While summer days with temperatures soaring above 110 degrees aren’t comfortable for anyone, the extreme heat is a real danger for the Valley’s most vulnerable population who have no place to escape the sun. 

Unfortunately, death from heat exposure in Arizona is a real threat, along with disorientation, heat stroke, sunburn, dehydration and loss of appetite — to name a few.   

“This is a dangerous time of year for any Arizona resident, but for those who are struggling with homelessness or poverty, the summer months can be deadly,” said Jayson Matthews, Director of Ending Hunger for Valley of the Sun United Way. “I encourage everyone to be mindful about those in need and be aware that there are resources available to help them.”

To combat the negative effects of heat exposure, here are four resources to help manage living in extreme temperatures over the summer months: 

1. Phoenix Heat Relief Network. The Phoenix Heat Relief Network offers hydration stations and refuge locations with heat protection materials like sunscreen and sun glasses to help care for those in need of relief from high temperatures.  For more information and a map of heat refuge locations, visit: http://azmag.gov/Programs/Homelessness/Heat-Relief-Regional-Network

2. Call or visit 211. 211 is a free service that can help direct those in need to a variety of heat relief services such as food distribution programs, water and refuge stations. 

3. Take advantage of a summer food service. Ensuring proper hydration and nutrition during the summer months is critical. Children ages 18-years-old and younger are able to take advantage of the Summer Food Service locations across the valley. For more information or to find a location, visit: http://www.azsummerfood.gov/food-site-locations

4.  Learn tips for preventing heat-related illness. The Arizona Department of Health Services has a variety of information available on how to best manage extreme heat. Tips include eating small meals more often, taking breaks while engaging in physical activity and wearing light-colored, lightweight clothing. For more tips, visit: https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/extreme-weather/heat-safety 

For more information, visit: https://vsuw.org/about-us/blog/heat-relief-resources-in-phoenix