by Sheila Gardner

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July 20, 2013
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Fan drive spins up to beat heat

More than 30 new electric fans have been donated to Douglas County seniors, a week after officials launched a drive to help keep seniors cool.

The free fans are piling up at the senior center to be distributed to low income, frail, or seniors 60 years or older.

The timing couldn’t be better, as the area is expected to set record highs this weekend.

Senior Services Director Travis Lee started the program earlier this month after Senior Services homemakers and Meals on Wheels staff observed clients in the community who lacked air conditioning during sweltering summer temperatures.

The hot weather has forced the center to cancel some of its most popular, outdoor programs so seniors can remain in air-conditioning while at the center.

New fans may be dropped off or picked up at the Douglas County Senior Center, 2300 Meadow Lane, Gardnerville.

Seniors in need of fans should contact Douglas County Senior Services (775) 783-6455 or stop by the center.

To qualify, recipients must be 60 years of age or older. Seniors without air conditioning and those who have not previously participated in the program are a priority to receive new fans.

A heat advisory is in effect until 10 p.m. today with the potential for record high temperatures in Western Nevada valleys of up to 110 degrees.

With overnight lows in the upper 60s and lower 70s, the National Weather Service reports that heat will produce uncomfortable conditions for the elderly, children and those with chronic ailments.

The high temperature in Minden is forecast to be 102 degrees today with the potential for thunderstorms into the night.

While very warm, the forecast high is the short of the record high temperature of 104 set in Minden in 1931.

The combination of high temperatures and thunderstorms could cause power fluctuations.

High temperatures are expected to drop back down below 100 on Monday and to near 90 by Thursday.

Douglas County Emergency Management issued reminders for residents to protect themselves from extreme heat.

Most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition.

Pets are also at-risk for heat-related illness, if left unattended.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to:

Remain inside during the hottest hours of the day, if possible.

Dress in loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.

Avoid strenuous work during the hottest part of the day.

Stay hydrated; do not wait until thirsty.

Avoid leaving pets in vehicles or in unprotected outdoor spaces. Provide plenty of water.

Curtail outdoor activities for vulnerable populations.

Check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice per day.

Know what to do in a heat emergency to recognize signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Check your local television broadcasts or radio stations for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.

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The Record Courier Updated Jul 21, 2013 09:54AM Published Jul 25, 2013 08:45AM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.