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Here's how you can help with heat relief this summer in Maricopa County

Efforts to protect people from potentially deadly heat are already underway across Maricopa County. And there are a number of opportunities for the public to help.

The Maricopa Association of Governments'  Heat Relief Network includes more than 200 sites across the Valley where people can access air conditioning, water and other forms of assistance.

Dozens of Heat Relief Network locations, including community centers, public libraries and charitable organizations, are now collecting donations of bottled water. Donation sites are listed on the  Heat Relief Network interactive map

Among participating organizations is the Salvation Army. Tim Smith, Salvation Army divisional secretary for metro Phoenix, told KJZZ News in addition to accepting water donations, the organization is also now looking for volunteers to staff its cooling shelters.

“When those excessive heat warning days are declared, we’re happy to have people sign up to take a shift at one of those locations just to help provide water and provide that cooling experience for those who might need it," Smith said. 

425 people died from heat-related causes last year in Maricopa County — the most on record. The county has already  confirmed four heat-related deaths so far this year.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.