California prepares for dangerous heat wave this weekend - Why you should prepare now

The heat event will begin Friday and will build through Monday, officials say.

Thursday, July 13, 2023
California prepares for dangerous heat wave this weekend
The heat event will begin Friday and will build through Monday, so officials are asking people to get ready now.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- What do you do to cool off during an intense summer heat wave? That's what many people in Southern California are wondering.

As people prepare to face the brunt of the brutal heat wave this week, state leaders are working to protect Californians from any heat danger.

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services held a briefing Wednesday afternoon, focusing on forecasts and statewide efforts to combat the heat. The heat event will begin Friday and will build through Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials said it will "rival some of the worst heat waves this area has ever seen."

That's why they're encouraging people to keep an eye out for cooling centers if you can't use your air conditioning system at home.

"Find a place where you can cool off, even if it's for a few hours," said Tomas Aragon with the California Department of Public Health. "If you can only cool one room in a building, cool it off and get there."

Of course, keeping cool can be expensive and cranking up the AC will certainly make your power bill go up.

Residents in valley areas like Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley are not strangers to rolling blackouts during multiple days of extreme heat, stressing the power grid to the breaking point. Southern California Edison spokesperson Reggie Kumar credits Mother Nature for providing the grid some relief.

"I'm told that the overnight temps are expected to decrease, which will help cool our equipment in most areas," he said.

Kumar said during heat waves, SCE encourages customers to set their thermostats at 78 degrees to ease the burden on the grid, if they can do that. They also encourage customers not use large appliances, and when they do, use them before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m.

If you own an electric vehicle, also charge it within those hours.

WATCH | SoCal Edison's top tips to help you save money during this heat wave

Southern California Edison said crews will be monitoring the impact on the electrical grid as the region prepares to face a brutal heat wave.

Pools are another option for families to stay cool as well.

In Riverside, the city made the decision to keep some pools open through the weekend - it's typically just a Monday through Friday operation.

Of course, always stay hydrated and check on the elderly and young children.