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The National Weather Service has declared June 12-18 to be Monsoon Awareness Week and encourages residents to be prepared for severe weather during the unpredictable season.
Monsoon season is observed typically from June 15 through September 30 and is characterized by an increase in thunderstorm and lightning activity, high winds, dust storms, and flash floods. While the severity of weather can vary each season, it is essential that Arizona residents have a monsoon safety plan in place and be ready for all possible weather-related occurrences.
Here are some tips and resources to help you prepare for the upcoming Monsoon season:
At home: The safest place is indoors during any significant storm. If you are at home, turn off all unnecessary power equipment to prevent damage from power surges or outages. Make sure your home is equipped with an emergency preparedness kit that includes flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food items, and first aid supplies.
In your car: Dust storms and heavy rain can decrease visibility and increase road hazards when driving. Slow down if you are driving during a storm, and if necessary, pull off to the right side of the road as far as possible, then turn off your engine and lights. Be sure to take your foot off the brake pedal.
Never attempt to drive through flooded intersections or roadways! Even shallow flowing water has enough power to sweep your vehicle off the road or stall your engine. If you approach a flooded area, safely turn your vehicle around and find an alternate route.
Flash floods: Monitor weather reports and listen for potential flood alerts in your area. Be aware that there doesn’t have to be rain falling overhead for an area to be under a Flash Flood Watch or Warning. Rainfall could be taking place upstream and the water can be rushing from those areas.
Stay clear of low-lying areas and don’t drive through any roadways that are covered by the runoff. These waters are powerful, just one cubic foot of water weighs 62 pounds and a rushing stream can lift a vehicle. Follow the advice: Turn around, don’t drown.
Want to know more about monsoons? Read What is the Arizona Monsoon?
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