Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Preparing for the Heat

Thankfully the temperatures have cooled a bit this week but they are expected to climb from the mid-80s to the high 80s by the end of the week and into next week. Thanks to Windsor Square Block Captain co-chairs Katie Jone and Caroline Labiner Moser for sharing some advice on preparing for the heat, keeping cool and saving energy to minimize the stress on our electrical system.

In case you missed it, here’s our report on the presentations by LADWP representatives Martin Adams & Daniel Barnes, Ratepayer advocate Fred Pickel, Councilman David Ryu at the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council meeting last week on the recent outages. And here’s a link to our outage map. Thanks to everyone who responded. The poll is still open if you want to share your outage with us.

Remember, if you have an outage report it directly online or at 1-800-DIAL-DWP. LADWP needs to know the extent of any issue. The best link to use to check on outages is

The DWP can be reached at or on Facebook at or

Find our local cooling centers: 
Call 311. Libraries are also available as cooling centers.

Power saving tips:

Prepare for the Heat:
From LA City:
From LA County:
From Earth Easy:
From Wunderground:
From KnowRisk:

  • Shield windows exposed to the sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers – and keep them closed during the day – open windows as the city cools to let the hot air out
  • Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%
  • Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard to reflect heat back outside
  • During hot weather, people should drink a lot of liquid – up to four 16-ounce glasses per hour if exercising in the heat.
  • Check for A/C air leaks and clean a/c filter and ducts for proper insulation.
  • Refrigerate bottles of drinking water.
  • Stock up on ‘cool’ foods.
  • Get a portable cooler to keep in reserve – you can buy ice and safe some food from spoiling.
  • Build a disaster supply kit and make a family emergency plan
  • If installing window air conditioners, install them snugly and insulate if necessary
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in
  • Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes
  • Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young or in poor health — they are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help
  • People living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas
  • Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies
  • Filling a bath or with water before the heat comes to help you cool down but try to avoid extreme temperature changes
  • Keep a battery operated fan, extra batteries, bottled water and first aid kit on hand in case of a power outage keeping plenty of bottles/jugs of drinking water in a cool dark place wrap medications that need to be refrigerated (such as insulin pens) in foil or place in an heat repellent container with some ice in case of power failure

Stay Safe During the Heat:

The Red Cross recommends taking these steps to stay safe during the heat:

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles
  • Eat small meals and eat more often
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes
  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages
  • Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty, and avoid drinks with caffeine
  • Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat
  • Take frequent breaks if working outdoors
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat, and ensure they have water and a shady place to rest

First Aid For Heat-Related Illness:

First Aid For Heat-Related Illness:

ConditionsSymptomsFirst Aid
SunburnSkin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches– Take a shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores, preventing the body from cooling naturally. – Apply dry, sterile dressings to any blisters, and get medical attention.
Heat CrampsPainful spasms, usually in leg and abdominal muscles; heavy sweating– Get the victim to a cooler location. – Lightly stretch and gently massage affected muscles to relieve spasms. – Give sips of up to a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. (Do not give liquids with caffeine or alcohol.) – Discontinue liquids, if victim is nauseated.
Heat ExhaustionHeavy sweating but skin may be cool, pale, or flushed. Weak pulse. Normal body temperature is possible, but temperature will likely rise. Fainting or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and headaches are possible.– Get victim to lie down in a cool place. – Loosen or remove clothing. – Apply cool, wet clothes. – Fan or move victim to air-conditioned place. – Give sips of water if victim is conscious. – Be sure water is consumed slowly. – Give half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. – Discontinue water if victim is nauseated. – Seek immediate medical attention if vomiting occurs.
Heat Stroke (a severe medical emergency)High body temperature (105+); hot, red, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid shallow breathing. Victim will probably not sweat unless victim was sweating from recent strenuous activity. Possible unconsciousness.– Call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services, or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal. – Move victim to a cooler environment. – Removing clothing – Try a cool bath, sponging, or wet sheet to reduce body temperature.- Watch for breathing problems. – Use extreme caution. – Use fans and air conditioners.
If you have no Air Conditioning:
  1. Use box fans and ceiling fans to promote air circulation throughout your home. Opening doors in the house and using box fans to push hot air outdoors can function as an “exhaust” system and draw cooler evening air into the house. In the cooler evenings, open all windows and promote as much air circulation as possible. When the sun rises, close all doors and windows, making sure to close curtains and blinds as well, to keep the indoors cool for as long as possible. When the outside air cools to a lower temperature than inside (usually in the evenings or at night), open up the windows and turn on the fans again.
  2. Take advantage of the cooling power of water. Fill buckets or basins and soak your feet. Wet towels and bandannas can have a cooling effect when worn on the shoulders or head. Take cool showers or baths, and consider using a spray bottle filled with cold water for refreshing spritzes throughout the day.
  3. Head downstairs. Since hot air rises, the upper stories of a home will be warmer than the ground floor. A basement can be a cool refuge from the midday heat.
  4. Eliminate extra sources of heat. Incandescent light bulbs can generate unnecessary heat, as can computers or appliances left running. Eat fresh foods that do not require you to use the oven or stove to prepare.
  5. Remember to maintain an adequate level of hydration, which means you’ll need to consume more water than you usually do when it’s hot. If you’re sweating profusely, you will also need to replace electrolytes by eating a small amount of food with your water or by drinking specially-formulated electrolyte replacement drinksThirst is the first sign of dehydration; you should drink sufficient amounts of fluids before you feel thirsty in order to prevent dehydration.
  6. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine, as both of these substances can act as diuretics and promote dehydration.
  7. For a homemade “air conditioning” system, sit in the path of a box fan that is aimed at an open cooler, or pan filled with ice.
  8. Try to visit public buildings with air conditioning during the hottest hours of the day if the heat becomes unbearable. Libraries, shopping malls, and movie theaters can all be good places to cool down.
  9. Don’t eat large, protein-rich meals that can increase metabolic heat and warm the body.
  10. Be able to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and true heat emergencies (heat crampsheat rashheat exhaustionheat stroke). Call emergency services (911) in the event of a heat emergency and try to cool the victim until help arrives. 
  11. Finally, remember that pets also suffer when the temperature rises. Cooling animals (dogs, rabbits, cats) by giving them a “cool” bath or shower will help keep their body temperature down. A cool towel on a tile floor to lay on, a cool towel or washcloth laying over the skin next to a fan will also help cool the animal. Make sure they have plenty of cool water to drink as well. Signs of a heat stroke in a pet are:
  • rapid panting,
  • wide eyes,
  • lots of drooling,
  • hot skin,
  • twitching muscles,
  • vomiting and
  • a dazed look.
  • Call your vet if you think your pet has a heat stroke.
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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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