Maricopa County asking for public feedback on cooling center features

Aug 15, 2023, 4:05 AM

cooling center sign in front of church door as Phoenix experiences historic heat...

Instructions are seen displayed on a door at the entrance of the First Congregational United Church of Christ cooling center on July 14, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Department of Public Health is asking for public feedback as it looks for ways to increase usage of its cooling centers.

“We know that cooling centers can provide air conditioning, water and access to necessary services,” Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for MCDPH, said in a press release.

“By learning more about how people find out about these resources and get to them — and what keeps them from using them — we can work with our partners to more effectively address residents’ needs and promote these centers.”

Residents of the community are being asked to submit their opinions through an online survey (available in English and Spanish) or by phone to the MCDPH Cares Team at 602-506-6767.

The survey contains various inquiries, including how the participant has heard about cooling centers, primary reasons for not attending a center and what could increase usage.

MCDPH is part of the regional Heat Relief Network, which offers free water and cooling centers at dozens of locations across the Valley.

The survey is open through Aug. 31.

How has extreme heat in Phoenix affected the community?

Metro Phoenix is ahead of last year’s record pace for heat-associated deaths.

At the same time in 2022, the county confirmed 44 heat-associated deaths and had 287 more under investigation. The year finished with a record 425 heat-associated deaths.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Maricopa County asking for public feedback on cooling center features