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We're glad to see the Salvation Army and Westlake Ace Hardware again coordinating to keep people cool this summer.

Their annual fan drive, which occurred in June, raised money to buy 52 box fans. The Salvation Army will distribute them to families who need them.

Westlake raised the money by allowing customers to round up their purchases. They raised more than $750, manager Randy Miller said.

"We appreciate all the customers," Miller said in a recent story. "We have some repeat customers (who contribute every year), and we have new customers."

The Salvation Army will distribute the fans. For more information about eligibility to receive a box fan, residents should call the local Salvation Army's social services line at 573-635-1975 for more information.

The fans come at a good time, toward the end of July heading into the "dog days of summer." As we write this, the forecast is for highs in the 90s for the foreseeable future, with no rain in the forecast.

For people who don't have air conditioning, especially seniors, simple box fans can be lifesavers.

If you need respite from the heat, visit one of Jefferson City's cooling centers: Capital Mall, Clarke Senior Center, Missouri River Regional Library, Salvation Army Center of Hope and the West Point Senior Center.

Experts also advise following these tips during severe heat:

Don't leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.

Eat light, well-balanced meals at regular intervals.

Drink plenty of water and limit alcoholic drinks.

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.

Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Wear sunscreen 30 SPF or greater.

Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day; use the buddy system when working in extreme heat and take frequent breaks.

Be aware of medications that may impair the body's response to heat, including antihistamines, tranquilizers and some medications for heart disease.

Finally, take a cue from the organizers of the fan drive and consider your community. Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.

Together we can beat the heat and keep each other safe during the hot summer months.

News Tribune

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