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Health, Energy Officials Urge Caution As San Diego Bakes In The Heat

Wendelien Anderson, a Red Cross Instructor, talks to KPBS about how to avoid the heat.


Miguel Miller, National Weather Service

Steven Greenlee, spokesman, California Independent System Operator

Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H County of San Diego Public Health Officer

Wendelien Anderson Red Cross Instructor


The heat is on for at least the next few days, and it's the first real test of our ability to survive heavy demand on the power grid with San Onofre nuclear plant offline.


San Diego County Aging and Independent Services established a network of Cool Zone sites for seniors and persons with disabilities to escape the extreme heat during the summer. There are more than 100 locations throughout San Diego County. Cool Zones are designated, air-conditioned buildings, identified by a Polar Bear Cool Zone logo.

Energy Conservation Tips

Set thermostat to 78 degrees

Do not run air conditioner or appliances between 4-6 p.m.

Keep refrigerator full

Reset pool pump to run during off-peak hours

More tips

Take a look at California's energy supply and demand here

San Diego has watched, in relative comfort, this summer as much of the nation suffered through one heat wave after another. Now it's our turn. The heat is on for at least the next few days, and it's the first real test of our ability to survive heavy demand on the power grid with the San Onofre nuclear plant offline.

San Diego Gas and Electric marked Thursday as a "Reduce Your Use" reward day, and the California Independent System Operator, which maintains the power grid, offered tips to conserve energy.

Steven Greenlee, a spokesman for the ISO, said San Onofre contributes about 2,250 megawatts to the grid. But, he said, they developed a plan when San Onofre went offline and are not concerned about the heat wave.

"We developed a plan to go ahead and manage the grid," Greenlee told KPBS. "And we have done that, and the plan is working. We are concerned about the heat wave that we're in at the moment, but we have generation and transmission that's expected to be adequate."

Miguel Miller with the National Weather Service told KPBS in the next few days, temperatures will be in the "mid-90s, touching 100, or over that in San Diego County." He said temperatures could exceed 115 in parts of the desert and in the Imperial Valley, but near the coast will probably remain under 85.

San Diego County also offers "Cool Zones" where seniors and people with disabilities can escape the heat.

Wendelien Anderson, a Red Cross instructor, told KPBS every family should also have an emergency kit and enough water to survive a power outage. She said each person uses about a gallon of water every day.

To avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion, stay out of the heat and sun during the middle of the day and use "Cool Zones," Anderson said.

Signs of heat stroke include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, cramps and the face changing color. If a person begins vomiting or does not cool down after being moved to a cooler place, call 911, she said.

Claire Trageser contributed to this report.

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