HomeCity Government NewsPeople, Pets Need to Take Precautions in Heat Wave

People, Pets Need to Take Precautions in Heat Wave

First published in the Sept. 1 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

While stores are stocking up on fall and holiday products, Southern Californians are still dealing with the summer and trying to stay cool from one of the worst heat waves this year.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning earlier this week with temperatures expected to reach as high as 115 degrees in Los Angeles County valleys and mountains.
In La Cañada Flintridge, the scorching heat arrived Wednesday and is expected to remain through the Labor Day weekend with temperatures projected to reach triple digits from Saturday through Monday.
Residents are being asked to take precautions this week, especially when it comes to energy consumption. Utility companies are expecting local grids to be strained due to customers cranking up their air conditioning systems.
Ben Gallagher of Southern California Edison, which sources energy to LCF residents, told the Outlook Valley Sun Monday that precautions such as setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and using appliances in the early morning or late evening are critical during heat waves.
“During a heat wave like this, we get usage spikes and that could put some stress on the grid that could cause outages,” Gallagher said. “We do have crews on standby, so we’re ready to respond quickly and get power restored as quickly as safety allows us to do so.”
LCF has been prone to power interruptions the past several years, and SCE encourages its customers to have an emergency preparedness plan should one happen during the heat wave. One should have a first-aid kit, water, sleeping bags, extra clothes, hygiene products and other necessities ready in case power is out for an extended period of time.
Gallagher recommended that customers close drapes and blinds to keep homes cooler and use electric fans when it’s practical. He added that pre-cooling your home is a good way to save energy during peak hours.
“Before the heat wave hits earlier in the day, set your thermostat lower so that when the heart starts to hit, you can turn it up to 78 degrees or higher in the afternoon,” Gallagher advised. “Your home is going to stay cooler, and it really does work pretty effectively.”
Exposure to extreme heat can cause dehydration, loss of consciousness, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. Gallagher said older individuals are more at-risk during such high temperatures and that people should check in on their parents and grandparents to make sure they are OK.
One can also help save energy by turning off their thermostat and leaving their home for an extended period of time for a cooler place, such as shopping centers, retail stores and movie theaters.
People with pets must take even more precautions with such high temperatures outside. Pasadena Humane said that the heat can lead to an increase in veterinary visits due to animals suffering from dehydration, burns to their paws or a heat stroke.
Pasadena Humane urged pet owners to keep their pets safe from the heat by keeping them hydrated, providing shade and water if pets are outside and avoiding exercise during peak hours.
Dog owners should walk their furry friends early in the morning or later in the evening to prevent paw burns from hot asphalt and cement. Sunscreen should also be applied to a dog’s nose, ears and belly to prevent sunburn.
Cats can be cooled off by placing them in a sink or bathtub with a few ice cubes to play with, and rabbit owners should place a two-liter frozen bottle of water in the hutch so that it serves as a natural air conditioner.
Pasadena Humane said that any pets exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion, such as excessive panting, heavily salivating or suddenly becoming immobile, should be taken immediately to a veterinarian.

— City News Service contributed to this report.


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