Saturday, 13 July 2024

STATE: Governor urges Californians to prepare for hot weather

Following several weeks of unseasonably cool weather, temperatures are on the rise again, prompting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to urge Californians to take steps now to prepare for the heat.


Employers should also review their heat illness prevention programs and remind employees of the importance of protecting themselves.


“Though this summer has been unusually mild, temperatures in many areas of the state are predicted to rise over 100 degrees this week, and everyone should take proper precautions to avoid heat-related illness,” said Schwarzenegger. “With just a few simple steps, such as drinking an adequate amount of water, staying indoors during the hottest times of the day and pacing yourself when outside, we can all keep cool and safely enjoy the outdoors during hot weather.”


The National Weather Service has forecast above-normal temperatures affecting the state through Thursday, with the highest temperatures expected in the Central and Southern California valleys on Tuesday and Wednesday.


“Though we’ve had lower temperatures recently, we cannot forget that it is summer in California and we must be prepared for hot weather,” said California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) Secretary Matthew Bettenhausen. “Taking time to review and update family emergency plans, restock emergency supply kits and drinking water supplies, learn first aid and CPR, are ways we can all reduce our risk and create a cooler environment to beat the heat.”


Because drinking fluids is essential to avoiding heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses, officials strongly suggested that Californians include plenty of drinking water in their emergency supply kits.


Officials also recommend Californians consider the needs of family members and neighbors, who are elderly, have physical impairments and other unique needs.


“Infants, small children, the elderly, people with illnesses and those who are taking certain medications could be at additional risk to heat-related illnesses,” noted California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Mark Horton. “If it hasn’t been done yet, now is the time to obtain extra medications and food, and to arrange for someone to check on those who are living alone or have special needs.”


Employers are also asked to take appropriate precautions.


The Division of Occupational Safety and Health investigations show that in 30 percent of cases in which suspected heat illness occurred, the employer did not have a heat illness prevention program. Heat illness is preventable. Preventing heat illness protects your workers and is good business. Health and safety problems and other health problems like heart attacks and falls may result from heat illness at the workplace.


In preparation for this week’s temperature increase, the following actions have been taken:


  • Cal EMA continues to conduct daily weather conference calls with the National Weather Service, state agencies, local responding agencies and private partners to coordinate response efforts;

  • State and local agencies continue monitoring the weather situation and providing updated information to employers and the public.

 

For summer heat resources, please visit Cal EMA at www.calema.ca.gov.


Additional health tips can be found on the California Department of Public Health Web site at www.cdph.ca.gov.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf.

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