San Francisco

Supervisor Encouraged By San Francisco's Improved Heat Wave Response

It appears San Francisco has learned from the last heat wave.

After the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit uncovered failings in how the city responded to the Labor Day heat wave, the city on Tuesday kicked it into gear, including opening several cooling centers.

San Francisco is getting the word out to folks about where to go to cool off, a marked improvement from the initial response over Labor Day weekend.

The city's Department of Public Health and Emergency Management said 15 cooling centers were operating Tuesday, with most of them in the eastern and warmest half of San Francisco.

"When things get into the low 80s, we start taking some low-level actions," said Francis Zamora with the San Francisco Emergency Management.

If the temperature goes up significantly, the city is preparing to reach out to people who are bed ridden or house bound.

Chandra Johnson with the San Francisco Human Services Agency said those efforts include knocking on doors and getting people out of areas where the heat index might be the most extreme.

"I don't think we've hit the level of heat to start activating that list yet, but we now know how to do it and everybody is prepared to do it," San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin said.

Peskin was highly critical  of the city's Labor Day heat wave response and is encouraged by Tuesday's response.

"And this time we are actually doing it better," he said. "So I'm actually really quite pleased."

NBC Bay Area Investigative Reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken dug into what happened over Labor Day weekend and found the city's ambulance response was also inadequate. A check on that Tuesday found it was up and down, but not critical.

The high temperature for San Francisco on Tuesday reached 85 degrees at the Civic Center.

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