High temperatures trigger agency heat alerts

    After the heat-related deaths of several men in the Philadelphia region, some advocates are wondering who’s checking-in on residents with intellectual disabilities.

    After the heat-related deaths of several men in the Philadelphia region, some advocates are wondering who’s checking-in on residents with intellectual disabilities.

    The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health issues a heat safety alert to its 250 service providers each year.

    Director Arthur Evans says many factors including medication and substance abuse can make clients especially vulnerable to heat-related illness.

    Evans says air conditioners or fans should be available at every location.

    Evans: They would also be expected to insure that there’s adequate drinking water, air flow through the building. They would be expected to check on how people are doing, ensuring that people are hydrated and so forth.

    Evans says Philadelphia’s heat policy goes into effect when the temperatures hits 80 degrees.

    Ilene Shane leads the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. She says she’s most concerned about the near 20,000 Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities on the list and waiting for services.

    Shane says Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that does not have an adult protective services law covering people older than 19 and younger than 60.

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