In light of recent steamier temperatures, local agencies are letting the public know there is a heat response plan for the region.
The plan, developed by the Tyler Fire Department and Northeast Texas Public Health District, provides information on where and how residents can escape the heat and find help, if needed.
Northeast Texas Public Health District CEO George Roberts said heat can be deadly, and when the temperatures are too high, they are concerned for people who need relief from the heat.
The plan is an effort to help keep people safe during the hot season, he said.
The summer has been mild, but temperatures have crept higher in recent weeks, Roberts said.
“We want people to be aware of this. We have Labor Day coming up and want people to know where they can get out of the heat, he said. And, with football season underway, it’s good for players and others to be aware of the heat and what they can do to stay safe,” he added.
Roberts said people should stay out of the heat, if possible, and when it’s not possible, they should be mindful, stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids.
He also encouraged people to check on relatives and neighbors.
This “basically is the local community reminder of the heat and making sure you’re protecting yourself from the elements,” he said.
Tyler Fire Chief Tim Johnson echoed Roberts, saying people can get overheated this time of year. He said even one or two hot days in a row can be hard on some people, and they want people to know where and how to get help.
From the plan:
Those at highest risk for death or illness from heat (groups without access to air conditioning for at least a few hours of the day) are: the elderly, socially isolated individuals (homebound, homeless), the physically disabled, those with chronic medical conditions, infants, and those taking certain medications (neuroleptics, anticholinergics).
Individuals at risk for heat injuries can call East Texas Medical Center-Emergency Medical Services at 903-597-2011 for a medical evaluation/heat check if necessary. Paramedics would respond to identify any heat-related problem and arrange transportation or transport in the event of an emergency.
Salvation Army — 24-hour shelter for homeless or near homeless with a capacity of 200. Call 903-592-4361. In case of declared emergency, additional space for 250 is available in the Disaster Shelter.
Red Cross — Open on demand. Depends on declared emergency. Lisa Phillips, Emergency Services Director, 903-581-7981.
Salvation Army, 633 N. Broadway Ave., is open 24 hours, seven days a week. Phone number is 903-592-4361.
YMCA — Air-conditioned building at 225 S. Vine Ave. with a capacity of 50 for daytime activities. Gym air-conditioned. Hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Membership not required during prolonged heat emergency. Call 903-593-7327 or 903- 533-1384.
Genecov Room — In Blackstone Building (Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce), 315 N. Broadway Ave. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, capacity 60. 903-592-1661. Other times may be available by calling the chamber to make special arrangements.
Broadway Square Mall and others — public areas with air conditioning. Friends and family should transport. On city bus route.
Movie Theaters — Air conditioned.
Churches — Check with individual church in regard to activities or capability to accommodate public.
Schools — On hold at this time. Depends on a declared emergency and whether school is in session.
City of Tyler Facilities:
Glass Recreation Center — 501 W. 32nd St. Hours: Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed Sunday. Open during posted hours. Estimated capacity 500. 903- 595-7271.
Tyler Public Library — 201 S. College Ave. Hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Air conditioned; open to public during posted hours. Estimated capacity: 200. Call 903-593-7323.
Tyler Senior Center — 1915 Garden Valley Road. 903-597-0781 for information about services. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, capacity 125.
Rose Garden — 420 Rose Park Drive. Call Debbie Isham, 903-531-1349, Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Capacity 200.
Swimming Pools — Fun Forest Park closed Sunday and Monday. Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 1 to 6 p.m. and 1 to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Woldert Park — Open 1 to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 1 to 7 p.m. Friday and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday. Pools closed until June 2015.
Lindale Community Library, 200 E. Hubbard St., 903-882-1900. Capacity 200 to 300. Air conditioned, open during posted hours. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
YMCA, 301 Terry St., 903-839-9622.
Whitehouse Community Library, 107 Bascom Road, 903-839- 2949.
Free transportation for at-risk individuals en route to air-conditioned shelters or daytime locations include:
The Salvation Army — call 903-592-4361 for transportation to shelter. Call The Salvation Army at 903-592-4361 to volunteer with a vehicle for transporting and call for limited transportation assistance. Other additional assets are being explored.
Hospital courtesy vans.
City bus — vouchers or tickets available from The Salvation Army or PATH.
Mini Bus — 903-593-7650
East Texas Food Bank van available for 10 people, 903-597-3663
City Cab companies.
Car dealers — volunteer salespersons with vehicles to assist in transporting.
IDENTIFY ISOLATED or ELDERLY AT-RISK INDIVIDUALS.
Get them connected to transportation and air-conditioning. Remember 7 to 10 percent do not have telephone. Action individuals or agencies:
Police Department (especially beat officers)
Neighborhood Crime Watch
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
People Attempting to Help (PATH) — Brown Bag program for 665 homebound
Meals On Wheels
Tyler Senior Center
Emergency Care Centers/Emergency Rooms
Hospital Social Workers
Home Health Nursing
Public Health Case Managers/Outreach Workers
Animal Control Officers
All Citizen Volunteers
Friends and Family
East Texas Council For Independent Living — for disabled residents in the area
Should concern exist and a visit be necessary, please contact the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1090 or 911 if appropriate to request a welfare visit by a police officer.