HEAT AWARENESS DAY: MAY 23RD HELP KEEP OUR VULNERABLE NEIGHBORS SAFE
With summer just around the corner, the National Weather Service has designated May 23rd as Heat Awareness Day. EnergyCare is a local nonprofit dedicated to keeping vulnerable low-income people safe from the heat. EnergyCare is promoting this event to help our community and high risk groups prepare for the dangers of high summer temperatures.
People (especially seniors, people who are ill or disabled, and parents of children under 5) need to know:
- Stay cool: Make sure you have access to air conditioned place to cool off, take plenty of cool showers, wear lightweight clothes, and do not rely on a fan to keep you cool.
- Stay hydrated: Drink more water than usual, avoid drinks containing sugar and alcohol, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- Stay informed: Listen out for Extreme Heat Alerts, learn the symptoms of heat illness and look out for your neighbors – it could save a life!
The Center for Disease Control says that extreme heat is the most destructive natural disaster in the US today, killing more people annually than hurricanes, tornados, floods and earthquakes combined. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, St. Louis has the 4th highest rate of heart related deaths in the US and in the heat wave of 2012 the lives of 26 of our neighbors were claimed.
Sadly, it’s the members of low-income communities who are elderly, living with disabilities or chronic illness, and children under 5 that are most vulnerable to the heat related illnesses and death.