wave was “on track to be the hottest and longest on record” for California and parts of the West in September.
Temperatures are expected to soar again on Tuesday in Southern California, hitting the mid-90s in most metropolitan areas and up to 115 in the interior valleys and mountains – although slightly lower than the records seen this weekend. -end, according to the National Weather Service.
Downtown Los Angeles, Irvine and Anaheim are expected to see highs near 95 on Tuesday, while Palm Springs could hit as high as 115, Palmdale at 108 and Burbank at 102.
Forecasters expect to see a “slow cooling” as the week progresses, the National Weather Service said.
Temperatures in the Sacramento Valley broke records Monday and aren’t expected to rise until Tuesday, according to forecasts. Extreme heat advisories swept the region, even in typically temperate Oakland, where temperatures were expected to hit the mid-90s.
California officials have called for a Flex Alert again on Tuesday, hoping that voluntary energy conservation can prevent power outages as demand peaks.
The key to avoiding blackouts on Monday and Tuesday, officials say, is to reduce power consumption during peak consumption times: late afternoon and evening.
Californians are urged to reduce their electricity use by setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, health permitting, avoiding the use of major appliances and turning off all unnecessary lights, officials said.
“We need two to three times more conservation than we have experienced to maintain power with these historically high temperatures and demand,” warned Elliot Mainzer, chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, which runs the power grid. of State. at a press conference on Monday.
In response to an initial Flex Alert issued on Wednesday, Californians reduced their energy use by about 2%.
“Everyone has to do their part to help step up, for a few more days … to help take the pressure off the grid,” Newsom said.
The governor encouraged people to pre-cool their homes earlier in the day on Tuesday and Wednesday, to protect themselves from the sun by keeping blinds closed and above all to limit electricity consumption after 4 p.m.
You can monitor the forecast for your area by going to the National Weather Service website. website and search by city, state or zip code for the latest weather updates and alerts. Follow local authorities and agencies on social media for advice and information on resources available in your area. Keep a extreme heat checklist to make sure you’re ready.
Stay indoors and wear light clothing
Officials from the National Weather Service and public health units are advising 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 outdoors, it is recommended to do so early in the morning or late in the evening.
If you don’t have air conditioning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended go to a mall or a public library. You can also check your county’s website or call the 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 shaded courtyard or park. (Health officials at UCLA say the electric fans will not prevent heat-related illnesses when temperatures reach 90+.)
Watch out for heat-related illnesses
According to the CDC, heat-related illnesses can range from skin rashes and sunburn to more serious conditions including heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and result from the body’s inability to cool itself through heat. sweat. Signs of heatstroke, the most serious of heat-related illnesses, include a temperature of 103 degrees or higher; hot, red, dry or moist skin; rapid and strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion and loss of consciousness. If you experience these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. The CDC not recommended drink anything and recommend moving to a cool place and cold bath or using a cold cloth.
Signs of heat exhaustion include profuse sweating; cold, pale and clammy skin; a rapid, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; fatigue; dizziness; headaches and fainting. If you have these symptoms, get out of the sun immediately, find a cool place or cold towels, and drink water. Monitor your symptoms and get help if you vomit, symptoms get worse, or last longer than an hour.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially before going out, is essential in the prevention of heat-related illnesses. UCLA officials warn against wait until you are thirsty to drink. In periods of high heat, it is better to drink at least two to four cups of water per hour. (For those who work outside, the The CDC suggests a cup of water, or 8 ounces, every 15 to 20 minutes.) Health officials also advise against drinking alcohol during periods of extreme heat, as it causes dehydration and increases the risk of heat-related illnesses.
This is also important to replenish the salt and minerals your body loses when it sweats by drinking low-sugar fruit juices or sports drinks. dietitians too recommend eat foods with high water content — think watermelon, celery, and cucumbers — while drinking the right fluids.
Signs of dehydration in adults include extreme thirst; fatigue; dizziness; dizziness; dry mouth and/or lips and infrequent urination. In infants or young children, look for dry mouth and tongue; no tears when crying; no wet diapers for more than three hours; sunken eyes and cheeks; a sunken soft spot on the top of the head and irritability or listlessness.
(If your doctor puts you on a special diet or regulates the amount of water you drink, ask about what steps you should take during heat waves to stay well hydrated.)
Check on the most vulnerable
In addition to protecting yourself and staying healthy, check frequently with people at high risk, including the elderly, children, pregnant women, homeless people, those who work outside and those who are not air-conditioned. Heat also affects your pets, so keep them indoors, or if they will be outdoors, make sure they have plenty of water and a shaded area. Never leave a child or pet in the back seat of a car, as temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly skyrocket, even with cracked windows.
To help the homeless, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suggests donating water, electrolyte packets, light, loose clothing, tents, towels and other supplies. to local organizations.