Extreme heat in Arizona can be deadly. Each year, a number of lives are lost due to heat-related illness. The heat can affect anyone, but persons who are homeless are at increased risk. In an effort to provide resources to those in need, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) has partnered with municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and the faith-based community to coordinate the Heat Relief Network. To sustain these efforts, MAG is calling for businesses and residents to help out with bottled water donations.

The Heat Relief Network is a network of providers offering water donation sites, hydration stations and refuge locations across the region. MAG coordinates the regional network and provides maps of the donation, hydration and refuge locations throughout the Valley.

“The ultimate goal of the network is to help prevent heat-related deaths,” says Goodyear Vice Mayor Joanne Osborne, chair of the MAG Continuum of Care Regional Committee on Homelessness. “It is important to be aware of the dangers of extreme heat and look out for others who may need help.”

The Phoenix area averages 110 days of temperatures above 100 degrees. “These prolonged days of extreme heat can really take a toll on people who are on the streets. To prevent further loss of life, we are asking the community for help.  You can help by donating water at one of the donation sites listed on the heat relief map, or by checking on elderly neighbors who may be at risk,” says Osborne.

The maps are attached to this release and are available on the MAG website at www.azmag.gov. In addition, the maps are being distributed throughout the community. There are many ways to help:

  • Donate bottled water to one of the regional water donation sites.
  • Join the Heat Relief Network and become a water donation site, a hydration station, or a refuge location.
  • Help to get the word out in the community about the Heat Relief Network by linking to the maps on the MAG website at www.azmag.gov, or help distribute the maps within the community.
  • Learn the signs of heat related illness at www.maricopa.gov/publichealth/programs/heat and call for help if you or someone else needs assistance.
  • Talk to others about the dangers of extreme heat and let them know that there are resources available in the community.

For additional information on regional heat relief network efforts, please contact Brande Mead, MAG Human Services Program Manager, at bmead@azmag.gov. For media coverage, please contact Kelly Taft at 602-452-5020.