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As warmer weather arrives in Bladen County, the Division of Aging and Adult Services is partnering with the N.C. Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers to distribute fans to eligible recipients through Operation Fan Heat Relief from May 1 until Oct. 31.

“Our supply is limited,” Kelly Robeson, Director of Division of Aging in Bladen County explained. “Historically, Four County Electric Membership Corporation and Progress/Duke Energy donates. They have not sent fans yet.”

“We were actually fortunate enough to receive fans from the Disaster Recovery Team located at the Pau R. Sessoms old building in Elizabethtown,” Robeson said.

As individuals age and develop chronic medical conditions, they are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. They may also be taking medications that can worsen the impact of extreme heat. Operation Fan Heat Relief helps vulnerable adults at risk for heat-related illnesses stay safe during the summer.

People 60 and older, as well as adults with disabilities, are eligible to sign up for assistance beginning Wednesday, May 1 at local aging agencies across the state. Since 1986, the relief program has purchased fans for older adults and adults with disabilities, providing them with a more comfortable living environment and reducing heat-related illnesses.

In Bladen County anyone qualified person needing a fan may bring a copy of their identification and their latest power bill to the Division of Aging located at 608 McLeod Street in Elizabethtown. Robeson said people may call ahead, 910-872-6330, to insure there are still fans available.

Last year, the North Carolina Division of Aging received $85,600 in donations, allowing for the distribution of 5,226 fans and 26 air conditioners.

For more details, individuals may contact their area agency on aging or the Division of Aging and Adult Services’ Housing Program Consultant at 919-855-3419.

More information about Operation Fan Heat Relief, including tips on preparing for extreme heat and a list of local agencies distributing fans, is available at www.ncdhhs.gov/operation-fan-and-heat-relief.

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