Pronews 7 and 211 Texas Panhandle have partnered together in a fan drive to provide fans for households that may be suffering through the sweltering summer Panhandle heat.
??When I first moved to Amarillo, and I??m speaking from experience, I lived in an apartment without air conditioning and it was awful to be sitting in a place, with no air movement. It??s 100 degrees, it??s midnight, you??re trying to sleep. At least this way, they can put a box fan in their window, get some outside air in, cool the place off and stop sweltering,?? said Paul White, community resources center for 211 Texas Panhandle.
However, the fans are being donated for more than just a comfort issue. The risk of heat injury is a serious problem, even if the residents are indoors.
??When people have exposure, prolonged exposure to heat, they??re going to be very susceptible to heat injuries. These types of injuries are going to cause headaches, they??re going to cause nausea and vomiting, they??re going to cause muscle cramping or muscle pain. And they can lead to more serious things like heat stroke in which organs are adversely impacted,?? said Derrell Deloach, a local nurse practitioner.
So far, 211 Texas Panhandle has been able to give 75 fans to households but they are expecting to give between 100-150 before the drive ends in mid-September.
??We??ve been doing the fan drive for several years now and it started with a need for people with no air conditioning. It just helps to cool off the whole area and really keep the air circulating,?? said Bryan Gillepsie, program manager for Guyon Saunders Resource Center. ??This program has been a huge success.??
To be eligible for a fan, households must have a child under 5 years of age, an elderly person over 60 years of age, or someone who is medically disabled. 211 Texas Panhandle said that this is the most vulnerable population for heat related complications and therefore, they are targeting this group as the need always outweighs the resources.