MARICOPA COUNTY – The summer heat has officially arrived in the Phoenix Valley, which leaves many homeless or other vulnerable residents susceptible to heat-related illness or even heat-caused death.
The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), local municipalities and non-profit organizations have partnered up to create the Heat Relief Regional Network, which provides hydration stations, refuge locations and water donation sites throughout the Valley. Its goal is to prevent heat-related and heat-caused deaths among homeless and other vulnerable populations such as the elderly.
This year the Heat Relief Regional Network map has been integrated into the Ready Maricopa Community Preparedness smart phone app that will locate hydration stations and heat refuges along with existing services such as police and fire stations.
The app is part of the Maricopa County Emergency Management Department and it lists locations, hours and contacts of heat relief stations. The app will also give you directions to the station you are seeking by linking to your phone’s mapping system.
The Maricopa County North Valley Regional Library in Anthem and the City of Phoenix Desert Broom Library in Cave Creek are both hydration and heat refuge locations that are offering free water and a place to cool down from the extreme heat.
MAG is offering these tips to avoid heat-related illness:
- Increase fluid intake regardless of activity level.
- Limit exercise or outdoor activity between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Wear sunscreen (minimum SPF15) and re-apply often, wear a hat, lightweight clothing and sunglasses.
- Rest frequently in shady or cool areas to give the body a chance to recover and cool down.
- Never leave infants or pets inside a parked vehicle.
- Respectfully check on elderly neighbors to make sure their air conditioning is working.
- Take advantage of free air conditioning by visiting malls, the library or other refuge locations.
The Heat Relief Network is accepting donations of bottled water, snacks and sun protection aids such as hats, sunscreen and sun glasses at its donation centers around the Valley.
For more information about the Heat Relief Network or for a copy of its map please visit azmag.gov/heatrelief. If you would like to become a Heat Relief Network partner fill out the form found here: http://azmag.gov/Programs/Homelessness/Heat-Relief-Regional-Network.