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Tuolumne County Issues Advice For Heat Wave

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Government agencies monitor the heat to see if county facilities will be used for cooling stations when thresholds are met. Cooling facilities are usually at Calaveras County Library locations, Tuolumne County Libraries, and Community and Resiliency Centers their addresses and regular hours are detailed here. Don’t forget to enjoy the local Public Swimming Pools. Those who need transportation to the library contact Tuolumne County Transit at 209-532-0404.

The Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services and Tuolumne County Public Health have listed the following ways that residents can best get through the extended heat wave and Tuolumne County Animal Control has advice for pet owners as well.

For residents and visitors:

  • Wear appropriate clothing during hot weather, especially for children.
  • Drink plenty of water, and stay cool indoors if possible.
  • Avoid being outdoors during the hottest parts of the day (10 a.m.-6 p.m.).
  • Wearing a hat and using sunscreen is a good idea if you plan to be outside.
  • It is important to pace yourself when working or exercising in hot weather, drink plenty of water, and replenish electrolytes.
  • If you know of neighbors or friends who might benefit from assistance during the coming hot weather, this might be a good time to check on them.
  • Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstance.

Calaveras Health Officer, Dr. Rene Ramirez encourages everyone to stay in a cool air-conditioned space during the peak heat times noting, “Pay attention to warning signs of heat-related illnesses, such as heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting, paleness, tiredness, or dizziness. Common heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, cramps, sunburn, and rash, and can lead to death. Heat-related illnesses and death are preventable.”

The National Weather Service states “Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 9 1 1.”

If you have signs of heat cramps: muscle pains or spasms in the arms, stomach or legs or heat exhaustion: heavy sweating, paleness, tiredness, weakness, fast or weak pulse, headache, fainting, nausea, vomiting- go to a cooler location and cool down by removing excess clothing and taking sips of sports drinks or water. Call your healthcare provider if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.

Heat Stroke

  • Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees F taken orally)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat
  • Dizziness, confusion or unconsciousness

If you suspect heat stroke, call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives. Do not give the person anything to drink.

Former Calaveras Public Health Office Dr. Dean Kelaita advised avoiding drinks with caffeine, like tea, coffee, and soft drinks, and avoiding alcoholic beverages because they are dehydrating. He also noted cool showers or baths can be helpful, and when outdoors wear a wide-brimmed hat and SPF 15 sunscreen or higher that is reapplied every two hours.

Tuolumne County Animal Control located at 10040 Victoria Way in Jamestown, has a cooling center for pet owners needing assistance. Owners are required to call the shelter at 209-694-2730 to arrange a spot in the center.

Cooling tips for pets:

  • Keep fresh, cool water available at all times.
  • Exercise pets before 7 a.m.
  • Flat-faced breeds and senior pets should be kept indoors with proper air conditioning.
  • Breathable shade must be provided. We also recommend kiddie pools, frozen water bottles, and misters.
  • Do not walk pets on hot asphalt.
  • Never leave your pet in a hot vehicle. Not only is it deadly, but you can face criminal charges.