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Here's how Houstonians can apply for a free portable AC unit to stay cool this summer

Reliant is also offering to help seniors and those in critical need with their electricity bills as part of their 'Beat the Heat' program.

HOUSTON — It's something that happens every year, but you can still never truly prepare for it.

We're talking the Houston heat that can be dangerous.

Reliant Energy is again partnering with the City of Houston in a 'Beat the Heat' program to help the city's most vulnerable residents stay cool.

How to get a free portable AC unit

This year, the company has donated $70,000 to provide portable air conditioning units to Houston-area residents in need through the Harris County Area Agency on Aging and Precinct2gether.

Residents in need of an AC unit can call 832-393-4301 to qualify.

How to get help with your electricity bill

Reliant is also offering to help seniors and those in critical need with their electricity bills.

  • If you need help with your bill, you call 211 or visit 211texas.org
  • If you’re a Reliant customer, call 1-866-RELIANT

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city will plan to open cooling centers across the area in the event of emergencies. 

"Typically, our city facilities such as libraries and multi-service centers serve as places to escape the heat. This will continue to be the case as facilities reopen in the coming weeks and months," Turner said. 

Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena offers the following tips for beating the heat this year:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Stay cool
  • Wear sunblock 
  • Limit your activity to the cooler parts of the day
  • Don't leave your pets, children or disabled individuals in locked vehicles
  • Know the difference between heat cramps and heat strokes 

According to Houston Methodist hospital, the most common symptoms of a heat stroke are:

  • A body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, as measured by a rectal thermometer
  • Sudden confusion or hallucinations
  • Difficulty walking
  • Seizures
  • Fainting

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