Protect Yourself From Dangers Associated With Heatwaves

Posted on July 10, 2013

Although rainy conditions are expected throughout Los Angeles and a large portion of Southern California over the next few days, indications are that the heat is still going to test the durability of citizens.  With months of warmth potentially still to go, it’s important that citizens take the precautions necessary to protect themselves from harm.  Tips offered by the New York Office of Emergency Management would thus be helpful even on this coast.

The best way to avoid a heat-based illness is simply by staying indoors.  However, we understand that that’s not always possible, and thus you’ll need to be prepared every time you head outside.  Sunscreen should be lathered on every time you’ll be in the sun, and that should be coupled with light (both in weight and color) clothing.  If you’re exercising or working outdoors, limit your level of activity at those hours around noon that pose the greatest danger.  Take frequent breaks to load up with water, but stay away from caffeinated drinks or alcohol, the latter of which can dry you out further.

Although you’re going to want to rely on air conditioning to get you through the hottest times of the year, it’s important to recognize that, just like any other appliance, an A/C can get worn down and break.  If excessive stress is placed on the unit, for instance if it runs constantly at temperatures in the 60s, it might not be long before the A/C breaks or you contribute to a power outage.

Power loss can be dangerous if it happens when the temperature is in the triple digits outdoors.  Conserve your power and your A/C’s lifespan by taking a few precautions.  Although you’ll certainly want to remain cool, consider not placing the A/C lower than the upper 70s so that you don’t place undue stress on the machine.

You also don’t need to run the air conditioner constantly.  Setting it on Auto is a good idea, but you can further conserve energy by not running it at those times that no one is home.  Unless you have pets, think about setting up a timer that will start up the A/C just before you’re scheduled to arrive home.  And when the day is at its hottest, avoid using such devices as an electric oven, a washing machine, or similar products that drain energy and create heat.  Wait until night falls and it gets cooler outside to use these.

Finally, recognize the unique danger posed by fire hydrants that have opened.  What kids might perceive as a fun way to pass the time can endanger them and others who rely on the water supply, such as a nearby hospital for instance.  Never attempt to open a fire hydrant, and report occurrences of such if you suspect the fire department wasn’t responsible.

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