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Ahead of Fourth of July Weekend, Here’s How California is Working to Keep People Safe from Extreme Heat

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: With extreme heat expected throughout the state this weekend and during the Fourth of July holiday, California is working to keep people safer with outreach and safety resources.

SACRAMENTO – With a significant heatwave impacting much of inland California this weekend and into the Fourth of July holiday, Governor Gavin Newsom highlighted the state’s ongoing preparedness and response efforts while urging Californians to take steps to protect themselves from extreme heat.

Extreme heat is deadly and climate change is making heatwaves longer and more frequent. According to the National Weather Service, extreme heat kills more Americans each year than any other extreme weather events, including wildfires, droughts, and floods.

Beginning today, excessive heat watches and warnings will be in place for large swaths of the state. Temperatures in Redding and Red Bluff will reach up to 108 degrees, while the Central Valley and all the way down to the desert southeast of the state could exceed 120 degrees.

What Governor Newsom said: “Extreme heat can be deadly. Californians should take steps to protect themselves from the heat – stay cool, stay hydrated and stay connected. California is taking more action now than at any point in our history to build climate resilience and protect communities – especially underserved Californians – from the real dangers of extreme heat.”

Governor Newsom has taken proactive steps to protect communities from the impacts of extreme heat. Last year he launched California’s Extreme Heat Action Plan, backed by more than $400 million in investments, to guide the state’s response to heatwaves, ensuring California is reaching vulnerable communities, protecting frontline workers and helping communities stand up cooling centers.

A current list of cooling centers open by county can be found here. 

To protect communities most at risk of impacts from extreme heat and other climate-driven emergencies this summer, Cal OES and Listos California have released a new Summer of Safety campaign – a comprehensive suite of in-language messaging and materials on summer climate extremes. As summer weather brings new threats that could impact Californians, these risks are all interrelated and can have the greatest impact on more vulnerable Californians, including those 65 years of age or older; individuals with chronic illness, disabilities or who are pregnant.

It’s important for Californians to have the tools they need to stay safe from:

  • Extreme heat
  • Wildfire
  • Wildfire smoke
  • Power outages
  • Dangerous waters

More information as well as a directory of all resources released as part of the Summer of Safety can be found at ListosCalifornia.org/Summer.

Cal/OSHA is also reminding employers to protect workers from heat illness during high temperatures. California employers must take steps to protect workers from heat illness by providing water, rest, shade and training. Cal/OSHA’s heat illness prevention standard applies to all outdoor worksites and Cal/OSHA is mobilizing enforcement efforts this weekend to ensure workers are protected. Learn more here.

HOW YOU CAN STAY SAFER FROM EXTREME HEAT:

Stay Cool (During the Hottest Times of the Day): 

  • Those without air conditioning should check with their city or county for cooling centers or visit public locations such as a library or shopping mall.
  • Avoid physical exertion or exercising outdoors.
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Stay Hydrated:  

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, even when not thirsty; drink sports drinks (in moderation with water) to help replace electrolytes lost during exercise.
  • Avoid sugary, alcoholic, and very cold drinks.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Stay Connected:

  • Monitor those at high risk of heat-related illness including infants and young children; people 65 years of age or older; individuals with chronic illness, disabilities or who are pregnant.
  • Californians are also encouraged to check on their neighbors – call or visit vulnerable people, and offer to pick up groceries, medication, and other necessities. Older adults, young children and babies, people with chronic medical conditions and those who are pregnant are most vulnerable.
  • Use a buddy system when working in the heat.

Stay Informed: 

  • Check the local news for weather forecasts, extreme heat alerts, and cooling centers.

Stay Safe Outdoors: 

If you plan on enjoying California’s rivers, lakes, beaches and parks this holiday, remember to always be safe around the water. Warm summer weather is causing continued snow melt from winter’s record snowpack, resulting in colder and faster water that continues today. Make sure you and your family stay safe by keeping these quick safety tips in mind:

  • Wear a Life Jacket: Water-related accidents can happen suddenly and rapidly. Make sure you and your loved ones wear properly fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Wearing them is the number one way to increase your chances of survival during an accident. Several public and private entities make life jackets available to the public on a loan basis. View Locations
  • Protect Your Loved Ones:
    • Always supervise children by appointing a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults. Do not assume that someone is watching your children.
    • Know your limits. Swimming in a lake, ocean or river is different than swimming in a pool.
    • If someone is in distress, seek help from a lifeguard or call 9-1-1 if one is not available.

What is extreme heat? Extreme heat is defined in most of the U.S. as an extended period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. Extreme heat often results in the highest annual number of deaths among all weather-related disasters. California is experiencing more frequent episodes of extreme heat, posing a greater danger to Californians from heat-related illness.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: