Agencies Help Cool Overheated Oklahomans With Air Conditioners, Fans
TULSA, Oklahoma - Another day, another bout with 100 degree temperatures as the summer sun pounds down on Tulsa. EMSA has treated 60 people for heat related problems since the beginning of the month.
Two groups are helping the city's most vulnerable stay cool this summer.
The Tulsa Weather Coalition has been distributing window air conditioning units to people throughout Tulsa.
"More people die in Oklahoma from hot weather than they do from any other weather event," said Jim Lyall of the Tulsa Weather Coalition.
Since they started in May, 68 units have been delivered and installed, and they expect to loan out around 150 by the end of September. Each one goes to a resident who does not have an air conditioner and suffers from a health issue that gets aggravated in the heat.
"The air conditioner then becomes a health aid for them, almost more important than comfort," Lyall said.
"The health aid keeps their body temperature lower and reduces the risk that they will be hospitalized or that they will die from the heat."
Catholic Charities is also leading a push to help residents in need. It's distributing fans and air conditioning units to people who are looking for a way to cool their homes.
"This brings refreshment to the family and it can save lives," said Erick Bell of Catholic Charities.
So far Catholic Charities has handed out more than three dozen fans and air conditioners, but they say the need is even greater.
"We need a lot more than 30 or 40, yeah. We could probably easily give away triple that; we'll have that many requests over the next several weeks," Bell said.
EMSA says those fans and a/c units go a long way to protect residents - anything to keep the air moving and keep them away from danger.
Both organizations say they accept donations year round, but will distribute the fans or air conditioners through September.