Excessive heat warning and wildfire preparation in California

In light of the current extreme heat wave and resulting increase in wildfire activity throughout the state, here are some important reminders to help you stay safe during this period of increased risk. We ask for your patience in reading the entirety of this communication as it contains critical safety and service information.

Important: If a client’s home is unsafe, please contact Honor immediately.

Overview of the current situation

  • Most of California is facing a record-setting heatwave, with temperatures well over 100 in communities across the state. 
  • The current excessive heat warning is in effect until 8pm on Thursday; temperatures are expected to be highest today, Tuesday, September 6.
  • State officials expect electricity demands to be at an all time high this week and warned that the risk of rolling blackouts has increased significantly.

Maintain Home as Cool as Possible

Recommended measures include:

  • For homes with air conditioning:
    • Pre-cooling the home before 4pm by setting the thermostat to 72 degrees and closing all curtains. Adjusting the thermostat to 78 degrees from 4pm - 10pm, if health permits, to comply with state Flex Alerts to minimize risks of rolling blackouts 
  • For homes without air conditioning:
    • Close blinds and curtains during the day
    • Use fans. Fill a shallow pan or bowl with ice and place it in front of a fan
    • Open all windows in the home once temperatures go down in the evening
    • Go to a nearby cooling center if a safe temperature cannot be maintained in the home
  • Avoid using the oven or stove to cook.
  • Turning off unused lights and ceasing use of all major appliances after 4pm (e.g. laundry, dishwasher)

Watch for Signs of Heat Exhaustion

Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at the greatest risk from extreme heat. Be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion in yourself or your loved ones:

  • High body temperature 
  • Hot, red, dry skin 
  • Excessive sweating
  • Racing heart
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Fainting

Reminder: If you think someone may be experiencing heat exhaustion, call 911

Stay Prepared in the Heat

  • Stay hydrated by drinking water or sports drinks, regardless of activity level. If you or your loved one  is on fluid restrictions, please contact your doctor for further guidance.
  • Ensure the client’s home is equipped with an air conditioning unit in at least one room, and have additional fans on-hand. 
  • Clients are encouraged to remain indoors in an air-conditioned room, and to wear loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.
  • Avoid travel outside the home. If travel is necessary:
    • Air out the car before entering and cool with AC before entering
    • Carry water at all times.

Statewide Cooling Center Resources

Prepare NOW for Wildfires

  • Log into your Paylocity account to review and update your emergency contact on file with Honor.
  • Sign up for for your community warning system by visiting http://calalerts.org/signup.html
  • Confirm that careteam@honorcare.com does not get sent to your Spam folder. Honor will share important emergency-related notifications and updates through this email address.
  • Be sure that the care recipient has an emergency kit on hand including flashlights, extra batteries, water and anything else they may need in the event of an evacuation or prolonged power shutoff.
  • Have a bag ready to go with all essential items such as medications, eyeglasses and IDs, and stored in an easily accessible location such as a closet near the door or under the bed.
  • Pay attention to air quality alerts, and designate a room that can be closed off from outside air. If possible, purchase and set up a portable air cleaner to keep indoor pollution levels low when smoky conditions exist.
  • Find more preparedness tips at Ready.gov

Please be on the lookout for additional emergency preparedness communications from us over the course of this fire season. Prepare early, stay safe, and please reach out with any questions or concerns.