The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Aging is partnering with the N.C. area agencies on aging and local service providers to distribute fans to eligible recipients through Operation Fan Heat Relief from May 1–Oct. 31.

People 60 and older, as well as adults with disabilities, are eligible to sign up for assistance from May 1–Oct. 31 at local aging agencies across the state. Since 1986, the relief program has purchased fans for older adults and adults with disabilities, providing them with a more comfortable living environment and reducing heat-related illnesses.

The program is made possible by donations from Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, Dominion and Valassis. Operation Fan Heat Relief allows regional area agencies on aging and local provider agencies to purchase fans for eligible individuals. Local provider agencies can also purchase a limited number of air conditioners based on a person’s specific health conditions.

Last year, the division received $86,000 in donations, allowing for the distribution of 3,097 fans and 21 air conditioners.

As individuals age and develop chronic medical conditions, they are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature, and they may also be taking medications that can worsen the impact of extreme heat. Operation Fan Heat Relief helps vulnerable adults at risk for heat-related illnesses stay safe during the summer.

In addition to applying for fans, people age 60 and older, as well as adults with disabilities, can take the following steps during high temperatures:

  • Increase fluid intake
  • Spend time in cool or air-conditioned environments regularly
  • Reduce strenuous activity during the afternoon
  • Speak with their physician before summer about how to stay safe while taking medication that can affect the body’s ability to cool itself (e.g., high blood pressure medications)

For more details, individuals may contact their area agency on aging or the Division of Aging at 919-855-3400.

More information about Operation Fan and Heat Relief, including tips on preparing for extreme heat and a list of local agencies distributing fans, is available at