If you have been keeping up with Northern California’s weather, you know we’ve been in a heatwave lately, and it is expected to last for several more days. This heat is cause for concern, not only from an environmental perspective, but also from a food security and health perspective.
The massive winter storms which coated towering peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range after years of drought is now melting too fast. That means waterways could flood and damage the vital crops in the Central Valley. Find out more about this through our project, Maven’s Notebook.
The heat can be dangerous in other ways too. Young children, elderly people, pregnant women, people with disabilities and animals are especially vulnerable to the heat.
Here are some tips to beat the heat:
- Get wet. Hang a wet sheet over a window, which is what the rangers do at Death Valley National Park. Incoming breezes are cooled by the evaporating water.
- Block sun. Closing curtains and blinds (ideally with sun-deflecting white on the window side) can reduce the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Eat cold. Although barbecue is ubiquitous with warmer temperatures, it works against you on hotter days. When it’s too hot to cook, consider cold soups or rely on electrical appliances instead of those cooking methods that generate more heat.
- Swig it. Staying hydrated is important. You can think beyond water to other foods that will keep you in the cool, including watermelon, peaches, celery, and cucumbers.