Summerset II resident Shirley Chamberlin said that, while not by choice, she sat it out in her home Monday and endured the high temperatures.
"I couldn't leave," she said. "I couldn't get my (two-car) garage door open."
During the three-hour outage, Chamberlin said that she managed to do OK under the circumstances, but "that was long enough. If it had gone on for eight hours I don't know how I would have felt."
Unable to get a response from PG&E as to why there was a loss of power or when it would be turned back on, Chamberlin sat next to her radio, draped in wet towels and listening for any bit of news regarding the outage.
"I did everything I could to keep cool," she said.
Because of the uncertainty of having power restored to the area any time soon, Chamberlin said that several of her neighbors sought shelter elsewhere for the night.
To prepare for the next power outage, Chamberlin said that she has been charging a portable fan to use in case of an emergency. According to experts, that's one of the most important things to have on hand during a heat wave.
According to Sutter Delta Medical Emergency Department Director Dr.Jeff Leinen, the "Four F's - family, friends, fans and fluids" - will help to alleviate critical cases of heat stroke.
"Everyone can't have an air conditioner," Leinen said, "but fans moving air around will help."
Leinen also stressed the importance of staying hydrated by sipping water throughout the day and checking to make sure your urine remains a pale color, which means you are getting enough water.
Leinen said that it is important during these high temperatures to check in on elderly family and friends several times a day to see how they are doing.
"Family and friends are the ones that will save their loved ones' lives," Leinen said.
One of the heat-related cases that Leinen treated over the weekend was that of a 90-year-old woman whose air conditioner had broken down.
"Her caretaker found her unconscious at 4 a.m.," Leinen said. He explained that while the caretaker's body could handle the heat, the elderly woman's body could not, spiking her temperature to 105 F.
Once at the hospital, he said they were able to treat the woman with IVs, and the cool of the air-conditioned hospital also helped to bring the woman's core body temperature down.
He said due to the high temperatures, at least a half-dozen critically ill patients, most of them elderly, were admitted between Sunday night and Monday, all suffering symptoms related to the heat.
Leinen said the hospital is seeing two types of patients because of the high temperatures: heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
People who suffer from heat exhaustion are typically those who work outdoors, he said. Their bodies might not have acclimated to working in the high heat, but still have the ability to function.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include paleness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fainting and a moderately increased temperature (101-102 F).
"People with heat exhaustion we see in the afternoon, at about four or five, after they get off of work," he said.
The other type is the patient suffering from heat stroke, the most severe form of heat-related illness.
"At these high heat levels, the elderly and the young are at the most risk (for heat stroke)," he said.
Heat stroke victims have warm, flushed skin, and usually do not sweat. A person with heat stroke usually has a very high temperature (106 F or higher), and may be delirious, unconscious or having seizures. These patients need their temperatures reduced quickly, often with ice packs, and must also be given IV fluids for rehydration. They should be taken to a hospital (call an ambulance) as soon as possible, as many different body organs can fail in heat stroke.
Despite the anticipation of moderating temperatures, Sutter Delta Medical Group physicians advise residents, especially seniors, to take the following precautions against heat-related illness:
• Stay inside and stay hydrated; don't go outside after 9 a.m.
• Open doors and windows in the early morning, then close them as temperatures increase.
• Let the errands wait; stay out of the car.
• If you must go outside, wear single-layered white or light-colored cottons and a hat, and apply sunscreen.
• Because the thirst mechanism decreases with age, be sure to drink a minimum of three eight-ounce glasses of water a day and one glass per meal; if urine is dark in color, drink more water.
• Unless you have a kidney or heart condition, drink balanced fluids by adding two tablespoons of sugar and one teaspoon of salt to a quart of water, or eat soda crackers and water.
• Don't over-drink. Too much water dilutes potassium and sodium in the body and affects the kidneys.
• Soak your feet in a large bowl of cool water.
• Take cool showers in the morning and before bedtime.
• Apply cold compresses throughout the day; i.e., cool towels around the neck and forehead.
• Since light produces heat, turn off unnecessary lights.
• Run fans, which use less electricity than air conditioners.