As summertime temperatures continue to sizzle, most Tempe and West Chandler residents endeavor to remain within the confines of air-conditioned comfort.
But not everyone is so fortunate. The homeless and those on fixed incomes who sacrifice utilities in order to save money are in danger of heat-related illnesses and even death.
Last year, 84 people in Maricopa County died of heat-related causes. Nearly half of heat-related deaths occur indoors, county officials say.
In an effort to help reduce those numbers, the Maricopa Association of Governments is partnering with area non-profit organizations and faith-based communities to coordinate a Heat Relief Network.
Partnering organizations provide water donation sites, hydration stations and refuge locations.
Chandler City Councilman Kevin Hartke said the goal of the network is to “increase the awareness of the dangers of extreme heat and coordinate resources for those in need.”
Donations of bottled water, unused sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, shoes, clothes and fans are needed.