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Programs to prevent heat illness starting to ramp up

Wednesday hit 97 degrees in Austin. That set the bar as the hottest day of 2018 -- so far. (CBS Austin)

Wednesday hit 97 degrees in Austin. That set the bar as the hottest day of 2018 -- so far.

“It’s disrespectful because it’s so hot you can’t even feel pretty,” said LaTonya waiting for her ride near Lady Bird Lake.

Earlier this month, the Lower Colorado River Authority forecast there would be 25-35 days of triple digit heat this summer.

While many can escape the heat with indoor A/C, Virginia Larson at Family Eldercare said they distribute thousands of fans every year to people who can’t afford to cool their home. “Seniors have a harder time regulating their body temperature, so when they get hot it’s harder for them to cool off,” she said.

Days after Hurricane Harvey hit last year, Family Eldercare donated leftover fans to those impacted to help dry out homes that were once flooded. Now with many still displaced because of the storm, some low-income, there’s a whole new group of people who are in need.

“Can you imagine being in a home where there’s no air circulation and you can’t turn on the air conditioning?” said Larson.

Last year, Family Eldercare distributed 6,500 fans, and they expect to give away 7,000 this year throughout 14 counties.

Larson knows how a fan can improve the quality of life for someone without A/C, because she once lived without a cool home.

“It was a special treat for us on Sunday after church, we got to turn on the air conditioning and I was able to take a nap,” said Larson. “I can’t imagine being in a home 24/7 without that cool (air).”

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