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Fan drives aim to save lives in summer heat

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Posted at 9:02 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-06 11:39:35-04

WACO, TX — The heat index reached over 100 degrees in Central Texas more than a week ago, and experts say next week might bring our first actual triple digit temperature day.

That's dangerous because that kind of heat kills.

It's also why at least two groups want to help provide a way to get through the summer heat.

Miles Locke says, in his childhood, beating the heat was never as simple as hitting up the neighborhood splash pad.

"We'd dip in the tank there, the stock tank. That was about it. The stock tank wasn't real clean, but it was wet," he recalled.

We are drawn to water in the summer for what's called "evaporative cooling," like pouring alcohol on our skin and feeling a breeze. It lowers our body temperature.

"It lowers it by one to two degrees, so, maybe that one to two degrees is enough to make a difference to keep you from going into heat stroke or heat exhaustion," explained KXXV Meteorologist Josh Johns.

And with our hottest days ahead, we need to take care.

Let's face it, not all of us have a splash pad around to take advantage of. This is why experts say it is so important if you don't have air conditioning, to at least have a fan to move the air around.

So, groups like Caritas and the Salvation Army have started life-saving fan drives.

You may have heard about it on Central Texas Living.

"We have our own natural cooling system. But if it's stifling in some of these residences, it's impossible for folks to survive," explained Ann Harder during an edition of Central Texas Living.

And in heat waves, many don't survive.

"Heat has the highest number of fatalities for people actually staying inside, and it gets pretty rough," said Tyler Stevenson of the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army's fan drive involves all 15 Keith's Ace Hardware locations.

”If you wanna call us, we can give you a location, if you wanna call and ask what's the closest location to me, we'd be happy to do it,” offered Brad Rials of the Keith's Ace Hardware location in Woodway.

Because a nice breeze can save a life... if you don't have a splash pad nearby.

"Sit close to one of these, with a little breeze, it's like being in an evaporative cooler. Almost like air conditioning... Almost like air conditioning, exactly," said Locke.

The Salvation Army drive includes new and gently used fans that you can donate.

To get more information on how to donate to the Caritas fan drive, click here. For more information on donating to the Salvation Army fan drive, click here.

If you're a client of Caritas, you are eligible for a fan and can contact them at (254) 753-4593.

At the Salvation Army, fans are given out through their help centers. Contact the Salvation Army at (254) 756-7271.