Beat Maricopa County’s desert heat by staying out of the midday sun
Keep cool in the Phoenix summer heat by choosing activities during the cooler hours of the day. Photo by Kevin Dooley

Heat Safety Resources for Hot Phoenix Weather

Residents of Maricopa County are no strangers to hot weather; we’ve learned to adapt to intense heat waves and unrelenting sun. But even long-time desert dwellers can suffer in the punishing Arizona summer, so we’ve compiled a list of resources that can help you keep your cool – and stay safe – in Phoenix’s summer heat.

Enjoy the desert safely: Although it seems counter-intuitive, long sleeves and pants are the best bet for keeping yourself healthy under the scorching desert sun.

Hardy desert plants, such as the cactus, thrive in Phoenix's climate. Photo by John Menard, via Wikimedia Commons
Hardy desert plants, such as the cactus, thrive in Phoenix’s climate.
Photo by John Menard, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

Our desert environment bestows our area with remarkable views and ecosystems – but also presents some unique dangers. The Phoenix Fire Department advises on how to prepare for a variety of desert conditions and offers some essential survival tips, such as knowing your landmarks and preventing heat exhaustion.

Have your summer fun indoors: There’s no hard and fast rule that summer fun needs to take place outside; Phoenix’s many area attractions include plenty of indoor opportunities to enjoy the hotter months.

Enjoying Phoenix summers means learning how to thrive – and not just survive – as the heat index rises. That means enjoying the outdoors during cooler hours and making the most of indoor activities. Phoenix provides links to a variety of summertime resources that can keep you and your family entertained, no matter how high the mercury rises.

Lend a helping hand: The homeless and elderly need your support during the intense heat – learn how to help through the Phoenix Heat Relief Network.

Hot Phoenix weather is more than a nuisance for those most vulnerable to its ill effects. The Phoenix Heat Relief Network, a volunteer program sponsored by the city and the Phoenix Police Department, offers water, cooling refuges, and wellness checks to ensure the safety of our community. Check out their page to volunteer or donate resources.

Stay healthy in a heat wave: Exerting yourself during a heat wave can bring on heat stroke more easily; opt to do any outdoors activity during the cooler morning or evening hours.

If you're going to enjoy outdoor activities, avoid the heat of mid-day and stay hydrated. Photo by Kevin Dooley, via Wikimedia Commons
If you’re going to enjoy outdoor activities, avoid the heat of mid-day and stay hydrated.
Photo by Kevin Dooley, via Wikimedia Commons ;CC BY 2.0

Arizona temperatures frequently exceed 90 degrees, but summer heat waves can pose serious risks even for long-time area residents. The Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management’s safety suggestions include: avoiding alcoholic beverages, limiting outdoor activities, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when exposed to the sun.

Respond quickly to heat illnesses: Know the signs of heat illnesses, and respond quickly by moving the affected person to a cool, shaded spot and giving sips of water every 15 minutes until emergency responders arrive.

During a heat wave, conserving moisture and avoiding heat exhaustion are of paramount importance. Just In Case Arizona, an emergency preparedness site by the state’s online information network, reminds us to keep our homes well-sealed, shaded and air-conditioned, and provides important advice for responding to the health threats of Arizona summer heat.

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