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Desert Dwellers And Businesses: Surviving In The Summer Sun

116 degrees
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
file | staff
The temperature in Phoenix hit a record-breaking 116 degrees on July 25, 2018.

We had a record-breaking day Wednesday in Phoenix. Temperatures climbed to 116 degrees at Sky Harbor Airport — breaking the all-time record for the day. As we have had a hot, hot week, utility companies are reporting record breaking demand. APS says demand rose to its highest level of the year this week.

SRP also saw a new record. Customers consumed more power during one evening this week than ever before.

MORE:  Arizona Utilities See Huge Demand With Record Temperatures

City fire and rescue crews have also been on alert for residents and hikers in need of help during the heat. How can seemingly healthy people suddenly fall victim to heat stroke or illness?

To answer this question, The Show reached out to Siddhartha Angadi, assistant professor in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University. He says healthy people are resilient in the face of heat.

Angadi says that, over time, most people adapt to hot, dry climates as long as we’ve got plenty of water on hand.

In other parts of the country, merchants depend on summer to significantly add to their coffers. Think of areas where people are vacationing, when businesses can expand their hours and depend on tourists. However, here in the Valley, the summer heat can result in a summer slowdown for some businesses.

So how do shop owners prepare for the annual decrease in business? Angelia Hill, senior vice-president for marketing at the Arizona Small Business Association, talked more about that on The Show.

One sector that can see a significant change in customers is restaurants, according to Steve Chucri, president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association. Chucri says the Arizona restaurant weeks held in spring and summer were developed, in part, to give the restaurant businesses a shot in the arm in order to deal with a possible summer slowdown.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the name of a source.

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.