We have already had days topping 100 degrees in many parts of the state and even had our first heat advisory in Yuma.  It’s the perfect time of year to ensure that public health partners are working together to be ready for extreme heat in Arizona.

Earlier this month, almost 70 representatives from organizations across our state met to discuss extreme heat concerns. We collaborated with National Weather Service, Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona to facilitate the heat planning workshop. The meeting provided an opportunity for partners to highlight efforts around the state and generate new ideas for collaborative opportunities.

ADHS shared heat illness statistics and described vulnerable populations affected by the heat, including older adults. National Weather Service provided a summer outlook and described new tools for understanding heat risk. We learned during the meeting that multiple agencies are trying to address the challenges of making cooling centers more accessible to vulnerable populations and that many organizations have made preparations for the issuance of an excessive heat warning.  The meeting was successful in bringing together a diverse audience from multiple sectors including health, social services, non-profit, tribal, and emergency management. Participants overwhelmingly supported the idea of reconvening in a few months to measure the progress of planning efforts.

You can keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the summer heat by following some simple tips: Drink plenty of water, wear lightweight and light colored clothing, avoid strenuous activity, stay indoors when possible, and take regular breaks if you are physically active on warm days.

Visit our heat-related illness webpage to learn more.