Conserve Energy SoCal provides tips and information on conserving energy. Visit ConserveEnergySoCal.com for more information.

Santa Monicans may be insulated from the worst a regional heatwave due to its coastal ecosystem but the city could still bear the brunt of the heat’s burden on the electrical system and see an influx of Angelenos eager to beat the inland heat.

The National Weather Service said the warm weather will remain through at least Thursday and could persist through Labor Day.

“From today through Thursday, there will be widespread triple digit readings across the valleys, lower mountains, and deserts,” said the NWS Los Angeles Forecast. “Coastal areas will also likely be very warm with highs from the mid 80s to lower 100’s, with Downtown Los Angeles possibly approaching 100 degrees at times. This heat wave will also bring very warm overnight low temperatures for inland areas, especially the foothills and mountains., which will enhance the potential for significant heat impacts. The prolonged hot, dry conditions with very dry fuels will bring an extended period of elevated fire danger. This dangerous heat wave will bring a significant risk of heat-related illnesses and increased threat of power outages. Remember to drink plenty of water, reduce time outdoors during peak heating, and never leave kids or pets in the car, even for a short time.”

Temperatures will be cooler in coastal areas like Santa Monica with the high expected to reach mid 80’s this week but vulnerable populations could still experience difficulty.

“A heat emergency indicates that extreme measures need to be taken to protect the health and safety of those who are most vulnerable, including older adults, infants and children, and others who have medical or other conditions that make them sensitive to the heat,” said the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “Exertion and heavy work out-of-doors should be limited or eliminated whenever possible. During the current situation, in which the relative humidity is below 30%, key strategies to remain cool include staying in air-conditioned areas and drinking adequate fluids to remain hydrated throughout the day.”

City officials said locals and visitors should be aware of the conditions.

“There will be record-breaking heat in inland areas of the Southland with temperatures reaching 112 degrees,” said Santa Monica Public Information Officer Constance Farrell. “We are fortunate to benefit from coastal breezes here in Santa Monica, but it’s still going to heat up on the coast. With excessive heart warnings in place, we encourage people to stay in air-conditioning, to drink lots of water and to take frequent breaks and avoid anything too strenuous when outside.  This is a particularly relevant tip for visitors coming to Santa Monica for the day. It’s also a time to remind people to not leave people or pets inside vehicles, even for short stints of time. Anyone experience a life-threatening emergency should call 9-1-1.”

Even if local temperatures remain below the regional danger levels, Santa Monica is still part of the regional electrical system and locals are subject to the calls to conserve power during hot weather.

California energy authorities urged voluntary conservation of electricity Tuesday as a wave of triple-digit heat strained the State’s power grid.

The California Independent System Operator issued a so-called flex alert for 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., the period when air conditioners are typically at peak use and consumers should avoid running major appliances.

Energy demand for the day was forecast to exceed 48,000 megawatts, which would be the highest demand on the grid so far this year.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power forecast peak demand of 5,811 megawatts in the nation’s second-largest city, which would be a record for this year.

The withering blast of broiling temperatures was being spawned by an area of upper-level high pressure over Nevada.

“Just really, really hot this week, especially more than 5-10 miles inland from the beach,” the National Weather Service office for the Los Angeles region wrote.

“When temperatures are as high as they will be in the next few days, even a few hours of exertion may cause severe dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Others who are frail or have chronic health conditions may develop serious health problems leading to death if they are exposed to high temperatures over several days,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Health Officer, Los Angeles County. “Thus, it is critically important to never leave children, elderly people, or pets unattended in homes with no air conditioning and particularly in vehicles, even if the windows are ‘cracked’ or open, as temperatures inside can quickly rise to life-threatening levels. If you have an elderly or infirm neighbor without air conditioning, check up on them regularly, and make sure that they get to a cooling center or other air conditioned space between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.”

Lindsay Barker, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Santa Monica Office of Emergency Management said the local heat and the national tragedy in Texas should be a reminder for locals to check their emergency preparedness kits.

“The good news about emergency preparedness is if you prepare for one emergency you prepare for all emergencies,” she said.

Barker said the city’s advice for any emergency is to get a kit, have a plan, be informed and then share. While emergency kits should be a staple for all Californians due to earthquakes, she said it’s equally important to have a plan so the entire family knows what to do when there’s an emergency of any type.

She said the City has services to help locals stay informed but they rely on citizens to help spread the word.

“The other thing we advise people to do is sign up for Santa Monica Alerts so they can get notifications from the Santa Monica public safety team about expected duration of any outage or if we have to set up points of distribution or if there are other pieces of information,” she said. “The shared component is really advocating that neighbors work together, communities work together during any type of emergency. We encourage our residents to check in on our neighbors especially neighbors that are elderly, have medical conditions have children or could have heatwave impacts.”

For more information or to sign up for SMAlerts www.smgov.net/OEM. For heat specific information visit www.smgov.net/Departments/OEM/WhatToDo/Heat.aspx.

Photo courtesy of Conserve Energy SoCal. Conserve Energy SoCal provides tips and information on conserving energy. Visit ConserveEnergySoCal.com for more information.

editor@www.smdp.com