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With Cooling Centers Closed, Fan Campaign Offers Refuge from Heat

A worker loads fans into a client's car

The city of Columbus has decided to keep its community centers and public libraries closed amid coronavirus concerns. In a normal summer, these spaces are designated as “cooling centers,” where people without air-conditioned homes can wait out the hottest hours of the day.

People who in the past relied on cooling centers will need to find new ways to stay safe during summer heat waves.

For the past two decades, LifeCare Alliance has been committed to keeping central Ohioans cool with its “Beat the Heat” Fan Campaign, a service which provides unused box fans to people in need of assistance cooling their homes. Drive-through fan distributions are held at 670 Harmon Ave. Call the LifeCare Alliance Fan Hotline (614-437-2870) to learn when the next fan distribution is scheduled.

Fan donations can be made at any Franklin County fire station or at 670 Harmon Ave, Columbus, OH 43223.

Here are 10 tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from extreme heat:

  1. Check on neighbors and loved ones you know don’t have air conditioning, especially those who spend most of their time at home.
  2. Drink plenty of water even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages.
  3. Close blinds on windows facing the sun.
  4. Never leave people or animals in enclosed vehicles.
  5. Spend time on the lowest level of your home. Basements can be a great place to wait out extreme heat.
  6. Avoid large, protein rich meals which can increase metabolic heat, eat smaller meals more often.
  7. Avoid strenuous outdoor exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  8. Keep buckets or basins filled with cool water to soak your feet in, take cold showers and baths and use towels soaked in cold water to keep cool.
  9. Avoid sunburn, as it makes it more difficult for your body to dissipate heat.
  10. Make sure pets have adequate access to water and shade. Before giving your pet exercise on a paved surface, check with your palm to see if the pavement is too hot for their sensitive paws.