Over one-third of heat-related indoor deaths occur in manufactured or mobile homes
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The summer heat in Arizona can be deadly, whether you’re outside in the sun or inside your home. This is the first summer the City of Phoenix has had the heat response plan adopted by the city council. In addition, Phoenix is part of the ‘heat relief network,’ which also includes the Salvation Army. Altogether, partners across the Valley are working to bring relief from extreme temperatures.
“We always encourage people to, if they’re not near one of those locations, to always be checking in on your friends and neighbors, especially with their relatives, especially seniors,” said Spencer Blake, with the City of Phoenix.
Still, 153 heat-associated deaths have been reported so far this year in Maricopa County, with another 238 under investigation. “Despite the fact that only about 5% of the housing in the county is in mobile homes and manufactured homes. “We still see historically about 30% of the indoor heat-associated deaths in the county have been in trailers,” said Dr. Patricia Solis, Executive Director of the Knowledge Exchange For Resilience and Associate Research Professor at Arizona State University.
Dr. Solis admits trailers and mobile homes are often unsubsidized affordable housing options, especially during an affordable housing crisis. “There are more than 100,000 people in our metro area that live in this type of housing and it represents a way for families and individuals to own their own home, even if they’re renting the lot and have their independence,” she said.
The city hopes these statistics will give them a better idea of how to improve next year. “The more data we have, the more data we can analyze, and then we can see what adjustments we need to make for our plan next year to make sure that we’re helping people avoid heat illness, especially heat deaths,” she said.
Over one-third of indoor deaths occur in a manufactured or mobile home. City and county officials agree the most important thing we can do is check on neighbors who live alone, especially seniors with chronic medical conditions, to make sure their A/C is functioning and turned on. Half of the indoor deaths were discovered during a welfare check, so it’s important to check on neighbors who live alone, especially seniors with chronic medical conditions. For resources, visit https://hrn.azmag.gov/.
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