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Stay Cool, Kern County: Tips from experts on beating the oncoming heat

The first heat wave of Summer 2023 is on its way to Kern County this week and both Kern County Public Health and Aging and Adult Services have resources available to help people keep it cool.
Posted: 6:43 PM, Jun 27, 2023
Updated: 2023-06-27 23:26:03-04
sun hot summer (file)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Bakersfield is expecting to see triple-digit heat by this weekend, and Kern County Public Health is advising people to prepare for the high temperatures that are coming so everyone can stay cool and safe.

"We cannot do the activities that we have become accustomed to doing in these cooler temperatures," said Kern County Department of Public Health Communications Officer Michelle Corson. "We cannot do those same activities in these extreme temperatures."

Corson says there are ways to beat the heat and stay safe during a hot spell.

"You're going to really want to protect yourself. You're going to wear light clothing, wide-brimmed hat. You're going to want to wear sunscreen because - People say, 'Well, what does sunscreen do to protect from heat-related illness?' Well, if you get a sunburn, that's going to prevent your body from being able to cool properly," explained Corson.

With the rising temperatures coming this weekend, Corson wants to remind everyone of how deadly the heat can be here in Kern County.

"According to the CDC, tragically, over 700 people lose their lives every year due to extreme heat, so this is something that can impact us and our loved ones," said Corson.

The director of the county's Department of Aging and Adult Services, Jeremy Oliver, says there will be resources available if it gets too hot.

"They open at 1:00 and close at 8:00. People are welcome to come anytime during that window and, obviously, stay in a cool spot, stay safe, and hopefully reduce their cost for heating, or actually cooling in this situation, and being in a safe environment," said Oliver.

Oliver says that if AAS is notified by the National Weather Service that the temperatures will meet the criteria for this weekend, the cooling centers will be open to all people.

"The cooling centers are set to open based off certain temperature thresholds," said Oliver. "So in the Valley and, like, Kern River Valley, 105 is the temperature threshold. If it's up in the Frazier Park area, it's 93, and if it's up in our desert communities like Rosamond and Cal City and Ridgecrest, it's 108."

According to 23ABC Chief Meteorologist Brandon Michaels, temperatures could very well hit those highs this weekend.

23ABC Evening weather update June 27, 2023

Oliver adds that the cooling centers are not just a place to cool off and help save money on your electric bill.

"A safe spot, right? A safe place to stay cool, and it includes usually some water, light snacks - but we encourage people to bring their own snacks, their own entertainment, just so that they feel like they're able to do something that they want to do in that center as well," said Oliver.

Kern County Aging and Adult Services maintains a list of all the county's cooling centers on the KCAAS website.


A few tips from the American Red Cross about preventing heat-related illness, as well as some of the warning signs to watch for in yourself and others to know when someone is struggling with the heat.

Tip 1: Drink plenty of water, even if you don't feel particularly thirsty, and avoid dehydrating substances like alcohol and caffeine.

Tip 2: Regularly check on elder and disabled neighbors and loved ones who live alone. They may be on medication that could increase their dehydration risk.

Tip 3: Seek medical help if you or someone else starts to show symptoms of heat exhaustion. Signs include a strong, rapid pulse, feeling or acting delirious, and running a temperature of more than 102 degrees.

Tip 4: Use sunscreen every time you go outside, and reapply at least every 2 hours.