Governor Katie Hobbs Declares Heat State of Emergency
Phoenix, AZ, Aug 11th, 2023 – After 30 consecutive days of excessive heat warnings in Coconino, Maricopa, and Pinal counties, Governor Katie Hobbs has declared a State of Emergency to support local heat relief efforts. In addition to the declaration, Governor Hobbs has signed an executive order to better coordinate future government heat responses statewide and announced state-run cooling centers.
The emergency declaration and executive order build on the State of Arizona’s holistic heat response approach under the leadership of Governor Hobbs. More information can be found on the approach HERE.
“Extreme heat threatens our health. It can lead to illness, emergency room visits, and even loss of life,” said Governor Hobbs. “Arizonans deserve action. I’ll use every resource at my disposal to help keep Arizonans safe as we recover from the heat wave and prepare for future events to ensure our state has the tools to continue growing and thriving.”
“Coconino County is a popular summer recreation destination in Arizona where residents from Central and Southern Arizona go to escape the heat,” said Coconino County Chair Patrice Horstman. “However, even in Northern Arizona, this summer heat is lethal. Temperatures at the base of the Grand Canyon, a popular tourist destination, soared above 115 degrees, contributing to multiple heat-related hiker deaths and injuries in July. In our recreation-based county, record-breaking heat impacted visitors and taxed our first responders. It also took a toll on our unsheltered population. I applaud Governor Hobbs for recognizing this crisis and declaring a heat emergency in Arizona which brings attention and resources toward protecting our residents and visitors.”
“Maricopa County is ready to work together to protect the most vulnerable in our region during this relentless summer heat,” said Director of Maricopa County Emergency Management, Robert Rowley. “Our Human Services Department partnered with cities and towns earlier this year to provide more funding for cooling and respite centers while also investing in home and air conditioner repair for those who can’t afford it. We intend to continue those programs and partnerships while we get past this dangerous heat wave.”
"This has been a brutally hot summer so far in Pinal County, so we welcome any support that the Governor and the state can offer that can help provide relief to our residents,” said Vice-Chairman of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors Jeffrey McClure.
With the Declaration of Emergency, government entities that qualify can submit receipts for allowable expenditures from the duration of the emergency, and they can be reimbursed from state emergency and other funds.
The Governor’s Executive Order 2023-16 will marshall state resources and direct state agencies to build a comprehensive plan to approach extreme heat in future years.
The Executive Order includes:
Opening two new cooling centers and heat relief facilities on Capitol Mall grounds
Formalizing and centralizing networks for cooling centers and heat relief coordination around the State
Proposing policy changes and legislative proposals to build future heat resiliency
Identifying resource needs across the State, as well as potential sources of funds to address those needs
Identifying ways to ensure Arizona is receiving sufficient Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) dollars, and that those dollars are being used efficiently and effectively
Read the Executive Order, Emergency Declaration, and State of Arizona Heat Relief Actions Fact Sheet below.