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Central Coast residents prepare for extreme heat without A/C

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 02:04:03-04

A heat wave is on the heels of not only the Central Coast but a big chunk of the United States.

Here locally, air conditioning isn’t an option in many homes, so ahead of the heat wave, people like San Luis Obispo resident David Smith were stocking up on necessities at Miner's Ace Hardware.

“I saw your weather forecast last night and thought 'uh oh, it’s that time.' We’ve had it too good already,” Smith said as he shopped for parts for his portable air conditioner.

Smith is ahead of the game compared to most, according to the staff at the hardware store.

“I feel like it’s usually once the weather hits that’s when people start coming in,” explained Jeff Aquino, Operations Manager at Miner's in San Luis Obispo.

On the shelves and ready for the flood of people looking for relief are all types of fans and portable air conditioning units. In stock now are box fans, oscillating fans and even fans you can wear around your neck. With the prolonged heat, the threat of selling out is very real, Aquino warned.

Many San Luis Obispo residents are relying on these fans and other techniques to stay cool.

“I don’t have air conditioning. I have one fan. I like my fan, but I don’t necessarily think it’s going to be strong enough to protect me,” said Ned Wolfman, San Luis Obispo resident.

That’s a concern held by more than just Wolfman. With most of the coastal areas unfamiliar with the heat and no in-unit cooling systems, branching out beyond a fan becomes necessary.

“Staying cool is tricky. We had a camping trip planned, we canceled the trip because of the heat. We have no air conditioning, no insulation. We plan to sweat it out and join the rest of the state at the beaches,” said Patrick McGrath, San Luis Obispo resident.

Along with fans and any other tips and tricks, it’s important to make sure you’re staying hydrated and monitoring for signs of heat-related illnesses. Whether you’re accustomed to the heat or not, the temperatures can sneak up on you.

Some signs of heat-related illnesses include: clammy skin, dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, extreme thirst, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), dehydration, fainting, nausea, vomiting, and weakness.