Heat is the number one killer among all weather related causes of death across the country and in Arizona… more than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires combined. It doesn’t get much attention because it’s hard to take a picture of heat- but it’s easy to take a picture of hurricanes and tropical storms. The AZ heat is a lot more than a nuisance – it’s lethal. Our latest report shows that about 1,400 Arizonans get a heat related illness so serious each summer that they end up in a hospital emergency room – hundreds of them are admitted and dozens die every year.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family. Stay Cool, Stay Hydrated, Stay Informed is the mantra – whenever you can, avoid the heat of the day. Go into an air conditioned place and cool off if you have to be outside. Drink lots of water – if you’re indoors all day, you should be drinking about 2 liters of water. When you’re outside, try to drink 1-2 liters every hour… and stay informed – a good place to do that is our extreme heat website.
Our Extreme Weather and Public Health program focuses on heat related illnesses by enhancing surveillance and strengthening communication during Extreme Heat Advisory Days. We’ve also developed innovative toolkits targeting identified vulnerable populations. You can learn how to Protect yourself from heat with some resources on our website including our Heat Brochure and our School, Older Adult, and Outdoor Worker toolkits. Also, here’s our Heat Emergency Response Plan.