FORT WORTH — As North Texas swelters through Day 14 of triple-digit temperatures, Tarrant County Public Health officials want you to know that there is relief available.
They urged the public to keep those air conditioners running during the extreme heat as a matter of life or death.
Those elevated temperatures along with a high heat index are forecast to continue through the next week.
Tarrant County health providers, Fort Worth city leaders and energy companies were all part of a news conference Friday reminding low-income residents that they can get help.
Make sure that you have at least one air conditioner at home — and keep it running. Even if your electricity is about to be cut off or if it has been cut off, contact your energy provider immediately to keep the power flowing.
Many agencies are standing by to help, and you can get more information by calling 211. Keep trying if the line is busy.
"When you come in to see us, we're able to contact the energy provider and say we're going to help you. 'We're going to help this customer; please put a hold on their account. Do not disconnect them," said Sonia Singleton, speaking on behalf of the Fort Worth Parks and Community Services Department. "That's why we're telling you: Call us. Don't wait."
Fort Worth city leaders remind families in need that they can connect you to one of several agencies also reaching out to help during the heat crisis. The city says it can help a family of four earning up to $44,000.
It may take up to two weeks to make arrangements for assistance, so take action now if you need it.
For anyone needing immediate relief to cool down, the county has set up three cooling centers which are open during business hours in the heat of the day:
- The Salvation Army, 1855 East Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth
- The Salvation Army, 3023 NW 24th Street, Fort Worth
- The Salvation Army, 712 West Abram Street, Arlington
Tarrant County health officials said 122 people have been admitted to area emergency rooms with heat-related symptoms since May 1, but so far, the county has not reported a heat-related death.
And that's the way everyone wants things to stay.