Bay Area Heat Wave: Everything You Need to Know About Flex Alerts, Cooling Centers and Resources for the Homeless


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Preparations are underway as a dangerous heat wave hits the Bay Area, which will hit the region with triple-digit temperatures for several days.

Here’s everything you need to know to prepare for the sweltering heat.

How to save energy with Flex Alert

A Flex Alert has been issued to urge Californians to conserve energy and prevent potential power outages across the state. This is just the first of what should be several Flex alerts in California for the rest of the week.

“Just to be ready for this intense heat, PG&E meteorologists predict this will be the hottest weekend, the next hottest days of the year,” said PG’s Deanna Contreras.&E said.

Temperatures in Northern California are expected to be 10 to 20 degrees above normal over Labor Day weekend.

A Flex Alert is a call to customers to voluntarily reduce their electricity usage, especially during peak hours.

The state called a flex alert for a reason,” Contreras said. “This means that the peak demand, between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., is dangerously close to what we have in stock; balance supply and demand. So every little bit counts.”

FLEX ALERT: California grid operator calls for voluntary conservation ahead of heatwave

PG&E recommends:

  • Keep the dishes and laundry until after 9 p.m.
  • Set the thermostats to 78 – health permitting
  • Waiting after 9 p.m. to charge electric cars, which could save users money

“There is a residential program where if you reduce your energy consumption compared to previous years, you save on your bill,” Contreras said.

Steve Hill of the Contra Costa County Fire Prevention District is warning residents to limit outdoor activities from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. due to the threat of heat-related illnesses.

“One thing we can tell you for sure is that this is probably not the weekend for long hikes on our many hiking trails in Contra Costa County, and of course the rest of the region,” he said.

With hot temperatures and extremely dry conditions, the threat of fires is another big concern. Much is caused by human activity.

“Faulty vehicles, vehicles dragging chains or trailers, or people in those vehicles carelessly throwing smoking material,” Hill said. “These are all things that are preventable. Especially this last one.”

RELATED: Fire breaks out in Southern California amid brutal heat wave

Dorms without AC?

CAL State East Bay students prepare for a weekend of warm weather on campus. Some college dorms are not air-conditioned. University officials tell students to use campus buildings to keep cool if they need to.

“A lot of these buildings are air-conditioned, so if students need a bit of a break, many of these buildings will be open for students to cool off during the day,” said Dr. Michael Schmeltz, professor of public health.

Dorms that house mostly freshmen only have fans.

“I’m not sure about the mechanics, but yeah, we don’t have AC,” said freshman Ian Mead. “Our dorm is set up with mostly fans.”

Normally, it’s not that hot on campus, but the university says that in the future, it may need to include air conditioning in every building.

“Air conditioning is one of the main things to consider given our changing climate and the number of heat waves we’ve had over the years,” Dr. Schmeltz said.

RELATED: This weekend could be the hottest so far this year in the Bay Area

Community encourages help from homeless neighbors

In the South Bay, the heat wave comes just as a massive sweep of a San Jose homeless encampment is expected to begin on Friday. It has been more than a year since the FAA ordered the city of San Jose to shut down the camp near Mineta San Jose International Airport.

Before the heat wave was predicted, the city planned to clear the camp in sections between September 1 and September 30.

“It’s a big concern,” said Shaunn Cartwright of the Unhoused Response Group. “Why we sweep people up and force them to become hypothermic and face death is just ridiculous to me.”

Cartwright says she wants the city to delay the sweep for at least a week.

“If you postpone it, it would actually help people have an extra week to bring in more resources,” Cartwright said. “Bring electrolytes, water and ice, rather than forcing people to move and trying to keep them hydrated.”

City officials and Cartwright acknowledge that city policy states that a sweep must stop during inclement weather. In the case of heat, it’s once the temperature hits 88 degrees, not when you expect it.

“When the heat wave hits, there may be work in the morning to clear debris and trash,” said Ragan Henninger, deputy director of the city’s housing department. “But when that temperature hits 88, the work will stop.”

Cartwright says she thinks doing the sweep even up to a potential 87 degrees is still too much to ask.

“You have people jostling, they’re packing, they’re moving a lot of stuff, people, their houses, their tents, their tarps that they’re moving, it’s a lot of effort,” she said. declared.

For now, Santa Clara County, which is not involved in the sweep, says it is working overtime to provide resources to homeless people and other vulnerable populations as the heat wave sets in. .

“We are still working to get more cooling centers up and running,” said Michelle Covert, county housing and homelessness coordinator. “We know there are a few sites that have made themselves available in both Morgan Hill and Sunnyvale, and all county libraries so far will be available Saturday and Sunday. We are still working on additional resources for the actual Monday holiday.”

As the dispute between homeless advocates and the city of San Jose continues, Cartwright urges community members to be mindful of homeless neighbors.

“Bring them water, bring them cold drinks, it’s all appreciated,” she said. “Help your neighbor stay alive.”


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