The Role of Cooling Centers in Climate Adaptation: Observations from the Phoenix Heat Relief Network Evaluation Project
In summer 2014, the Maricopa County Department of Health, Arizona Department of Health Services, and Arizona State University implemented an evaluation of the Phoenix Heat Relief Network cooling centers to document the sites' utilization, services offered, and the public and private resources needed to operate the network. Initial results from three separate instruments are discussed: in-depth interviews with managers of cooling center facilities, paper surveys of cooling center visitors, and observational data collected by members of the evaluation team. Within the Phoenix Heat Relief Network we found a wide range of experiences with respect to facility access and resources, utilization, target populations, and communication. Information collected from the evaluation campaign identifies best practices for the establishment of heat relief networks in other counties and opportunities for future improvements in Maricopa County, highlights effective communication strategies for dissemination of intervention activities, and informs the strategic climate and health adaptation plan for the state of Arizona.