Habitat For Humanity And Heat

By: Jason Tighe
By: Jason Tighe

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Habitat for Humanity builds are anything but a leisure day in the park.

Just a few hours south, Atlanta's Habitat builders have to put the breaks on such summertime work.

But here in Knoxville, completion of the October Woods subdivision, continues in a safety conscious manner.

Habitat homes are all about hard work, and sweat equity.

At a slow but stead pace, they brave the heat to put up walls and trusses, all before sheeting the roof.

It's a typical recipe for building a house.

Yet today its a new obstacle heating things up, an obstacle that requires frequent hydration.

"usually if you fee like you're getting thirsty it's a little bit too late," said Philip Keaton, the project's crew chief. "The big thing today is everybody taking a lot of breaks and make sure drinking a lot of water."

Working up a sweat is common, especially on such an active job site, but the power of temperatures in the 90's is something not to be underestimated.

"We're walking around and asking them if they need water," said Debbie Roberston from Regal Entertainment. "They won't take the time to stop and ask for water themselves."

There is a well stocked "hydration station" on the work site, something the organizers say can be a lifesaver.

"The thing that the builders have told us to look for, are the people that are not sweating," Debbie said. "That means that they may be getting dehydrated."

A sign that bigger health problems could be on the way.

"Sweating is good," Debbie said. "We want to keep them sweating and make sure they're drinking lots."

The home is being built for the Connolly family, whose members sweat it out along side the workers.

Ms. Connolly and her two daughters are grateful for the work of the Regal Entertainment Group's volunteers and Knoxville's Habitat for Humanity on such a uncomfortable day.


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