Dangerous heat extends through weekend

July 7, 2012 3:42:49 AM PDT
The area is bracing for more brutal temperatures as we approach the climactic weekend of the heat wave.

There was little escape from the hot weather at the Delaware and Jersey shores. The beaches were packed in Dewey Beach and almost as crowded in Ocean City. But with no ocean breeze, it was a lot hotter than the shore is supposed to be.

In Philadelphia, Love Park fountain was a popular place to be, but given the Accu-Weather forecast, that may not be enough to beat the heat.

The dog days of summer have people seeking relief anyway they can on day 9 of the mostly oppressive heat wave.

The heat means solid sales for one retail giant. The Home Depot on Castor Avenue was packed with people doubling up on air conditioning units.

"It's too hot," said Esperanza Perez.

"Temperatures are making people come out," said Jesus Dominguez. "We have a high demand for air circulation products. We are fully stocked and prepared to take care of our customers.

A few young boys in the neighborhood found ways to help residents stay cool. Their roadside water stand in Port Richmond proved popular Friday and helped them cash in on the heat wave.

The sweltering sun made for a hot morning workout along Kelly Drive, but even people indoors are working extra hard to stay cool.

Linda Maybin of Northeast Philadelphia found another smart way to keep cool. She wraps an ice pack around her fan. It is only one way the 67 year old used to survive the steamy stretch of weather.

"I drink a lot of water and iced tea," said Linda.

Linda has guidance from home health aide Judy Dietrich with Community Care of the Northeast.

Dietrich says it's easy for people to get dehydrated and advises elderly clients to pay attention to their bodies.

Linda also gets personal reminders of how to stay healthy when the temperatures turn toasty.

"It tells you what to look for if you don't feel well," Linda explained.

"There should be air moving," said Judy Dietrich. "If they're outside they should wear light and loose-fitting clothing."

The Philadelphia Corporation of Aging says a recurring problem they see is with older people on fixed incomes who do not want to turn on an air conditioner fearing it will bust their budget.

"We really keep talking to them, we say it is your life, please you have to spend a couple of extra dollars now," said Mary Mullen, who supervises the Heatline. "We encourage them to get it on because it is too dangerous.

Mullen says sometime Staffers can't persuade people over the phone to turn on their A/C or even open a window and use a fan to draw in fresh air. It is at that point health teams are dispatched.

"We have a couple of avenues we can take if we get somebody who is being really stubborn and doesn't want to open the windows and get some cool air in there," she said.

The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging's Heat Hotline is up and running until midnight, and will also be open Saturday from 8:00am to midnight. Any residents with questions or concerns can call 215-765-9040.