Offers Tips to Help Residents Stay Cool During Heat Wave
SPRINGFIELD – July 8, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that applications will be accepted for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning July 19. Through LIHEAP, utility bill payments are made on behalf of households with incomes of up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
“Temperatures have already started to reach dangerous levels across the state. We must do everything we can to ensure Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens can remain healthy, safe and cool this summer,” said Governor Quinn.
The LIHEAP summer cooling program will run from July 19 through July 30, or until funds are exhausted. A total of $10 million in federal and state funding is available for the program.
“Through the LIHEAP program, we have helped over 420,000 Illinois families to live more comfortably in their homes, while helping reduce burdensome energy bills,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. “We are pleased to once again be able to offer this assistance to those who need it most.”
People can apply for LIHEAP assistance by visiting their local administrating agency. A complete listing of LIHEAP's local administrating agencies and additional information about the program are available at www.liheapillinois.com, or by calling the toll-free "Keep Cool Illinois" hotline at 877-411-9276 between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Seniors are among the most vulnerable to extreme heat. With temperatures soaring, Governor Quinn urged seniors and families with small children to take special measures to stay safe. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) advises residents to stay hydrated; avoid going outdoors during extreme heat; avoid or minimize physical exertion; keep window shades drawn; wear loose cotton clothing; and avoid eating heavy meals and cooking with ovens. People taking medications should check with their pharmacist or doctor to find out about any heat-related side effects.
Governor Quinn also urged Illinoisans to take advantage of more than 120 state facilities that serve as cooling centers. The cooling centers provide a place to stay cool and comfortable during the scorching hot days of summer. The centers are located at Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) offices throughout the state and the seven Illinois Tollway Oases in Northern Illinois. They will be open to the public during regular business hours.
More information on the state’s cooling centers is available by calling the IDHS toll-free hotline (800-843-6154), or search by zip code for the nearest cooling center at www.keepcool.illinois.gov.