Dallas Heat Hotline Opens Just in Time

The Dallas County Health and Human Services office is working to help people beat the heat. With two triple-digit heat days forecasted for later this week, the help is coming just in time.

Tuesday, the DCHHS office launched its annual heat hotline, a phone number for low-income residents, the disabled and senior citizens to call for help if they are living without a working air conditioner.

Department Director Zack Thompson told KERA the county expects the Texas heat and the economy to boost the number of calls received this year.  Because of that, Thompson said they will focus first on the elderly, then the disabled and finally families with small children.

The program installs about 5,000 window unit air conditioners every summer.

Officials warn against delaying the use of air conditioners in an attempt to delay higher utility bills.

"We know utility bills are high, but it's important to your health to have them on," said DCHHS Medical Director Dr. John Carlo. "Heat-related illnesses are 100 percent preventable."

Excessive heat can cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. DCHHS officials encouraged residents to be mindful of the heat by taking the appropriate measures for protection.

The hotline number is 214-819-6001.

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