Arizona’s Monsoon season brings with it the daily potential for high winds, lightning, hail and heavy bursts of rain. All of these potential hazards are life threatening if proper care is not taken. Officially, the monsoon starts on June 15th and ends on September 30th. In the valley, storms often develop in the late afternoon and early evening. Be on guard and keep apprised of the daily weather forecast. Below are a few safety tips to help you stay safe this monsoon season.
- If you can hear thunder, lightning is present --even if you can’t see it.
- Seek shelter in a large enclosed structure immediately. Cars trucks and other enclosed vehicles are generally safe. Keep windows rolled up and avoid contact with metal materials.
- In the home, stay away from windows, avoid using running water if possible, stay off the phone, and do not use computer or other appliances.
- Do not stand near trees or poles-- stay at least seven feet away from tall objects.
- Avoid wide open spaces like fields or golf courses, if stuck in an open space, keep low and get to shelter. Do not lie flat.
- Get out of water such as pools or lakes as soon as you hear thunder or see lightning.
- Stay away from downed power lines, if one has fallen on your car, stay inside and dial 911.
- Keep a flash light handy at night, monsoon storms often lead to power outages.
- Do not use candles for emergency lighting.
Rain and wind safety
Never drive into running water. Cars can be swept away in as little as six inches of water. Most cars will float in 2 feet of water. If stuck in a wash, climb on the roof of your car and dial 911.
- Do not go out in a dust storm if you can avoid it.
- If caught on the road in a dust storm, pull over as far right as possible, turn off the car and keep your foot off of the break.
- If driving in rain, slow down. Lack of rain in the valley can leave roads slick from oil build up.