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Des Moines Fire Department, IMPACT collect fans and A/C units to beat the heat


IMPACT CEO Anne Bacon with Sheriff Schneider donate fans before the pandemic, courtesy of IMPACTs Facebook page

With temperatures lingering in the high 80s and 90s, creating heightened risk for heat-related illness, community action organization IMPACT has teamed up with the Des Moines Fire Department to provide families with a cooling solution.

IMPACT asks the community to donate new fans and air conditioners to 11 fire departments during business hours.

Station 1 — 1330 Mulberry St
Station 2 — 1727 E Walnut St
Station 3 — 2458 Easton Blvd
Station 4 — 917 University Ave
Station 5 — 711 42nd St
Station 6 — 1919 SE 6th St
Station 7 — 3500 E 12th St
Station 8 — 1249 McKinley Ave
Station 9 — 4800 Douglas Ave
Station 10 — 5900 E Indianola Ave
Station 11 — 4150 E 42nd St

According to IMPACT, which serves residents across five central Iowa counties, “73 fans and one air conditioner have been donated to IMPACT as of Thursday, August 4. 21 fans are available for those currently in need.”

If you or your family needs a fan or A/C unit, “The intake process is smooth and easy,” the org says. “Contact IMPACT if you need some help staying cool this summer by phone at 515-518-4770 or email info@dmpcc.org.”

Since 1987, Des Moines in the month of August has an average high of about 85 degrees, according to the Weather Channel. Currently, Des Moines is expected to start the month off with temperatures in the 90s and even reaching the 100s.

The Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal shows a decrease in the number of heat-related illness hospitalizations in 2021, with a count of 11 hospitalizations in Iowa, compared to a record 44 hospitalizations in 2020.

Signs of heat-related illness include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash and sunburn.

To avoid being a heat casualty, you should stay hydrated, stay cool, limit outdoor time especially during the hottest times of the day, wear sunscreen, avoid hot and heavy meals, stay away from sugar or alcohol, and watch out for each other and pets.

The Polk County Health Department also suggests wearing loose/light clothing, stay informed about the forecast, take necessary breaks if outside, and spending at least two hours in air conditioning during cool offs.

Those who are more at risk of heat exhaustion are older adults, the youth, and those with mental illness or chronic diseases, but anyone can be effected.

Those who need emergency utility assistance can contact IMPACT at 515-518-4770 or visit their website for utility assistance.

IMPACT also offers other assistance such as food and housing.

Check the Polk County Health Department website for an updated list of aquatic centers, cooling centers and pet centers to stay cool and out of the heat.

DART will be offering free bus rides to cooling stations until further notice. Check the bus schedule to find a bus near you or contact customer service at 515-283-8100 for any other questions.


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