Tulsa Weather Coalition Keeping Residents Cool During Extreme Heat

Tuesday, June 22nd 2010, 3:59 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley & Scott Thompson, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Beating the heat can be a challenge, especially for the elderly or those with health problems.

It's been a busy couple of weeks for Jay Beson, with the Mental Health Association. He's installing air conditioning units for people whose homes are losing the battle with the summer heat.

"It's hot," Beson said. "We're just sweating doing this for five minutes."

This stop is for Sarah Cook. She's suffers from breathing problems and says the heat has made the last few days unbearable.

"It gets so hot that I can't stand it," she said. "I have sit in the cold bath just to be able to cool down."

The program is called the Tulsa Weather Coalition and its run through the Community Service Council. The air conditioner is only on loan until the end of summer and to get one you have meet certain requirements. You must be on a fixed income and have health problems, such as chronic heart disease or anything that's affected by the heat.

"Illnesses that really restrict mobility is what we're looking at," said Jim Lyall, Community Service Council. "Because these individuals are not as likely to be able to get up and go to a library or other cool station in order to get out of the heat."

The National Weather Service reports that more people are killed from the heat than any other weather related event. Jay Beson says he can tell right away the difference his work makes.

"For her to have just one room that's going to stay cool that she can have some comfort in is really helpful," Beson said.

Sarah Cook agrees, she says the Weather Coalition is a lifesaver and will make the rest of the summer much more enjoyable.

"I'm so grateful for that," she said.  "My breathing and my attitude is going to be completely different."

To see if you're eligible, call 211. The program survives through donations, both monetary and of new air conditioners. You can also call 211 if you want to help.

6/21/2010 Related Story: EMSA Urging Residents To Stay Indoors During Extreme Heat