TRENTON, N.J.—Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes reminded residents today of several ways to combat the extreme heat currently hovering over New Jersey. “Mercer County offers many outstanding programs and services to help residents beat the summer heat,” said Hughes; these include hotlines for assistance, helpful literature on staying cool, and a summer home cooling program for low-income senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.
The summer home cooling program has enjoyed great success in recent years. Hughes enthused that “our senior centers and libraries did a great job of implementing this program and distributing air conditioners to a large portion of our low-income senior constituency.” This year, County government partnered with the United Way to purchase 118 air conditioners, which were then distributed to seniors and people with disabilities based on income.
In total, the County applied $12,000 towards the purchase of cooling appliances for needy residents. Hughes noted that if more funds become available, the County will purchase and distribute more air conditioners to residents in need. The County Executive also encouraged elderly residents to contact Adult Protective Services, which partners with Mercer County to assist senior citizens in coping with the challenges posed by excessive heat, if they require assistance in cooling their homes.
In addition to distributing cooling appliances, the County makes available a “Warmline” via the Office on Aging. During daytime hours, residents can call (609) 989-6661 or toll-free (877) 222-3737 for assistance in coping with the heat. During non-business hours, residents are encouraged to call 911 if they experience heat-related problems.
The County also offers literature on keeping cool during heat waves; residents can access these brochures via the County website or pick up hard copies at municipal senior centers and branches of the Mercer County Library System. Depending on driver availability, TRADE may be able to assist with transportation to and from these sites. Residents are encouraged to call (609) 530-1971 if they anticipate requiring transportation assistance.