TRENTON, N.J. -Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes reminded residents today of several ways to beat the heat during the current wave of hot weather. "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.
Summer Cooling Sites are designated locations throughout Mercer County, and include municipal senior centers, neighborhood community centers and the nine Mercer County Library System Branches.
All residents are welcome to use these Summer Cooling Sites; older residents and individuals with chronic health conditions are especially encouraged to use these sites during the day to alleviate the negative health effects of the oppressive summer heat. A heat safety tips flyer has also been created for mass distribution at all Mercer County Congregate Nutrition sites, senior centers, and Cooling Sites. An electronic version will also be posted on the Mercer County web site.
The Medi-Cool program is facilitated by the United Way, Catholic Charities, and Princeton Senior Resource Center, via the use of County funding provided by the Office on Aging. Income qualified seniors aged 60 and older with a documented health condition can receive a voucher that entitles them to a free air-conditioner. In 2007, the United Way was able to purchase 173 air conditioner units.
In addition to making cool sites and home cooling appliances available, the County also offers 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.