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How to survive the heatwave


Some time tips to stay cool

As the summer heat continues to increase as we reach the middle of July, California residents are trying to find ways of keeping cool during the current heat wave.  During a Zoom meeting, different health physicians advised on how to combat the heat, whether inside or outside.

“It is important for everybody to understand the dangers of a heatwave and how to prepare and protect yourself, “ said Dr. Lucía Abascal, a Public Health Physician at the California Department of Public Health. “First thing is to stay cool, whether that's inside your home with A/C or finding a place like a library or local mall with A/C. The second important thing to do is stay hydrated regardless of health level as even healthy people are at high risk of a heat stroke.”

Abascal continued stating that we should look out for one another during the heatwave. “ If you know an elderly person who lives alone, check up on them to see if they're staying cool or need water or food for their place. If you see people working in the heat, be kind and offer them water so they can keep hydrated.”

Marta Segura, chief heat officer and director of Climate Emergency Mobilization also advocates for people to be in cool areas with A/C circulating in the building, as people in low-income communities are at a higher risk of experiencing heat exhaustion due to the lack of cool or shaded places near them.

“The areas with the greatest vulnerability to extreme heat — with excess deaths and hospitalizations — are in areas with low-income housing that lacks air conditioning, near polluting facilities, or where there is more pollution because of the urban heat island,” Segura said.

“Heat exacerbates pollution, thus increasing the exposure to low-income communities without AC or who are more likely to be pedestrians and mobile, taking the bus, or walking to school,” Segura said as she talked about heat waves' impact on low-income communities. “In Los Angeles, we now have a ten-year plan for bus shelters, and we can only hope to accelerate that plan and address the heat adaptation needs of our very mobile low-income community.”

V. Kelly Turner, associate director of Urban Environmental Research at UCLA, spoke on how city infrastructure plays a role in the lack of shaded areas and contributes to the heat exhaustion people experience.

“We know that that extreme heat will get longer and worse in the future. And then that's made even worse by the way we build cities regionally.” Turner said as she talked about heavily populated areas with building causing it to be hotter. “We put a lot of buildings, and that creates what's often called the urban heat “

'Most Californians are effectively living in shade deserts currently. We need to be specific about settings like schools or residential or transportation because different interventions are going to be needed in each setting.”