Governor Hobbs Announces Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan

News Release

March 1, 2024

State to hire nation’s first statewide Chief Heat Officer, Expand Cooling Center Access

Phoenix, AZ - Today, Governor Katie Hobbs and Governor’s Office of Resiliency Director Maren Mahoney announced the state’s first Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan following months of consultation and collaboration with a variety of stakeholders across industries and jurisdictions. The plan underscores the need for action and lays out both near and long term recommendations to address extreme heat in Arizona.                              

“What I heard time and again, from everyday Arizonans was that our state’s old approach was not enough,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “As a social worker who has dedicated my life to protecting everyday people, I knew we had to take action. Arizona is no stranger to the heat, yet we have always risen to the challenge, protected our neighbors, and built a sustainable and thriving state. This time will be no different.”

“It’s critical that Arizona build a sustainable and resilient state,” said Governor’s Office of Resiliency Director Maren Mahoney. “I’m proud to lead this effort across state agencies 
and in partnership with various sectors, including health and human service providers, the business community, and scientific experts to protect everyday Arizonans and ensure we have the tools we need. Together, I know we can tackle the challenges that lay ahead of us and build a thriving state.”

Additionally, Governor Hobbs announced the creation of the nation’s first statewide Chief Heat Officer position, a key recommendation in the Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan. The Plan also identifies the historically unequal allocation of federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) dollars to our state, and Governor Hobbs has addressed a letter to the Arizona congressional delegation requesting action on this critical issue to support low-income families who need to weatherize their homes.

Other near-term actions in advance of summer 2024 focus on supporting and improving cooling center networks with a statewide cooling center coordinator. The Hobbs Administration is also preparing to deploy additional cooling centers, including six solar-powered mobile cooling units, and has already provided funds for extreme weather shelters in locations around the state. In the past, cooling center staffing has been challenging, but last year and continuing this year, state employees may staff cooling centers with pay. 

Extreme Heat Preparedness Long-Term Recommendations focus on the following categories:

  • Safe, Affordable Housing
  • Adapting and updating emergency response 
  • Cooling Center Network improvements and support recommendations
  • Data sets, knowledge, and workforce development 

Read the full Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan HERE

Read Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan FAQs HERE

Read the Governor’s LIHEAP Letter HERE