WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — As the summer heat beats down on our community, it also beats down on our vulnerable neighbors.

In partnership with Evergy, The Salvation Army will be distributing donated fans to the elderly and/or individuals with disabilities who don’t have access to air conditioning and/or afford to purchase a fan for themselves.

On Tuesday, June 28, The Salvation Army will be distributing these fans to Sedgwick County residents at their Downtown Koch Center Area Command campus, 350 N Market, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. while supplies last.

Fan recipients must provide their ID, including everyone in their household, and a utility bill for proof of address.

“Many residents of our community do not have access to air conditioning, creating potentially dangerous situations during the summer months,” said South Central Area Commander Major Merrill Powers. “Our partnership with Evergy will provide comfort and cooling to those in our neighborhoods facing physical or financial challenges.”

While fans may help relieve the sweltering summer heat, finding an air-conditioned space is the safest option some days. Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke.

What do I do if someone is experiencing these?

According to The Salvation Army, if a person is experiencing heat cramps in the abdomen or legs, you should help get them to a cooler place, have them rest, gently stretch the affected muscle(s), and help them replenish their fluids by having them drink four ounces of cool water every 15 minutes.

If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, according to The Salvation Army, you will need to move them to a cooler place, loosen or remove tight clothing, apply cool water to the skin via spray bottle, washcloth, or towel and then place a fan on the person or fan them. If they are conscious, give them small amounts of water to drink and ensure that they drink slowly. Monitor them for changes in condition. If they refuse to drink water, vomit or begin to lose consciousness, call 911 or a local emergency number.

Signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Cool, moist, pale, and/or flushed skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion

Heat stroke is the most dangerous as it can be life-threatening. The Salvation Army says that the first thing you need to do is call 911 or a local emergency number immediately. Then you will need to move the person to a cooler place and help cool their body. If possible, immerse the person up to their neck in cool water. Otherwise, douse or spray them with cold water, and cover their skin with cold, wet towels and/or bags of ice.

Signs of heat stroke:

  • Hot, red skin which can be dry or moist
  • Changes in consciousness
  • Vomiting
  • High body temperature

Heat safety tips:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and limit drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Ensure they have water and a shady place to rest.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and/or light-colored clothing.