Our friends at the National Weather Service (NWS) have developed a tool to help you understand what forecasted heat means to you. It is called the experimental HeatRisk. The tool provides a color and numeric value that places forecast heat for a specific location into an appropriate level of heat concern, along with identifying groups potentially most at risk at that level.
HeatRisk is a useful tool for planning and preparing for upcoming heat events. It shows potential risks associated with excessive heat and gives recommendations for heat protection.
Heat commonly affects certain groups, typically identified as heat sensitive or heat vulnerable, at lower thresholds than other populations. Some of these groups include:
- The elderly and the very young;
- Those on certain medications and/or those with … continue reading »
School will soon be out and Californians will hit the highways for that long awaited summer vacation. With the increasing temperatures and the increase of cars you can expect hot congested roads. Whether headed to the beach for some sun or to a favorite campground in the mountains, taking time to prepare for your trip can save you from a ruined vacation.
Here are a few tips you can take to help make your trip less stressful and arrive at your destination without incident.
- Have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic before making long-distance trips.
- Plan your trip in advance. Whether you’re using a GPS system or a traditional map, review your travel route and be prepared for busy roads.
- Let friends and family know your travel route and your anticipated arrival time.
- Have emergency contact information easily accessible, such … continue reading »
There have been many stories in the media recently about rattlesnake sightings and even more frightening about victims of rattlesnake bites. In the past few weeks alone, several Search and Rescue (SAR) teams have been deployed to rescue bite victims stranded in rural areas.
This winter’s rains have led to a lot of vegetation growth, which attracts rattlesnake prey such as mice and other rodents, which means a very active rattler season. With an abundance of food to feast on, snakes will be able to survive longer and therefore people will see more of them.
Rattlesnakes are widespread in California and are found in a variety of habitat throughout the state from the coast to the desert. If you enjoy outdoor activities, you and your pets may be at risk for encountering rattlesnakes.
While generally not aggressive, rattlesnakes … continue reading »
If you’ve ever had a pet, you know how happy they can make us. A lick on the face or cuddling up on your lap is enough to put a smile on your face. However, scientific research is showing that our pets can also make us healthier.
This could explain the use of animals, primarily dogs and cats, in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. Animals can also act as therapists themselves or facilitate therapy even when they’re not dogs or cats. Horses have also become popular therapists for people with disabilities.
There are many stories about how animals have helped individuals with depression, as well as improving overall health. It is mostly evident with dogs.
In fact, dogs have been proven so effective at helping combat anxiety, stress, and depression, that there are several organizations dedicated to training … continue reading »
In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter, “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Mr Franklin was very perceptive to recognize these certainties. However, if he were alive today he might want to add “scammers” to his list.
According to the IRS, there has been a surge in impersonators looking to steal taxpayers’ money or even identity in recent years. Scammers make unsolicited calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.
Learn to protect yourself by identifying scammer tactics:
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so highlighting the dangers of texting while driving seems appropriate. Every year, over half a million people are injured or killed in traffic-related deaths due to texting while driving alone.
However, there are other distractions besides texting that can compete for our attention while driving. You should not let anything divert your attention from fully focusing on driving.
Here are some ways to maintain your focus and arrive at your destination safely:
- Turn your phone off. You can also put your phone on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode.
- Put your phone out of reach. Store your phone in the glove box or trunk. As they say, “out of sight, out of mind.”
- Go shopping at the app store. There are plenty of apps that can block you from texting and can send an auto … continue reading »
The last few storms to come through California brought with it some wild weather, including thunderstorms and the threat of tornadoes. And while it is rare, tornadoes do happen in our state.
According to the American Meteorological Society, approximately 1,000 tornadoes strike the United States annually and about 11 occur in California. Compared to their Midwest and Southern counterparts, California tornadoes are generally small, but even the small ones can cause severe damage.
On April Fool’s Day in 1996, five tornadoes touched down near the city of Stockton. This event marked the highest number of tornadoes in one day for California. While there were no reports of injuries, the twisters flattened barns, sank over 200 boats in a marina, as well as up rooted trees and knocked down power poles.
Spring is the time of year California … continue reading »