Despite cooler temperatures right now, our heat season is right around the corner

Throughout the summer, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) will highlight info and share resources related to extreme heat safety and heat-related illnesses. Once the state begins to heat up, it can become dangerous quickly, and we plan to share relevant heat safety info regularly. 

We plan to share steps you can take to keep you and your loved ones safe as temperatures rise. We will also share the larger-scale efforts and actions being taken by community organizations, the private sector, cities, counties, tribal nations, and state leadership to rise up to the challenge of addressing increasing global temperatures. 

Last month, ADHS convened the Arizona Heat Preparedness Network and kicked off our work to implement Governor Hobbs’ Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan. Read ADHS’ recommendations and findings provided as a supplement to the Governor’s plan, which details the Network’s work to address extreme heat preparedness.

This group of state and local experts in heat safety, preparedness, and communications will meet regularly to discuss new ways to coordinate heat relief efforts, share data, and use it to enhance heat resiliency, build strong heat response infrastructure, and communicate with the public about heat.

Heat may not be as conspicuous as floods or tornadoes, but it has just as real of an impact on people’s lives.

For Arizona natives and longtime residents, it can be easy to become complacent about the heat. Our data have shown the majority of those treated for heat-related and heat-caused deaths were longtime residents of the state. It’s essential to be aware and prepared for the heat, no matter how long you’ve experienced it. 

In 2022, there were 359 heat-caused deaths and 671 heat-related deaths in the state. That same year, 4,325 people visited hospitals or emergency rooms due to illness caused by, or related to, heat-related illness. While 2023’s heat data is still being processed, preliminary data show a record number of heat-related emergency department visits. 

There are a few things you can do today to prepare yourself for the heat season: 

ADHS and our partners will be working all summer to ensure access to cooling centers for Arizona’s most vulnerable populations, constantly working together to share resources and information with communities statewide, and sharing excessive heat warnings on our website and social media when they are issued.

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