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Arizonans urged to protect themselves from summer heat

It's that time of year again.

The heat is back, temperatures are expected to be around 108 degrees on Sunday and officials are urging Arizonans to take extra precautions to stay cool.

When the weather gets hot, Valley emergency rooms get a little crowded.

"Last year, we saw about 2,500 hospital visits from a heat-related illnesses and about 500 hospital emissions," said Mathew Roach, Environmental Epidemiologist for the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Roach said, when things get hot, there are three things you should remember to do.

"Stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed," he said. "Drink plenty of water, go into an air-conditioned building and be informed of upcoming weather alerts by listening to your radio about heat warnings that are upcoming."

Roach said people should stay away from alcoholic beverages and "sugary" drinks.

"Water, water,water," he said. "Drink two cups of water before, during and after any activity in the heat. You can't just drink it after doing any kind of physical activity. It's not going to keep your body safe."

Roach advised using SPF 30 sunscreen and to limit outside activities to the coolest part of the day if possible.

If you don't have air conditioning, or can't keep cool in your home for any other reason, there are several cooling centers that you can go to around the Valley. To find out where they are, click here.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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