Your Guide To Making It Through The Labor Day Weekend Heat Wave

We were warned all week it was coming. How hot is it? Just one sign: all hiking trails in Burbank are now closed until 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

Now that the super hot temperatures are here we wanted to re-up the tips for staying safe:

TIPS | POWER OUTAGES | SAVING ENERGY | COOLING CENTERS | CLIMATE CHANGE ROLE

HOW TO STAY COOL

The heat is here already but keep in mind, for most of Southern California, Sunday is expected to be the hottest day, with temperatures as high as 115 degrees.

Jackie Fortiér, who covers health, reminds that heat causes more deaths in the U.S. each year than floods, storms, and lightning combined. And anyone can get heat stroke — especially children, the elderly and people with chronic health conditions.

Some simple precautions can keep you safe:

  • Stay inside.
  • Don't drink alcohol; it dehydrates you, so skip the beer and drink more water than usual, before you're thirsty.
  • If you don't have air conditioning, take cool showers to lower your body temperature.
  • If you have to be outside, keep it short and stay in the shade.
  • Health officials say to use the buddy system to check on older friends or neighbors.
  • And remember — the coronavirus doesn't care how hot it is, so keep your distance from people not in your household.

MORE TIPS:

WILL YOUR POWER GO OUT?

The coming three-day holiday heat wave will be just as hot as the one in mid-August, and Californians are forecast to use just as much energy, pushing the state's utilities to the brink of running out of power.

But will we experience rolling outages, as happened in mid-August?

The simple answer:

The state's power managers forecast demand and production one day ahead of time, and on Thursday they said it's too early for them to know if rolling outages will be needed. The worst of the heat starts on Saturday, and things could change.

The more complicated answer:

Rolling outages happen if there is too much demand for power and not enough supply. So it will depend on how much we all conserve, and how much electricity the state's combined utilities can produce or buy to meet the peak demand.

Sharon McNary, who covers infrastructure, has more what you need to know about potential outages and your role in preventing them this long holiday weekend.

HOW YOU CAN SAVE ENERGY:

  • Set your air conditioning at 78 or higher. If you can turn it off and use a fan instead, even better. You can pre-cool your house to 72 in the morning hours when there is lower demand on the power system, then when you set it to 78 in the afternoon, it won't be quite as unbearable.
  • Unplug "energy vampires" — those appliances that are sucking power from the grid even when they are not being used, like a microwave oven, and phone chargers.
  • Close drapes and blinds to keep your home cooler inside. Turn off unneeded lights.
  • Wait until the early morning or late evening hours to run the washing machine or dishwasher, or vacuum.
  • If you have an electric car, don't charge it in those afternoon or evening hours
  • For those lucky enough to have a pool, do your part by turning off your pool pump.

COOLING CENTERS IN L.A.

As our science reporter Jacob Margolis detailed this week, if you lack access to air conditioning in this extreme heat, this heat wave could be deadly.

And a lot of the places people used to go during a heat wave — movie theaters, public swimming pools, indoor malls — are off limits due to the pandemic.

Cooling centers with COVID-19 safety measures in place are open. Keep in mind space is limited because of the pandemic, so check before you go.

The following list of cooling centers is courtesy of the county's emergency website, Ready LA County. Trained service dogs welcome, according to the county.

Quartz Hill Library
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 to Sunday, September 6, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
5040 W. Ave. M-2, Quartz Hill, CA 93356

Salazar Park
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Sunday, September 6, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
3864 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90023

Sunshine Park
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Sunday, September 6, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
515 Deepmead Ave., La Puente, CA 91744

Valleydale Park
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Sunday, September 6, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
5525 N. Lark Ellen Ave., Azusa, CA 91702

Stevenson Ranch Library
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 to Sunday, September 6, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
25950 The Old Rd., Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381

LOS ANGELES

Lafayette Recreation Center
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
625 S Lafayette Park Pl. |(213) 384-0562.

Canoga Park Senior Center
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
7326 Jordan Ave, Canoga Park, CA 91303 | (818) 340-2633

Lake View Terrace Recreation Center
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
11075 Foothill Blvd, Lake View Terrace, CA | (818) 899-8087

South LA Sports Activity Center
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
7020 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90003 | (323) 758-8716

EL MONTE

Saturday, September 5, 2020 to Sunday, September 6, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
3130 Tyler Ave., El Monte, CA 91731

GLENDALE

Griffith Manor Park
Friday, September 4, 2020 and Tuesday, September 8, 2020
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
1551 Flower St., Glendale, CA 91201

Pacific Community Center
Saturday, September 5, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
501 S. Pacific Ave., Glendale, CA 91204

PALMDALE

Chimbole Cultural Center
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 to Tuesday, Septmber 8, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
38350 Sierra Hwy., Palmdale, CA 93550

SAN FERNANDO

Las Palmas Park
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Tuesday, September 8, 2020
10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
505 S. Huntington St., San Fernando, CA 91340

BURBANK

Buena Vista Library
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
300 N. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91505

PASADENA

Robinson Park
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, CA 91003

LANCASTER

Museum of Art and History
Ongoing
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
665 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, CA 93534

TORRANCE

Ken Miller Recreational Center
Saturday, September 5, 2020 to Sunday, September 6, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
3341 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503

Normandale Recreation Center [City of LA site]
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
22400 South Halldale Ave., Torrance, CA 90501 | (310) 328-3689

SAN DIMAS

Senior Center/Community Center
Thursday, September 3, 2020 to Thursday, September 10, 2020
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
201 E. Bonita Ave., San Dimas, CA 91773

GLENDORA

Crowther Teen & Family Center
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
241 W. Dawson Ave., Glendora, CA 91740

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

THE ROLE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

As our science reporter Jacob Margolis frequently notes, we can't ignore the role climate change is playing in these hotter temperatures. As he reported this week:

This heat wave is yet another threat that many people are unequipped to deal with, and a clear example of how people with less money are more susceptible to the ravages of our fast-changing climate.

An estimated 30% of renters in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area don't have air conditioning.

The tools needed to survive our new reality are often unavailable to those without means, a large portion of whom are people of color in L.A. County. The larger scope of the problem is laid out in recent research from USC, which examined the vulnerability of different neighborhoods and socioeconomic groups to extreme heat across Southern California.

"Basically the richest census tracts have way more access to air conditioners compared to the poorest communities," said Mo Chen, a former Ph.D. student at USC and lead author on the paper.

"One area that stands out is the South L.A. area ... Compton, South Gate, Lynwood," he said.

Residents there have tended to benefit, at least in part, from cooling from the nearby ocean, making AC less necessary compared to other parts of the county. But as time goes on, the number of extreme heat days will continue to increase, making it crucial to survival.

It makes clear who and what we prioritize as a society.

"Air conditioning is definitely a luxury and most of our residents do not have air conditioning," said Favian Gonzalez, a coordinator with Strategic Actions For A Just Economy, a tenants' rights organization that's been advocating for Macedonio.

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