Heat advisory and statewide Flex Alert issued for the mid-Peninsula

by Contributed Content on October 15, 2020


The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for our area, starting at 11 a.m., Thursday, October 15, and ending at 9 p.m, Friday, October 16. High temperatures are forecast and near record to record temperatures are possible in some areas.

Public safety and health officials remind everyone to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses, especially older adults, young children, outdoor workers, athletes and people with a chronic medical condition who are especially sensitive to adverse health impacts from extreme heat.

Due to the warm temperatures, the City of Menlo Park will open two cooling centers. These City facilities are air conditioned and provide seating. Each cooling center will also offer water, hand sanitizer and face masks. Social distancing and face coverings required.

Onetta Harris Community Center
100 Terminal Ave.
Noon–5 p.m.

Arrillaga Family Recreation Center
700 Alma St.
Noon–5 p.m.

The following heat safety tips are recommended during high-temperature days:

  • Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated throughout the day.
  • If you must go out, plan your day to avoid going out during the hottest hours and wear sunscreen. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes, and bring a hat or umbrella with you.
  • Cars get very hot. Never leave children or pets in vehicles and call 9-1-1 if you see a child or pet in a car alone.
  • Beware of heat-related illness, like heat stroke, and call 9-1-1 if you see these symptoms: high body temperature, vomiting, and pale and clammy skin.
  • Check on those at risk, like those who are sick, older adults, pregnant women, and children, and those who live alone.
  • Avoid strenuous workouts wearing face coverings or masks not intended for athletic purposes.

In addition, a statewide Flex Alert will be in effect Thursday, October 15, from 3–10 p.m. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) issues a Flex Alert when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages or from persistent hot temperatures. Consumers are urged to voluntarily conserve electricity to help avoid rotating outages.

Consumers are urged to conserve electricity, especially during the late afternoon and early evening, when the grid is most stressed due to higher demand and solar energy production falling. Consumers are also asked to turn off unnecessary lights, delay using major appliances until after 10 p.m., and set air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees or higher.

The conservation measures can help the power grid during a time of tight demand and supply, and avoid power interruptions. Energy reduction during a Flex Alert can prevent further emergency measures, including rotating power outages.

Between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m., the CAISO urges consumers to:

  • Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, if health permits
  • Defer use of major appliances
  • Turn off unnecessary lights
  • Unplug unused electrical devices
  • Close window blinds and drapes
  • Use fans when possible
  • Limit time the refrigerator door is open

Consumers can also take steps to prepare for the Flex Alert by doing the following BEFORE 3 p.m.:

  • “Pre-cool” homes or lower air conditioning thermostats
  • Charge electric vehicles
  • Charge mobile devices and laptops
  • Run dishwashers, washing machines and other major appliances

Visit the PG&E Rolling Outages website for information about whether you could be subject to a CAISO rotating outage. View information on system alerts, warnings, emergencies and follow grid conditions in real-time at California ISO’s Today’s Outlook, and for details on Flex Alerts and electricity conservation tips, visit the CAISO’s Flex Alertwebsite.

Mallard cools off at Burgess Pond by Robb Most  (c) 2020

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