Arizona: Governor Hobbs Announces Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan

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Phoenix, AZ ~ Phoenix, AZ - In a move to address the increasing threat of extreme heat in Arizona, Governor Katie Hobbs and Governor's Office of Resiliency Director Maren Mahoney have announced the state's first Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan. The plan, which has been in the works for months and involved collaboration with various stakeholders, lays out both short and long term recommendations to combat extreme heat in the state.

Governor Hobbs emphasized the need for action, stating that the old approach was not enough. As a social worker dedicated to protecting everyday people, she knew that something had to be done. She expressed confidence in Arizona's ability to rise to the challenge and build a sustainable and thriving state.

Director Mahoney echoed this sentiment, stressing the importance of building a resilient state. She expressed pride in leading this effort across state agencies and partnering with various sectors such as health and human service providers, businesses, and scientific experts. Together, they aim to protect Arizonans and equip them with necessary tools to tackle future challenges.

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One key recommendation in the Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan is the creation of a statewide Chief Heat Officer position. This will be the first of its kind in the nation. The plan also addresses the unequal allocation of federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) dollars to Arizona. Governor Hobbs has written a letter to the Arizona congressional delegation urging them to take action on this issue and support low-income families who need assistance weatherizing their homes.

In preparation for summer 2024, other near-term actions include improving cooling center networks with a statewide coordinator and deploying additional cooling centers, including six solar-powered mobile units. The Hobbs Administration has also provided funds for extreme weather shelters across the state. To address staffing challenges at cooling centers, state employees will be paid to work at these facilities.

The Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan also outlines long-term recommendations in categories such as safe and affordable housing, adapting and updating emergency response, improving cooling center networks, and investing in data sets, knowledge, and workforce development.

The full plan can be found on the Governor's website, along with FAQs and the Governor's letter regarding LIHEAP. With this comprehensive plan in place, Arizona is taking proactive steps to combat extreme heat and protect its residents.

Filed Under: Government, State

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