Temperatures flirted with triple digits last week. For many, that means escaping to the indoors. For others, though, that’s not an option.
Some must work in the heat.
Hopefully, those who do prepare for the extreme conditions by working early in the day and late in the day instead of during the apex of the heat cycle. They also take frequent breaks and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to stave off the worst effects of the heat.
But for others, work isn’t the issue. Getting inside the house where the air conditioner is running full blast isn’t an option because there is no air conditioning.
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Many of those people rely on fans to move the air – hot though it may be – and take advantage of the breeze the fan creates.
Many of us think and respond to calls in the winter time to help people with no home to go to when the weather gets frigid.
But it’s a problem in the summer time, too, when high temperatures put people at risk of heat stroke or some other heat-related illnesses.
And in North Carolina – this land of four distinct seasons – there’s no likelihood that hot temperatures will go away any time soon.
So what are the rest of us to do about the dangers faced by our friends and neighbors in the community?
Here are a few thoughts.
• Check on your neighbors. If you know your neighbor has no respite from the heat, invite them over for a while. Let them get out of the heat, especially in the middle of the day. Take them cold drinks or a fan to help fend off the heat.
• Donate a fan yourself. You can give it to that neighbor, or you can donate it to a local human service agency which can make sure it goes to someone who needs the help. We are all our brothers’ keeper in some respect, even if we don’t know the person who benefits from our largesse.
• Let human service workers know if you’re aware of a particularly dangerous situation. Oftentimes in the midst of a crisis, we don’t think as clearly as we might otherwise. Those people in real jeopardy may not realize just how dangerous extremely hot weather can be and how it can effect them. If they need help, help them get it.