Maricopa County heat relief network preparing for a hot summer

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The Maricopa Association of Governments are partnering with dozens of agencies to launch a regional heat relief network. The goal of this network is to provide life-saving information on where to find shade and water and where you can donate water to help prevent heat-related deaths.

Dr. Nick Staab, Assistant Medical Director for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, joined “Arizona Horizon” to provide insight into the heat relief network.

“The heat relief network is really our best effort to provide places for people to get out of the heat and into cooled, air-conditioned spaces,” Dr. Staab said. “Those sites are provided by a large group of people, so many community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, cities and towns all working together organized by the Maricopa Association of Governments and supported by public health to expand and make that system more robust.”

Dr. Staab explained participation in the heat relief network is voluntary. The Maricopa County Association of Governments asks for participation, especially in areas that don’t have coverage with heat relief centers or high-risk populations.

“It’s really all hands-on this summer, as it has been in summers past,” Dr. Staab said. “But really focused at reducing heat-related illness and the staggering number of deaths that we saw last summer.”

Last year, there were 600 heat-associated deaths in Maricopa County alone.

Dr. Staab said they’ve been working all year to prepare for this year’s high-heat season.

“Our heat season is predictable, and it’s long,” Dr. Stabb said. “It’s from May to September. So we know that we have to plan for that and provide these services.”

To find a heat relief site near you, visit the heat relief network website.

Dr. Nick Staab, Assistant Medical Director for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health

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