Help Me Hayley: Left out in the Cold - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Help Me Hayley: Left out in the Cold

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

With winter weather getting downright nasty in the Inland Northwest, this is no time to be without heat. In fact, not having it could even cost are most vulnerable their lives.

One woman hopes her situation with losing heat will help others avoid the same painful scare. That's why she said "Help Me Hayley."

"I'm 78-years-old," said Mary Terrell. "I'm disabled. I'm a widow. I just don't have the strength anymore. I just don't have the strength."

When Mary first reached out to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner for help, she was panicked.

"I can't live like this," she said.

She said she came home from a trip visiting her children to no heat. Her account for her propane requires her to notify crews when her tank dips to roughly 30 percent. That way, their standard seven to 10 day response time for a re-fill is plenty. Mary told Hayley that because she was gone, she didn't realize what a dire situation she would be coming home to.

"I've been warming up by sitting in my car," she said. "Then I go to the mall and sit. I had to come home. I can't stay at the mall all night.

Mary's heat was restored less 12 hours after we spoke to her. Crews said they made changes to her account to prevent anything like this from happening again. She is now on a "keep full" status. That means the company will constantly check to make sure her levels are good. It's a change they advise anyone needed propane to look into making.

So what about those with a furnace? There are also some simple things crews from Holiday Heating and Air said you can do to hopefully avoid an issue.

First, they say know your system. Get familiar with how it should sound and run. That way if there is anything unusual, you notice quickly. Number two, check your filters monthly. Finally, try not to alter the temperature more than five degrees at a time to prevent over excitation.

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