News Release


DATE: June 21, 2001

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108



EL CAJON - Getting out of the house this summer can save you money and even lower the County's risk of rolling blackouts. That's the message from Supervisor Dianne Jacob who's urging seniors and disabled persons to take advantage of air-conditioned Cool Zones now identified by polar bear logos throughout the County.

"Seniors and low-income ratepayers shouldn't have to choose between medicine and paying electric bills," said Supervisor Jacob. "Instead of running expensive air-conditioners, residents should visit Cool Zones to beat the heat, protect their health, save money and cut our region's overall energy consumption," Jacob said.

Jacob and County heath officials worry that high utility costs are discouraging seniors, disabled persons and low-income ratepayers from using air-conditioning. County health officials hope Cool Zones will help residents avoid the medical effects of summer heat which include dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat cramps and in extreme cases, brain damage and death.

"People in frail health can easily be impacted by high temperatures and they may not know they're in trouble until it's too late," said Dr. George Flores, County Public Health Officer. "We're urging our region's most vulnerable residents to locate the nearest Cool Zone and use it regularly during hot days," Flores said.

If people are not able to leave their homes because of a medical condition, they can sign up for Project CARE. Those who enroll in Project CARE receive a daily phone call to check on their welfare.

To locate a Cool Zone site or to link with Project CARE, residents are urged to call the County's Aging and Independence Services toll-free at 1-800-510-2020.