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Seniors & Other Vulnerable People Urged To Protect Themselves From Heat

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Northwest Florida and south Alabama will remain in the summer swelter through at least this week. Work is underway to protect those at most risk from excessive heat.

The National Weather Service in Mobile has issued a heat advisory for Monday and Tuesday, which is expected to be extended for at least the remainder of this week.

“We have upper-level high pressure situated over the southern Plains of Texas and Oklahoma, that’s just kind of squishing the air over us, and creating our warm temperatures during the day,” said Steve Miller, a meteorologist at NWS in Mobile. He adds that there’s also a lot of moisture in that air, as indicated by high dew point levels.

“These are 80 along the immediate coast, getting to the mid-70s inland,” Miller said. “Both are coming together to create temperatures in the mid-90s, and heat indices around 105-110.”

Meanwhile, the Council on Aging for Northwest Florida continues its annual collection of air conditioners and fans, along with cash donations to buy the devices, for seniors at highest risk in the extreme heat.

“As the summer heat continues to affect us pretty heavily, I’m sure you can imagine the need continues to be pretty great,” said Rachel Cox at the Council on Aging. Currently, they have around 80 clients on a waiting list for an air conditioner or fan, up from 13 a month ago.

All A/C and fans must be brand new, to ensure they’ll last through the summer. Also, they must have standard plugs that can go into the standard outlets found in older homes.  Cox and others are doubling down on warnings about the dangers of heat waves: this one is considered worse than that of last month.

“We have sent out ‘Cool Tips’ through the Meals on Wheels program and its volunteers,” said Cox. “Of course, it’s really important to make sure you’re aware of what your body is doing. Also, if you have the elderly living next door, just take a moment to go over and make sure they’re OK.”

Seniors, along with everyone else, for that matter, should take a number of steps to protect against hot weather: stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible; wear light, loose-fitting clothing, drink plenty of water, and take cool showers or baths.

The Council on Aging also has about 20 senior dining sites in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, where residents age 60 and older can go for lunch and activities.

Anyone wishing to donate either an air conditioner or fan, or cash to purchase them, can call the Council on Aging at 432-1475, or drop them off at the Council’s office at 875 Royce Street in Pensacola.                   

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.