Heat & Summer Safety, Storm Recovery

August 31, 2023

The Resource Corner

Heat & Summer Safety

  • As the climate continues to change, California is experiencing more frequent, severe, and longer-lasting episodes of extreme heat, posing a greater danger to Californians. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself and your loved ones during summer:
    • Stay cool. Close shades, windows, and blinds. Set air conditioners between 75 and 80 degrees. If air-conditioning isn’t available, find a local cooling center or other air-conditioned public space (libraries, shopping malls, community centers, etc.). Try to stay indoors and wear loose, light-colored, lightweight clothing. While spending time in the water is refreshing on hot summer days, many California rivers are running faster, while lakes are deeper and colder than they’ve been in recent years. This makes them more dangerous than normal, even for strong swimmers.
    • Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 cups of water every hour even if you're not feeling thirsty. Avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks.
    • Look after each other. Check-in on friends and family, especially elderly relatives or neighbors. Call 911 if there are signs of high fever (103°F or higher) or in case of other emergencies.
  • Visit HeatReadyCA.com or CuidateDelCalorCA.com for more tips and resources on how to stay cool, hydrated, connected, and informed this summer.

Storm Recovery

As the state continues the storm recovery process, there are resources, tips and information that could be helpful to you and better prepare you for future needs.

  • Flood insurance
    • Flood insurance is typically purchased separately from homeowners’ insurance. Flood insurance is available through the Federal Flood Insurance Program and must be in force for 30 days prior to a flood, so experts are suggesting consumers, including those in traditionally low-risk areas, consider purchasing flood coverage before warm weather begins to melt the snow. Go to FloodSmart.gov for more information and to find an agent.
    • If you have questions about what your homeowner’s insurance covers, review your policy and contact your agent and/or insurance company to obtain clarification. If the agent or the insurer fails to respond, you can contact the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357 or through online chat or email, here.
    • There is also more information on the Department of Insurance website. Here is the flood insurance fact sheet.
  • Auto insurance
    • Your auto insurance policy may cover your vehicle if it is damaged in a flood if you have purchased comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive auto insurance coverage protects your vehicle in the event of flood damage. While only liability coverage is required by law, you should consider comprehensive coverage to protect your vehicle in case of storm damage. You should call your insurance company to report the damages and take pictures and keep records of all clean-up and repair costs.
  • Fallen tree damage
    • Damage caused from fallen trees are generally covered under all standard homeowner policies. There may be exceptions. Damaged vehicles as a result of flood or fallen trees are generally covered under the “Comprehensive or Other than Collision” portion of the auto policy. Check your auto insurance declaration page to see if this optional coverage was purchased and in effect at the time of loss.


Keep Food Safe After a Disaster or Emergency

If you are in a disaster or emergency, take steps to prevent illness from unsafe food.

  • After A Disaster: Throw away the following food:
    • Perishable food that has not been refrigerated or frozen properly due to power outages.
    • Food that may have come in contact with floodwater or stormwater.
    • Food with an unusual odor, color, or texture.
    • Unsafe food can make you sick even if it looks and smells normal. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • During and after a power outage: Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible while the power is out. A full freezer will keep food safe for 48 hours (24 hours if half-full) without power if you don’t open the door. Your refrigerator will keep food safe for up to 4 hours without power if you don’t open the door.Throw out the following foods:
    • All perishable foods (including meat, chicken and other poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) in your refrigerator when the power has been off for 4 hours or more.
    • All perishable foods in your freezer if they have thawed.
    • You can safely refreeze or cook food from the freezer if the food still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated. Check this FoodSafety.gov chart for a list of what foods you should throw out and foods you can refreeze.
  • For more tips on how to keep food safe after a disaster or emergency visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website.


Disasters and Emotional Health

  • Disasters affect more than just buildings or landscapes. They can also impact us emotionally and in different ways. If you are feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, angry or sad, free confidential help is available.
  • Find resources: https://www.calhope.org/, or call 833-317-4673 for additional support. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is also available through the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.