With temperatures into the 90s this week, county human services are receiving more requests for cooling assistance.
"Cool for Wake" is a seasonal heat relief program that distributes about 400 fans to vulnerable Wake County residents. Program director Denise Kissel said it will accept donations and take requests to put fans and window air conditioning units in the homes of children and seniors.
"Folks who've lived in North Carolina can understand what it's like to be without air conditioning in the car, or the house for a day or two while it gets fixed," she said. "So just imagine how that would be if you had to live in that condition for months at a time, and understand that it's not only uncomfortable, but it also is a health hazard."
Both children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to heat because they do not self-regulate body temperature as well as adults.
"As we see all too frequently in the news about children who are left in hot cars, it's the same type of scenario at home, when the house gets very hot, and it just becomes physically unsafe for them," said Kissel.
Sustained overheating can cause heat exhaustion, fainting, and in some cases, death.