By Cleve Bryan


CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — It’s time to make plans to spend time indoors or in the water and check on neighbors and pets as dangerous heat is on the way. Officials in Camden are working to keep residents safe.

Camden County Police Officer Vadel Rivera and his trainee are pounding the pavement and going door-to-door in a simple task that can save a life.

“It’s going to be hot today so we’re just going to be checking on elderly people that we know are at certain houses,” Rivera said.

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The Camden native knows many folks will risk their health in hot homes because they just don’t know what else to do.

“Even when I was growing up it was really hot in my house because we didn’t have the access, so it’s just bringing back memories that people can’t live this way,” Rivera said.

(credit: CBS3)

As the officers meet people they tell them where to find cooling stations at the local libraries and community centers, as well as how to get a free fan, which health officials say can make a big difference in an un-airconditioned home.

“That is really important to make sure their windows are open, make sure that they have a fan because a fan helps the process of body cooling through evaporation,” said Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, who is also the liaison for the health department.

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Both Camden city and Camden County have free fan programs and new this year is a free air conditioner program in the city for the elderly with qualifying medical needs.

Since children are also highly susceptible to heat illnesses, they want people to take advantage of the city’s two free pools and splash play areas at various parks.

An excessive heat warning is in effect from 8 a.m. Wednesday until 10 p.m. Sunday for Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs.