IT’S HOT. IT’S DRY. IT’S SUMMER IN ARIZONA

by Robin Layton

So, is it hot enough for you? I’m sure you haven’t heard that at all around your 110-degree town lately! As we try to dash from one air-conditioned building to the next, we can easily forget to watch our body for signs of heat distress.

According to the United Way of Pinal County, “In Arizona, heat-related illness accounts for an average of 2,000 hospital visits and 118 deaths per year. Six people in 2017 died in Pinal County due to a heat-related illness.”

You know it’s hot here when the state publishes its own “Arizona Heat Safety Resource Guide;” search for azdhs.gov.

The guide informs readers that “heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. Between 2000 and 2012, 1,535 deaths from exposure to excessive natural heat occurred in Arizona. In 2012, there were a total of 1,572 emergency department visits and a total of 212 inpatient admissions from exposure to excessive natural heat.”

The guide is an excellent resource for how to contact government agencies, to learn the definitions of heat-related illnesses and to understand what the National Weather Service warnings mean to you.

While you are keeping your body in check, next take a look at your home. Summer in Arizona means monsoon season is closing in. The NWS is predicting that the 2018 season will start later than usual. This is the ideal time to check on these:

  • Roof: Check for loose shingles, leaks, debris
  • Plants: Trim anything that may break off and damage property. Secure young plants.
  • Power outage prep: Make sure you have flashlights, a radio with fresh batteries, charged cell phones and a plan to stay somewhere cooler if this is an extended outage.

Now that you’re prepared

Don’t sit on the couch and glare at the television all summer. Did you know that violet is a hot shade for home decorating this year? It’s true and we give you some cool ideas to splash some purple life into your abode.

Hey, parents! Back-to-school season is getting closer. Now is the perfect time to redesign your home’s functionality for optimal homework sessions. We share some tips that will make this easier than it sounds!

With the heat and the storms rolling in, you probably aren’t keen on working outside. However, now is the right time to start planning your winter garden. Our article on raised-bed planting will put some great blooming thoughts into your head.

So, sit back, stay cool and read on …

The United Way of Pinal County shares tips to avoid heat-related illness:

  • Increase fluid intake regardless of activity level. Staying hydrated is extremely important.
  • Limit exercise or outdoor activity between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • When outdoors, wear a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 and re-apply often. Wear a hat, lightweight clothing and sunglasses.
  • Rest frequently in shady or cool areas to give the body’s temperature a chance to recover and cool down.
  • Never leave infants, children or pets inside a parked vehicle.
  • Respectfully check on elderly neighbors to make sure their air conditioning is working and in use. Take advantage of free air-conditioning by visiting locations like shopping malls, the library or other heat refuge locations provided on the map.

WHERE TO FIND HYDRATION & HEAT REFUGE

Hope Women’s Center
Coolidge Hydration Station,
850 N. California Ave., Coolidge

TitleMax
Hydration Station
1264 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande

Casa Grande Public Library
Hydration Station & Heat Refuge
449 N. Dry Lake St., Casa Grande

St Vincent de Paul
Hydration Station
405 E. 2nd St., Casa Grande

United Way of Pinal County
Heat Refuge
402 E. 10th St., Casa Grande

National Community Health Partner
Hydration Station
501 N. Florence St., Suite 101, Casa Grande

Seeds of Hope, Inc.
Heat Refuge
518 E. 2nd St., Casa Grande