High temperatures leave some at risk for heat illnesses

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A study out of Duke University shows around 12,000 Americans a year die from heat-related illnesses with 80% being over the age of 60-years-old. Now in the middle of summer, Texoma temperatures tend to get high and stay high.

Just a walk to the bus station from someone’s home in high temperatures could put some at risk for heat illness. However, many rely on nonprofits for help and now. Faith Mission and Salvation Army are working to help those who are homeless get out of the heat.

“If it gets above 95, then we relax some of our tenant requirements, and we open the day room for longer periods,” Wichita Falls Faith Mission CEO Steve Sparks said. “We put water out everywhere around the facility.”

Over at the salvation army they are doing something simular while also fighting against COVID.

“One thing different this year is we opened our cooling station where they can come into the lobby and face mask are required and social distancing,” Salvation Army Sgt. Roby Romack said. “They come in and get out of the heat and get you a bottle of water and just cool off for a little while.”

Both Sparks and Romack said staying hydrated and moments in the shade are key if one stays out in the streets.

“If you see somebody out there, if you see someone under the bridge laying down, don’t just assume they are taking a nap,” Sparks said. “They may have succumbed to heat, so the very least call the police for a wellness check.”

A call that could potentially save a life as temperatures continue to rise.

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