TYLER - Heat and humidity can be a dangerous combination, especially to those without AC. One Tyler family tells CBS19 they are relying on box fans to stay cool this summer.
Rosie Marie Rodriguez tells the story of the time she had a heat stroke.
"My husband was outside and he heard me screaming, 'Help! Help!' I tried to stand up a few times and I couldn't stand," she explained.
At the time, she and her husband had no air conditioning and no fan.
Through a local program, the Salvation Army provides fans at no cost to families in need, like Rodriguez. She said she is blessed to have a fan in her home.
"If I didn't have these fans, I'd feel like I was living in an oven," she said.
John Brindley, Vice President at Tyler Weathermakers, said a box fan can help, but you have to create air flow
"You don't want to just recirculate the stale air in your home," he said.
Oftentimes, people will shut all their windows. Brindley said that's the worst thing you can do, no matter what the temperature.
If you're relying on a fan to keep cool, make sure it's properly placed. Set a box fan in a window, blowing into the house, or in a doorway, blowing into the house.
The direction your ceiling fan blows can make a big difference, too.
"People that don't have AC, you want to reverse that thing to blow up, because you want to pull in the outside air," Brindley said.
Having the ceiling fan blowing directly down on you will give you instant relief, but Brindley says that won't circulate any air in your home.
And when it gets to be the peak of summer, you may want to block the western windows of your home off with something like foil.
With the hot temps also comes the reminder to drink up.
Since the spring, Dr. Frank Loyd at Neighbors Emergency Clinic in Tyler said he's seen about a dozen people come in for dehydration. When it's the peak of summer, he said he treats up to four patients weekly.
Even if the temp isn't super high, the humidity is high enough to leave an impact. It causes a person to sweat more, and if not replaced, symptoms like light-headedness and dizziness can occur.
Dr. Loyd recommends drinking 16 ounces an hour if you're outside working or spending time in the heat. Always avoid beverages with sugar and alcohol during long periods in the heat.
If you are without AC, or just need to take a break indoors, the Salvation Army, local fire stations and American Red Cross are open to the public. The Tyler Public Library is also open to the public as a heat relief station.
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