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LIHEAP IM 2011-10 Tips From the Centers for Disease Control on How to Prevent Heat-Related Illness

Published: July 18, 2011
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)

Transmittal No.  LIHEAP-IM-2011-10                    Date:  July 18, 2011

TO:

LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP) GRANTEES AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES

GUIDANCE
INTENDED FOR: 

__X__STATES

__X__TRIBES/TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS

__X__TERRITORIES

SUBJECT:

Tips From the Centers for Disease Control on How to Prevent Heat-Related Illness

RELATED
REFERENCES:

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act, Title XXVI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35, as amended.

PURPOSE:

To provide information from the Centers for Disease Control on how to prevent heat-related illness, and to warn that clients should not rely upon a fan during a heat wave.

CONTENT:

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a “Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety.”  This guide highlights the best ways to prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths.

In light of the recent heat wave throughout much of the country, we are sending a copy of this guide to you, so that you are aware of the guidelines as you develop programs to help low-income households deal with the heat. 

CDC asks that you pay particular attention to the following warning:  “Electric fans may be useful to increase comfort and to draw cool air into your home at night, but DO NOT rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during a heat wave.  When the temperature is in the high 90s or higher, a fan WILL NOT prevent heat-related illness.  A cool shower or bath is a more effective way to cool off.”

CDC advises us that a fan will often make a person feel that they are being adequately cooled when they are not, and thus prevent them from seeking more effective relief, such as finding an air conditioned environment, taking a cool shower, drinking more water and juices, and decreasing activities.  In addition, the fan will evaporate an individual’s perspiration, thus making them feel cooler, but the person often does not consume enough liquids to replace their lost fluids, thus leading to dehydration.  This is especially a concern with the elderly or disabled.

For more information on dealing with heat, we are also attaching a copy of a CDC publication entitled “Extreme Heat:  A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety.”  You may obtain additional copies of this publication by accessing CDC’s website at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp

ATTACHMENTS:

(1) CDC Prevention Guide: “Tips on Managing Heat”
(2) CDC’s Publication: “EXTREME HEAT - A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety”

INQUIRIES TO:

Katina Lawson
Program Analyst
Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services, ACF
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C.  20447
Telephone:  (202) 401-6527
Fax:  (202) 401-5661
E-mail:  klawson@acf.hhs.gov


_______/s/_________________
Yolanda J. Butler, Ph.D.
Acting Director
Office of Community Services