by State Senator Carlos Uresti
Texas is blessed with three sunny and mild seasons. But there is another face to our state's climate, and it shows itself from April through October. Summer's annual visit brings joy to many Texas families, but deadly heat can be along for the ride.
It's important to beat the heat by paying close attention to "Heat Advisories" and "Excessive Heat Warnings" issued by weather services and news stations. These warnings should help you schedule your day's activities whenever possible.
The Red Cross offers suggestions on how to manage in a heat wave. Check their website at www.saredcross.org , or call 2-1-1 for more information.
Tips include slowing down, avoiding strenuous activity, especially during the middle of the day, and staying indoors as much as possible. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, and drink plenty of water throughout the day to help your body naturally cool itself. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they lead to dehydration. Eat lighter, more frequent meals that do not require the use of a stove or oven.
Don't forget that many public facilities in your area are also great places to stay cool. Libraries, local swimming pools, and public computer labs all offer relief from the heat while allowing you to read, exercise, or keep up to speed with your computer skills.
Many elderly individuals on a fixed or low income worry about air conditioning costs during hot weather. Don't sacrifice air conditioning when temperatures become extreme! Several assistance programs can help seniors and the disabled with this need, including the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). To find CEAP services nearest you, call toll free at (877) 399-8939 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You will be directly connected to the CEAP service provider in your county, so please use a landline phone when dialing the toll free number.
As always, my office stands ready to assist you at (210) 932-2568. If you are not in the San Antonio metropolitan area, please call toll free at (800) 459-0119.
State Senator Uresti represents Senate District 19, a 55,000 square mile area extending from the city of San Antonio in Bexar County to the Lower Valley of El Paso County. The largest legislative district in the nation, Senate District 19 spans two time zones, and contains nine of the 14 border counties in Texas, two-thirds of the U.S.-Mexico border within Texas, and all or part of 23 counties. The district is also home to five U.S. ports of entry, three U.S. toll bridges, 62 school districts, seven military sites, six state parks, and two national parks.