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106 Saturday, 109 Sunday, 112 Monday: Are you ready?

A wicked heat wave is rolling through Lodi. How do you protect your pets, your plants, your loved ones? Here’s your survival guide to what’s expected to be the hottest stretch of the summer.

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Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 12:00 am

In Lodi, it will be very, very hot today. And Sunday. And Monday. Forecasters say this will likely be the hottest stretch of the summer, with little relief until Wednesday.

Lodi’s high on Friday was 104, with the heat expected to rise to 109 on Sunday and Tuesday, and 112 on Monday.

There is some consolation. The high in Death Valley was 125 on Friday, with 130 expected on Sunday.

National Weather Service, Sacramento

The culprit: A dome of high pressure, cooking the West and keeping away moisture and air flow that might cool things, said Brian Edwards of AccuWeather.com, a private weather forecasting service.

The Sierra won’t escape the heat, and a high of 90, expected Sunday at Lake Tahoe, could set a new record.

The Bay Area will be somewhat cooler, with highs in the 80s through the weekend. And if you are willing to drive to the North Coast, Edwards said Crescent City and Eureka should remain in the balmy 70s.

Meanwhile, Lodi will bake. Here are tips on how to cope with the heat.

Kids: Keep them out of sun, car

While it may be tempting to pull out the Slip ’N’ Slide or throw the kids in the swimming pool at the hottest part of the day, health department officials recommend the exact opposite. Instead, stay indoors where it is air conditioned. To cool off, a cold bath or shower is better, especially for the youngest, according to Krista Dommer of the San Joaquin County Public Health Department.

If the water still beckons, slather on the sunscreen and buckle a life vest onto your non-swimmers to prevent drowning.

If you have to run errands, do so in the early morning hours. And never leave children in a parked car, where the inside temperatures can easily soar 20 degrees higher than outside temperatures in a matter of minutes.

If you have to be outside for a prolonged amount of time, take shade breaks every 30 to 40 minutes, and keep a wet washcloth nearby to pat onto children’s wrists and foreheads to cool them down.

Adults and children alike should drink plenty of fluids, but steer clear of soda and fruit drinks, which contain sugar and actually prevent the body from absorbing fluids. Water is best.

Dress your children in light-colored, lightweight clothing such as cotton, so that the sweat can evaporate.

Most importantly, know the signs of heat stroke. They include: a very high temperature (104 degrees or higher); hot, dry, red skin; no sweat or little sweat; confusion; deep breathing; and possibly a loss of consciousness.

Children ages 4 and under are the most susceptible to heat-related illness because their bodies generate more heat than adult’s bodies, and they are too young to complain that they are hot or thirsty.

— Jennifer Bonnett

Pets: Keep them out of the sun

As much as we want our animal buddies with us, we should always consider their safety first, especially in the heat. It is up to us to keep them happy and healthy, and that means keeping them cool and hydrated.

Pat Sherman, director and co-founder of Lodi’s Animal Friends Connection, stresses keeping animals out of the sun.

“They should be kept in an air-conditioned building. If they must be outside, keep them in the shadiest place in the yard with lots of cool water. If the shade moves throughout the day, prepare a place for them in each shady area,” Sherman said. “Garages aren’t good places to keep (pets), because most aren’t air-conditioned and get really hot.”

She also recommends keeping a kiddie pool full of water for bigger dogs. If your dog is in the habit of turning over the water bowl, she suggests digging a hole and placing a bucket of water in it so it’s more difficult to spill. She also suggests putting misters around the yard as an additional way for pets to cool off.

There are many things to remember when protecting your pet from the heat — never leave pets in a vehicle, don’t let them walk on hot asphalt, etc. — but the best thing is to know your pet and know the warning signs.

For more tips and concerns, contact your veterinarian or visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website.

— Machelle Homer

Plants: Make sure they aren’t too dry

According to Weigum’s Nursery in Lodi, the secret to keeping your plants, trees and lawn alive in the heat is keeping them hydrated.

You may be diligent about your outdoor watering schedule, but don’t be afraid to water when necessary as temperatures peak over 100 degrees this weekend.

Hydration means everything when keeping plants — from vegetables to flower beds — alive, sustained and happy. If green things get too dry, they will suffer and the heat will take a toll on them. It will be hard to revive them in dry mode, a Weigum’s staff member said.

While some people say you shouldn’t water during peak sun, Weigum’s waters during every part of the day. Water is the biggest value to a plant, they believe.

Here are some tips from Weigum’s to help you get your beloved plants through the heat wave:

Don’t forget your lawn. You can tell when your grass is getting dry, because it turns a shade close to gray.

Keep saucers filled to the rim with water under patio plants.

Keep an eye on indoor plants, too. Different conditions — wind, air conditioning, fans — can make a plant dry out. The best way to tell if it needs water is to test the soil with your finger. If it’s dry, give it a drink.

If you go away for a weekend, move your plants to a shaded spot in the yard and/or where sprinklers on timers can water them.

— Lauren Nelson

Your home: Trap cool air with blinds, turn on the fans

In this kind of heat, instinct tells us to set the air conditioner at 65 degrees and slam all the doors and windows.

But that’s not a good solution for your wallet. Lori Blackwell, of Blackwell Heating and Air, estimates it can cost an additional $7 a day to run an air conditioner full blast, on top of normal electricity costs.

She offered these tips and tricks to keep the house cool without flipping the A/C switch:

When the cool Delta breeze rolls in, late at night, open up the whole house — doors, windows, even cabinets — to let all the hot air from the day escape.

Just before the sun hits the house in the morning, close up shop to keep the cool air in. Cover the windows with light fabrics or blinds to block the light without absorbing heat. Open up the outdoor awnings over your windows and patios.

Once the house is sealed and the sun blocked, turn on the fans. A whole-house fan, ceiling fan or oscillating floor fan will help keep that cool air moving.

Want to make a miniature A/C for one area? Set out a bowl of ice or frozen bottle in front of the breeze. That cool will spread out through the room.

Try not to plug in much else. Every item using electricity produces heat, and it adds up.

Avoid the southern and western parts of your home. The path of the sun makes them the warmest.

— Sara Jane Pohlman

Check in: Monitor elderly neighbors and grandparents

The risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke increase with age. Many people do not realize that excessive heat can be deadly. When things heat up, there are some basic things you can do to stay safe.

Stay cool with air conditioning, lightweight clothing and a cool shower.

Stay hydrated with lots of water even if you are not thirsty, and avoid alcohol.

Check on elderly parents, friends and neighbors twice a day. If you do not have family close by, arrange to check in with a friend.

It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke so that you can seek help immediately. Some of the most common symptoms include heavy sweating, fatigue, headache and feeling faint.

If someone you know experiences these symptoms, get them out of the sun, cool them rapidly with a cool shower, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

— Source: AARP

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