Heat has East Texans scrambling to help others

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The summer's heat has a lot of East Texans and non-profit organizations scrambling to provide some relief.

Flight nurse Stacy Gregory says it's nothing to play around with. She has already seen heat-related injuries.

"Folks that are outside riding bicycles, running, it's like it creeps up on them," said Gregory. "They don't realize how hot they're getting until it's too late. They'll come in with confusion, some have dizziness and a lot of them are dehydrated."

That is why emergency responders keep helicopters and ambulances stocked.

"IV fluids more than anything else," said Gregory.

Another necessity? Box fans for many families struggling in the sweltering heat. Partnering with Home Depot, PATH anticipated the need.

"We actually started distributing the fans two weeks earlier than we normally do in a typical summer," explained Christina Fulsom with PATH.

Fulsom says they go quickly and more are needed. They are also asking for monetary donations to help a growing number of people who can't keep up with their utility bills.

"PATH is lucky enough to be the recipient of TXU energy aid funds and we have the funds to help people with TXU, however there are people who don't use TXU who also need help," said Fulsom.

Another organization, Meals on Wheels, served more than 3,300 meals across East Texas Tuesday. Volunteers like the Potters not only deliver food but provide safety checks in the heat, especially for seniors who are at greater risk.

"We always anticipate some injury and some disorientation and a little bit extra care in the heat of the summer and it's only June," said Rachel Thompson with Meals on Wheels Ministry.

If you find you need a little help covering the cost of staying cool, call your electric provider and ask about payment options and flexible summer plans.

TXU's summer moratorium starts July 1st. That means they will not disconnect certain customers who are low-income, disabled or over 62 years old. You just have to call 800-242-9113 on or after July first to sign up. In fact, they advise all customers to call and ask about flexible payments options during these summer months.

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