Learn more: In response to rising temperatures and the needs of the most vulnerable in our community, Arizona Faith Network has launched an initiative to help establish faith-based cooling centers and hydration stations throughout the valley. In partnership with the Heat Relief Network, our faith-based organizations, and other partners, AFN is working to establish 10 new cooling centers throughout Maricopa County during the summer of 2021. These cooling centers will be strategically placed in areas with heat-vulnerable residents determined in partnership with Arizona State University and the Heat Relief Network.
Summer 2020 marked the hottest summer on record for Arizona. The month of August 2020 marked the hottest month ever recorded in Maricopa County. Preliminary 2020 heat hospitalization and death statistics exceed all historical records in Arizona. From May to September, over 3,700 heat-related Emergency Department (ED) visits were captured in the state's syndromic surveillance system. As of November 30, 2020, preliminary data indicated 467 heat-related deaths (investigations still undergoing), with most deaths recorded in Maricopa, Pima, Mohave, Yuma, and Pinal counties during the months of May-September (AZHeat Relief Network, 2020).