The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

State & National News

June 24, 2013

As Extreme Temperatures Arrive, Caution Needed

25 to 64 year old males particularly vulnerable to heat

Monday, June 24, 2013 — Raleigh, N.C. - North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos urged North Carolinians to exercise caution in anticipation of the first wave of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher temperatures expected to come to the state over the next few days.

"While all of our state's residents are feeling the effects of high temperatures, we have seen a higher number of emergency department visits among males 25 to 64 years of age," Wos said.

"All individuals should spend time daily in air conditioning, increase fluid intake, move outdoor activities to cooler times of the day when possible, and consult their physician if they take medicines that impact the body's ability to cool itself."

North Carolina's Operation Fan/Heat Relief program is continuing to distribute no-cost fans across the state to people 60 or older and adults with disabilities. These citizens may be eligible to receive one fan per year to help alleviate heat problems within their home. In certain counties, air conditioners are made available for people with more serious health problems.

Since 1986, the Operation Fan/Heat Relief program has distributed fans and air conditioners to seniors in need through regional area agencies on aging offices. Last year, donations totaled $85,500, and with these funds 6,242 fans and 55 air conditioners were distributed. The project is made possible through donations from Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Progress Energy and the Valassis Giving Committee.

More information on local provider agencies distributing the fans can be found on the web at www.ncdhhs.gov/aging/fanheat.htm, or by calling the regional Area Agency on Aging or a local aging agency. NC DHHS will post information about the number of heat-related illnesses in the state at http://publichealth.nc.gov/chronicdiseaseandinjury/heat.htm and hot weather tips @NCPublicHealth throughout the summer.

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