Heat alert for Sonoma County, as temperatures head for record-breaking highs
The County of Sonoma Department of Health Services has issued a heat alert in response to the National Weather Service's prediction of consecutive days of 90 to 100-plus degree temperatures on Wednesday, June 16 through Friday, June 18. These weather conditions can cause heatstroke and worsen chronic medical conditions, leading to severe complications and death. Sonoma County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Kismet Baldwin urges residents to take simple steps to stay cool and help prevent heat-related illnesses.
"Extreme heat can pose dangers, but there are many things we can do to reduce heat-related problems," said Dr. Baldwin. "While summertime heat can be dangerous for anyone, including young, healthy people, those most at risk include older adults, young children and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart, breathing or lung conditions."
To protect yourself and your family when the weather is very hot, follow the tips below:
● Never leave anyone, including children and pets in a parked car, even briefly. Temperatures in the car can become dangerous within a few minutes.
● Use air-conditioning to cool down or go to an air-conditioned building such as a mall or movie theater. Check indoor mask requirements for the public space you will be visiting.
● Drink plenty of fluids. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink more fluids. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks. If your doctor generally limits the amount of liquid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
● Beat the heat with cool showers and baths.
● Stay out of the sun as much as possible. When possible, avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and take regular breaks from physical activity.
● Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing to help keep cool.
● Wear sunscreen and a ventilated hat (e.g., straw or mesh) when in the sun and even if it is cloudy.
● Be aware that some medicines affect the body's ability to sweat and stay cool, including antihistamines, antidepressants, over-the-counter sleeping pills, anti-diarrhea pills, beta-blockers, anti-Parkinson's drugs and psychiatric drugs. Do NOT stop taking medication unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
● Check on your neighbors such as the elderly or those in poor health to see if they need assistance.
"As always, during emergency times we must continue to look out for one another," said Lynda Hopkins, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. "Keep in close contact with family, friends and neighbors who are medically fragile or work outdoors. It's important to remind one another to seek shade, drink water and get medical assistance if signs of heat fatigue become prevalent."
For those experiencing homelessness during this heat wave, the Coordinated Entry System is available to offer shelter, services and housing. Contact Coordinated Entry Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at: (866) 542-5480 or email CE@srcharities.org