Phoenix city leaders and nonprofits are preparing for the sweltering summer months. They’re starting the We’re Cool campaign, which offers free bottles of water and indoor locations to cool off. The campaign runs through October with nearly 60 stations throughout the Valley.
“We lost 181 people in heat-related incidents last year. We have to do more to make sure people know about the resources that are out there that can save lives,” said Mayor Kate Gallego.
Phoenix Fire, Police, Homeland Security, and Emergency Management are trying to encourage residents to be aware of the dangers of hot weather.
“We have 59 locations across Phoenix. Volunteers have been out already today handing out maps and will continue to do so,” Gallego said.
“Last year we had 90 people walking around Phoenix giving maps to the homeless and others who were in desperate need of these services.”
Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade says that people do not respect the heat enough. It gets too hot, too fast.
“It’s only May 1 and we’ve already had a several heat-related calls — that’s including mountain rescues,” he said.
He says to drink until you’re not thirsty and don’t ration your water.
Businesses are partnering with the nonprofit to distribute water, toiletry kits, and other heat-relief items.
“We try to find where the homeless are, where they are staying, and make sure they are hydrated and have food and also know they have a place to go to escape the heat,” said Nicole Pena, the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s director of community relations.
“Our goal is always to let them know how hot it is going to be that day and tell them they are going to be in danger, then ask them what their plan is for the summer and how to live in the heat.”
Phoenix Rescue Mission is encouraging resident to donate items, volunteer time or provide monetary donations. Monetary donations will be matched up to $150,000.
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