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Monsoon Safety


If you're new to Arizona, you may have heard about the Monsoons. We are entering what is known as Monsoon Season. Monsoon season runs between June 15 and September 30, with storms peaking between mid-July and mid- August. A monsoon is defined as a seasonal shift in the wind patterns usually accompanied by changes in precipitation. In Arizona, winds that normally flow from west to northwest, shift blowing to the south southeast. In doing so, it pulls moisture inland from the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Increased moisture colliding with the intense surface heating forces the moisture into the upper atmosphere, rapidly forming large clouds, heavy rain, lightning and thunder. Storms are typically short lived and move quickly over the landscape. On the leading edges of the storm, heavy winds crash down from the upper atmosphere pushing dust and debris mile out in front of the storm. In their wake these storms can leave heavy flash flooding and damage caused by wind, sudden intense rain, hail, and blowing debris.

Preparing for Monsoon season can be broken into three parts: Before the storm, during the storm, and after the storm.

Before the Storm
Subscribe to local emergency broadcast notifications such as (PENS) Pinal County Emergency Notification System 

Prepare your home
  • Research local emergency management plans
  • Clean gutters and outdoor drains to prevent flooding
  • This tress and vegetation. Remove dead trees near you home, vehicles, or power lines
  • Repair and drainage issues on your property, diverting water away from your home to run off zones
  • Secure yard furniture, trampolines, or other objects that could become air born and cause damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances not in need
  • Create a storm survival kit – containing flashlights, candles, matches, battery operated radio, water and possibly some food.

Driving Safely
  • Never attempt to drive through a flooded roadway
  • Never go around barricades or signs preventing entry
  • Six inches of water can cause most cars to lose control
  • Two feet of rushing water can move most vehicles
  • If you get stuck in a flooded roadway, call 911. If the vehicle is stable and not moving stay in or on the vehicle. Never leave your vehicle and enter rushing water!
  • Treat non-working stop lights like a 4 way stop and proceed with caution.
  • If you get stuck driving in a storm and feel unsafe, pull off the main roadway. Get into a parking lot and wait out the storm. If you can not get to a safe location, pull as far off the roadway as safely possible. Put the car in park, take your foot off the break, turn off the lights, activate your hazards. Remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt on.

During the Storm
  • Stay inside
  • Turn off appliances, TV's, and computers to prevent electrical damage
  • Prepare for electrical outages
  • Get your storm survival kit out
  • Listen to local emergency alerts or news

After the Storm
  • Return home when safe and permitted by authorities
  • Watch for flooded roadways and low crossings
  • Avoid standing water that can contain hidden dangers
  • Photograph and document any damage for insurance purposes
  • Continue to monitor emergency updates
  • Be mindful of playing, swimming, or wading in collected storm water. Runoff can contain pollutants, hazardous materials, be electrically charged, be deeper than it appears, contain drains or other runoff collection.

Power outages
Contact your electricity provider to report power outages.
  • For Arizona Public Service (APS), call 855-688-2437. Visit APS's Outage Center webpage for more information.
  • For Salt River Project (SRP), call 602-236-8811. Visit SRP's Power Outage webpage for more information.

Assistance Agencies

  • American Red Cross - Red Cross provides shelter, food, health services, including mental health, to assist families and the community in times of need.
  • The Salvation Army - The mission of the Salvation Army is to access multiple volunteer organizations to provide comprehensive support in times of need, including disasters.
  • Team Rubicon - Team Rubicon can offer free services to remove drywall impacted by flooding for residents unable to pay. This is an important stage to prevent mold from setting in.
  • Habitat for Humanity - Habitat offers low-cost repair services for those who qualify. They also offer emergency repair services for those who qualify, and can access volunteers to help reduce costs.
  • HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response - HOPE is a national crisis response organization with specially trained handlers and canines trained and tested for crisis response work. HOPE ACR teams provide comfort and support to people affected by disasters.
  • Association of Arizona Food Banks - They can coordinate any food needs from a network of food bank
  • The Phoenix Homeland Defense Bureau's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The CERT program trains residents of Phoenix neighborhoods, community organizations and workplaces in basic disaster survival skills and promotes partnership and cooperation between residents and emergency services personnel.

Article provide by San Tan Valley's hometown fire department, Rural Metro Fire.

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Saturday, 18 May 2024

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