Chat with an FTB Representative

Gov. Schwarzenegger Directs State Agencies to Activate Heat Wave Response

Released: July 3, 2007

Governor Schwarzenegger today directed the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and numerous other state agencies to mobilize in preparation for extreme high temperatures across much of California over the next three days.

State cooling centers will be open in 13 counties and OES has established a toll free number (starting today at 4:00p.m.) for the public to get information on how to protect themselves from the hot weather - 1-877-435-7021.

“We must all do everything we can to ensure personal safety for all Californians during this extreme heat. This includes looking out for our friends and family that live by themselves or those vulnerable in this situation,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “I have directed the Office of Emergency Services to coordinate with state and local agencies and prepare for the prolonged high temperatures, including opening cooling centers in 13 counties.”

The National Weather Service has informed OES that temperatures will reach well above 100 degrees during the day throughout much of northern, central and southern California and temperatures at night will remain in the high 60s to low 80s.

Last night, the Governor directed OES to task the California Department of Food and Agriculture to open 17 cooling centers at State fairground facilities. The centers will be opened from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through at least Friday in Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Shasta, Tehama, and Ventura counties (see below).

“Throughout the summer OES will continue to closely monitor severe heat forecasts from the National Weather Service and coordinate the activities of the state to ensure the safety of residents,” said OES Director Renteria.

OES, in partnership with the Franchise Tax Board, established the toll free number 1-877-435-7021 for concerned citizens to call to obtain heat related information, referral numbers for the impacted counties, as well as locations of open cooling centers. The hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and will remain available until the severe heat has passed. Hearing impaired individuals may call via TTY at 1-800-822-6268.

“Prolonged exposure to extremely high temperatures can be very dangerous, particularly for infants, young children, seniors and people with underlying health problems,” said State Public Health Officer Dr. Mark Horton of the California Department of Public Health. “I urge Californians to take steps now to protect themselves and their loved ones from the extremely high temperatures that we anticipate this week.”

All Californians living in or planning to visit areas where daytime temperatures are expected to surpass the 90- and 100-degree marks during the day and remain in the 70s overnight, should prepare for the hot weather and use caution in their activities.

State emergency management and health officials also caution that if a person has difficulty, due to a disability or medical condition, regulating their body temperature that they should take necessary precautions to protect themselves.

To avoid heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other heat-related complications, state officials recommended that Californians:

  • Create a cooler environment by making sure that window air conditioners are installed snugly, making sure that window air conditioners and air conditioning ducts are properly insulated, weather stripping doors and sills, and placing window reflectors made of cardboard covered with aluminum foil between windows and drapes.
  • Drink plenty of water, especially when taking medication.
  • Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing.
  • Avoid physical activities during periods of peak temperatures.
  • Check-on neighbors and family members to ensure they are not being harmed by the heat.
  • Watch for signs of heat-related illness, including fatigue, nausea, headache and vomiting.
  • Visit malls, theaters and other public places that are air-conditioned if they don't have their own air conditioning.

State agencies are also involved in a number of activities to protect the public and help local officials plan and prepare for the severe heat. This includes:

  • OES and CDPH are increasing efforts to inform the public of the forecasted high temperatures and steps individuals can take to protect themselves. More information can be found at www.oes.ca.gov or www.cdph.ca.gov.
  • The California Department of Social Services and the Department of Mental Health are working with their licensed facilities to ensure they are prepared for the severe heat and able to respond to any facility emergencies.
  • OES will also be coordinating daily meetings between the National Weather Service, State and local government agencies to coordinate response to the high temperatures.
  • OES is prepared to activate its Regional Emergency Operations Centers and State Operations Centers in the event of any heat-related emergencies.
  • Cal/OSHA is actively enforcing the heat illness prevention regulations making sure employers are complying. Cal/OSHA is also actively working to inform employees and employer groups about ways to prevent heat illness and be safe in their outdoor work environments during times of extreme heat. For more information, please visit our website at www.dir.ca.gov/heatillness
  • The Department of Developmental Services forwarded information to regional centers and state developmental centers located in Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Los Angeles, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Tehama, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties regarding the heat alert and shared tips from the California Department of Public Health, Center for Disease Control, and Department of Social Services regarding how to safeguard from heat related injuries and illnesses. Affected developmental centers are prepared to curtail outside activities to reduce the potential for injuries and illnesses and regional centers are keeping their providers and others informed of the potential for negative impact on people with developmental disabilities in these areas. Each impacted regional center has been provided the location of cooling centers in their areas and DDS has posted tips for avoiding heat related injuries and illnesses on its public website. DDS will continue to monitor the situation and provide information as it becomes available.
  • The Department of Mental Health has activated the department’s contingency plan for excessive heat emergencies. Specific activities underway today are:
    • DMH sent e-mail notification to the County Mental Health Directors of the 13 counties to include the location of cooling centers, standard cooling tips, a request that the mental health programs provide appropriate assistance to facilities under their jurisdiction, information about the toll free 800 line to be activated by the Office of Emergency Services, and a link to the OES Heat Preparedness Website
    • Notification to DMH-licensed facilities in the impacted 13 counties to ensure they are aware of the heat alert and have access to all relevant heat preparedness information.
    • Participation in daily conference calls with the OES
  • The Department of Public Health has been disseminating information specific to the health alert event via a California Health Alert Network (CAHAN) alert to local health departments directing them to activate their local plans. The department has also:
    • Started collecting local health related information.
    • Posted heat tips and its report of 2006 heat deaths.
    • Began monitoring long-term care facilities and skilled nursing facilities, and intermediate care facilities.
    • Activated the Joint Emergency Operations Center.
  • The Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) staff has been notified of the situation and have been participating on teleconferences and advising OES on issues specific to people with disabilities. Areas of advisement have included the accessibility of cooling centers, transportation and communication. DOR will be placing the list of cooling centers on its website. Department leaders have been working with the external affairs of OES and California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to ensure messages are consistent to people with disabilities and better explain who should be utilizing air conditioning.

Cooling Center Locations:

Fresno County Fair — Fresno County
1121 South Chance Ave., Fresno, CA 93702

Glenn County Fair — Glenn County
221 E. Yolo Street, Orland, CA 95963

Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta — Imperial County
200 E. Second Street, Imperial, CA 92251

Kern County Fair — Kern County
1142 South P Street, Bakersfield, CA 93307

Desert Empire Fair — Kern County
520 S. Richmond Rd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555

Antelope Valley Fair — Los Angeles County
2551 W. Avenue H, Lancaster, CA 93536

Plumas Sierra County Fair — Plumas County
204 Fairgrounds Rd., Quincy, CA 95971

Southern CA Fair — Riverside County
18700 Lake Perris Drive, Perris, CA 92571

Colorado River Fair — Riverside County
11995 Olive Lake Blvd., Blythe, CA 92225

Riverside County Fair & Nat'l Date Festival — Riverside County
46-350 Arabia Street, Indio, CA 92201

Cal Expo & State Fair — Sacramento County
1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento, CA

San Bernardino County Fair — San Bernardino County
14800 Seventh Street, Victorville, CA 92392

National Orange Show — San Bernardino County
689 S. “E” Street, San Bernardino, CA 92408

San Joaquin County Fair — San Joaquin County
1658 S. Airport Way, Stockton, CA 95206

Shasta District Fair — Shasta County
1890 Briggs Street, Anderson, CA 96007

Tehama District Fair — Tehama County
650 Antelope Blvd., Red Bluff, CA 96080

Ventura County Fair — Ventura County
10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura, CA 93001