Hot Topic: Extreme Heat.

As August commences, we know that summer is almost upon us. Bay Area newbies may be confused by that sentence, but those of us who have lived through at least one full year here know exactly what that means. While the rest of the country has summer in June and July, it’s not really until August and September that we get summer heat. So as we head into our hot season we will do a couple of different blogs, one this month on how to keep yourself safe during extreme heat, and one in September on fire safety.  So on to our August Blog:

What to do in extreme heat.

What is Extreme Heat?

FEMA classifies extreme heat as

“A long period (2-3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees”.

In 2018 the inland valleys experienced 32 total days between June and September that classified, that is a little over a month of extreme heat. Not even those on the coast are immune.  In the same period in 2018, the SF airport observed 6 days over 90. (source)


It’s not hot today why should I care?

Like any emergency, it’s important to be prepared before the emergency happens.  Now is the time to:

Check your fans. Do they work? Do you need to replace them?


Buy fans, before the heat comes, this ensures that you have the best availability.

Change the filters on your A.C. unit if you have it.

-If you don’t get enough heat to justify a full HVAC system then invest in a window a.c. unit or an ice-air cooler.

window AC unity

Easy to install but don’t forget the insulation for optimum results.

Plant trees, or hang awnings to shade your windows during the hot parts of the day.

Know where to go to escape the heat if you need to.

Know who in your community might need help during an extreme heat event. Much like a flood or fire, it might mean bringing friends and family into your home to keep people safe.


It’s Freaking hot! What should I do?

Don’t stress out! (No really, stress heats up your brain). You prepared before this happened so now you just need to follow through with the following to stay safe.

Hydrate! This is the number one thing you can do during high heat.  Your body uses hydration kinda like your car uses oil…yeah, you can probably go a few more miles once that oil light is on, but the odds get higher that you will blow your head gasket and the whole engine will seize. The same things happen when you allow yourself to get dehydrated during high heat, eventually, your body will overheat and you will seize up (really). The time to hydrate during a heat event is not when you feel thirsty! Much like when you have imbibed too much, once you want that glass of water, it is already too late.  Stay hydrated.  We recommend owning a few different sizes of water bottles. Yes, they are refillable, but in extreme heat, you need more water than normal and we all know how lazy we can be about refilling that bottle.

water bottles different sizes

All of our favorite bottles come in different sizes for different occasions. We prefer the S’well bottles made in Ohio or the Kleen Kanteen bottle made in Chico!

Shade! No, not the type thrown on Insta or Twitter, we mean real shade. If you have to work outside wear a broad-rimmed hat. Try to stay in the shade as much as possible. Set up a break area under a tree or overhang, or use a pop-up tent to create a shaded break area.  Also, do not forget the Sunscreen! We prefer Beyond Coastal (if you want to know why check out our product blog).

sun hats

Wide-brimmed hats can literally be life-savers in heat.

-Keep your cool! Literally, the whole goal is to keep your core temperature at a reasonable level. Remember that time you got strep throat and had the really high fever, how every muscle hurt? Yeah, that was actually from the fever, not the strep. Water and shade will help, but also try applying cool packs to your face and neck. You can use ice, a wet cloth soaked in cool water, or one of the cool down cloths that are specifically made for this.  Also remember that popsicles are not a luxury when it is hot, ingesting the cooling ice, does in fact help you feel cool.


Ice packs, popsicle molds, ice trays, and ice buckets are all must-haves during a high heat event.

cooling towel

Specifically made to help keep you cool during activity or during extreme heat.

-Leave the heat! If you can, spend the hottest parts of the day in an air-conditioned building. Most cities have designated cooling centers that become active during extreme heat. Here in San Rafael, the list of centers can be found here:

-Check on the Fam! The heat has different levels of impact on different people. And while extreme heat is dangerous to everyone, it is especially dangerous to the elderly, the young, the homeless/unsheltered, and animals. Like we said at the beginning, an extreme heat event is an emergency just like a flood or fire. We know our community is awesome and that we are there for each other. This is one of those times that if you are good, make sure that those around you are also good.

-Give someone a ride to a cooling center

  -Give one of those water bottles to somebody who may not have one.

 -Pass out sun hats and sunscreen to people working outside, or who are living rough.

 -Do not leave anyone in the car! Unless the car is running with the A.C. blasting (which has its own challenges) it will be too hot even with the windows down.


Oh No! I didn’t listen and now I feel weird!

This one is easy….Stop reading this blog and call your doctor!

We are not doctors and cannot tell you if what you are feeling is mild heat exhaustion or full-on heatstroke. The CDC has a handy chart, but even they say that the safest course of action if you don’t feel right, is to call your doctor.  If someone has passed out in the heat, don’t wait to talk to a doctor, call an ambulance, or get them to the nearest E.R.

Here is the link to the CDC heat illness warning symptoms:


That’s it. Almost all of the products listed can be found in all 6 of our Bay Area stores.  If you are interested in a product that you can’t find in-store, let us know by calling or texting the store directly at 415-479-9393 or by email: [email protected]

Stay safe out there San Rafael!


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