Local Government News

Keep Cool in the Heat – Cooling Centers Opening

With high temperatures predicted through this week in Sacramento County, those who are more sensitive to the heat may be at increased risk of heat illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  We count on our community to look after one another, including those who might need special attention such as seniors or those with mobility issues and ask that you look in on friends and relatives who may need attention and support.

To provide a cool place for people to get out of the heat, local organizations are opening their doors: view list of organzations with days and times of operation on the 211 website.

Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services will support the community organizations with staffing, supplies, and any assistance that is required. The centers will be safe places to cool down, with water and light snacks. They will not be open overnight and days of operation will be adjusted depending on the weather.  Chief of Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services, Steve Cantelme, said the County will not officially open a center unless the day and night-time heat is prolonged and meets temperature thresholds and they will continue to work with community organizations to maintain centers.  Follow Sacramento OES on twitter @SacramentoOES and Facebook facebook.com/SacramentoOES for additional information throughout the week.

Dr. Kasirye, Public Health Officer for Sacramento County, reminds people of options for places to cool down, such as shopping malls, community centers, public libraries, coffee shops and friends’ homes.  “It’s especially important for older and at-risk individuals to take precautions to avoid heat stress because they may not adjust well to sudden changes in temperature, and are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that makes them more prone to complications due to heat stress.”  Because of this, Social Workers with the County’s Department of Health and Human Services in the Senior and Adult Services Division regularly monitor their clients during heat spells.

“Drink plenty of water and get out of the heat for a couple of hours a day,” said County Executive Bradley J. Hudson. “Spending a few hours cooling down will allow the body to recover and tolerate the heat better for the rest of the day.”

Prevention is the key.  Limit outside activities, avoid becoming dehydrated, drink plenty of water, stay in a cool environment, and dress appropriately.

Tips for Beating the Heat: 

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid very cold drinks; don’t wait until you are thirsty
  • Take a cool shower to lower your body temperature
  • Limit your exposure to the sun – stay indoors where it is air-conditioned or go an air conditioned public place
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
  • Avoid strenuous activities if you are outside or in non-air conditioned buildings. If you are working outdoors, take frequent rest and refreshment breaks in a shaded area
  • Never leave children, elderly people or pets unattended in closed cars or other vehicles

 Prolonged exposure to excessive temperatures may cause serious conditions like heat exhaustion or heat stroke and can even be fatal.  Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting and dizziness.  Warning signs of heat stroke may include an extremely high body temperature, unconsciousness, confusion, hot and dry skin (no sweating), a rapid, strong pulse, and a throbbing headache.  If symptoms of heat stroke occur, immediately call 9-1-1 for medical assistance and take immediate action to begin cooling the person.

For more information on heat related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/.

Additional Information and Resources:
Social Service Information and Referrals: Call 2-1-1
Public Transit: 916-321-2877
Public Health: www.scph.com.
Tips on Heat and Associated Emergencies:  www.SacramentoReady.org
Regional Air Quality: www.sparetheair.com

Contact Info:
Chris Andis, Communication and Media Officer, 874-2691