Multiple communities around the Central Valley are experiencing several days of excessive heat with temperatures well over 100 degrees. Triple digit temperatures are not unusual this time of year, however; the back-to-back string of days of these high temperatures can be cause for concern.
Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services has an Extreme Heat Contingency Plan and the City of Riverbank has several places considered ‘cooling zones’ for people in need to cool off. Officials describe a Cool Zone as a location to get out of the heat for a period of time to let your body cool down. During a heat event, community and senior centers may extend hours into the evening to give citizens a longer period of respite.
The Cooling Zones in Riverbank include the City Council Chambers, 6707 Third St.; the Riverbank Library, 3442 Santa Fe St.; the Community Pool, the Teen Center, and the Community Center during Senior Meals and activities during their business hours.
Currently the county is in Phase I which is preparedness and it is highly likely that Stanislaus County could move into Phase II of the emergency plan which states the following: Benchmarks for Phase II are monitored by local government and include but are not limited to credible predictions by the National Weather Service (NWS) of excessive heat or of power outages during warmer than normal weather conditions in Stanislaus County.
During this phase, officials said, contact with local agencies, stakeholders and coordination among agencies increases.
With these days of extreme heat people have been advised to keep their pets indoors and to not leave them in the car when running errands. Extra care should also be taken with young children and the elderly, who often times have more difficulty in dealing with the heat. Some tips for staying cool include limiting activity, wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing, staying out of the sun, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeinated beverages, and finding a cool place to spend time during the hottest parts of the day.