By Lane Levine
Community Network Director
Northwest Neighbors Connecting
Were you around last summer when that big thunderstorm hit? How about Hurricane Sandy in the fall? Did you have a plan for how to manage the power outages, hot summer days and wet weather?
Here at CHAI (Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc.,) – an organization that supports the stability of the Park Heights community – we have been working hard to plan for how to prepare and respond to emergencies in our neighborhood. Our Senior Home Repair program distributes emergency kits to its 300 clients, and checks in on people who are most vulnerable. Northwest Neighbors Connecting (NNC), our new mutual support network for seniors, provides emergency preparedness trainings twice a year to make sure its members have the tools and plans they need to be ready. NNC also has a network of friendly check-in callers, who will be able to make sure their calling partners are OK.
If you live in an apartment building in the area, check with your manager to see whether there is a door tag program in the building, where you can have someone check to make sure you’re OK every morning. You can call us at CHAI – 410-466-1990 – to reach any of these programs. In the meantime, here are some tips to beat the heat in the coming sweltering days of summer (taken from the Baltimore City Health Department website):
- Join other folks at a designated cooling center in Baltimore City or County. Click here to see the lists: www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/resources/heat.html or http://baltimorehealth.org/coderedinfo.html
- Drink plenty of water or juice -Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Wipe skin with cool water as needed -Reduce outside activities
- Wear light-weight and light-colored clothing
- Stay inside during the hottest time of day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
- Seek relief from the heat in air-conditioned locations
- Check on older, sick or frail people in your community who may need help responding to the heat