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Help Neighbors Keep Cool This Summer

Check on community members living alone or without AC

It’s hard enough to endure the summer heat when you’re healthy, fit and have an air-conditioned home. Unfortunately not everyone is in a position to be so prepared.

Keep an eye on your neighbors and others who might need some help getting through the hottest summer days, which can put people at risk for heat-related illnesses and exacerbate existing medical conditions.

Doctors recommend that you spend the hottest part of a sweltering summer day indoors enjoying the air conditioning. But for those whose homes don’t have air conditioning or who can’t afford to turn it on, the risk is acute. That’s especially true for for older people and those who are ill, who could be at risk for heatstroke or even death.

If you know someone whose house might get too hot to handle this summer:

  • Call them or stop by to check on them every day.
  • Use a neighborhood association directory or your own personal contacts to arrange a phone tree so others can help check on neighbors who live alone when you’re not able to.
  • Encourage neighbors or family members to use air conditioners during the hottest part of the day or spend it in an air-conditioned public place, like a mall or library.
  • If you find someone in medical distress because of the heat, call 911.
  • Some states and counties encourage residents to help keep their neighbors safe through campaigns like Check on Your Neighbor. Your local Salvation Army or hospital can tell you about programs already in your area. Or you can start one in your own neighborhood.
  • Show your neighbors you care enough to check in. You could save someone’s life.