Tuesday August 5, 2008
With temperatures expected to hit the high 90s and a heat index exceeding 100 degrees, Mayor Jerry Abramson issued a reminder of city resources available to residents for heat relief.
“We want people in Louisville to know that help is available if they are looking for ways to beat the heat this week,” Abramson said. “And I want to encourage people to look out for each other, especially the elderly and those with health problems. Make sure you check periodically on your elderly neighbor or relative.”
The city has compiled the following list of resources that are available to Louisville residents.
Emergency Air Conditioner / Fan Program
Emergency help is available through the Louisville Metro Community Action Partnership. The city agency provides fans to income-eligible residents. Window unit air conditioners are available to income-eligible residents with medical conditions which preclude them from being exposed to extreme heat. Applications and medical forms, which are to be completed by your treating physician, are available at Community Action Partnership or Neighborhood Places. To apply or ask questions about the program, call 574-1270 or MetroCall 311. So far this summer, CAP has distributed 79 air conditioners and 26 fans.
Senior Nutrition Sites
The city and partner agencies operate 19 Senior Nutrition Sites in Louisville where residents over the age of 60 may receive a nutritious lunch throughout the year. The lunches are generally served at 11:30 a.m. Residents may enjoy social activities and interaction with peers while having some relief from the heat. Residents should make reservations one day in advance. Lunches are free; donations are appreciated. For a complete list of locations and hours, please call 574-6325 or MetroCall 311. The locations are also available on the city’s website, www.louisvilleky.gov.
The city is working closely with agencies like ElderServe and Meals on Wheels to monitor the health and safety of senior citizens.
Louisville Free Public Library
Residents, especially those with children, may visit one of the city’s 17 library branches. The branches are generally open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week. Adults and children may choose to read a book or use a computer. Recreational opportunities for all ages are also offered at many locations. For a complete list of hours, activities and sites, call 574-1611 or MetroCall 311. The information is also available online by visiting www.lfpl.org.
Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services personnel are prepared for a possible increase in transports due to heat-related illness.
“Symptoms of heat illness may be confused with other medical conditions like infections or diabetes, or can present as a worsening of underlying problems like respiratory illness or heart disease,” said Dr. Neal Richmond, director and CEO of Louisville Metro EMS. “Residents, especially those with heart conditions or breathing illnesses, should limit outdoor activity, take plenty of breaks and make sure they drink lots of water.”
Symptoms of heat exposure include:
- Muscle aches
Health Department Heat Tips
The Louisville Metro Health Department has the following recommendations to help residents weather the summer heat:
- If you don’t have air conditioning, keep your shade drawn with windows slightly open to provide ventilation;
- Keep lights off;
- Avoid using your oven;
- Take a cool shower or bath periodically;
- Use cool towels and washcloths for temporary relief;
- Drink lots of water or natural juices;
- Avoid alcohol, coffee and soda; and
- Wear loose, cotton clothing.
A variety of TARC routes are also available to residents who may prefer making a trip to their destination in an air-conditioned bus instead of walking.