Stay Safe During Arizona’s Monsoon

Monsoon season began June 15th, these last couple weeks we have gotten a real taste of what monsoons are really about. Safety is crucial during these times, and it is important for you to be prepared in order to avoid danger.

What is a “monsoon”? The word “monsoon” is derived from the Arabic word “mausim” which means season, according the the National Weather Service. So, as opposed to an individual storm, the monsoon is a specific season of the year. Monsoon for Arizona really means the winds that typically blow in from the west, now blow from the east, dragging an unusual amount of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into Arizona. When Arizona’s heat and unstable weather mixes with the moisture brought in, storms arise.

Monsoon Driving Tips:

  1. Subscribe to media weather alerts and watch for upcoming storms.
  2. If you are caught in a storm while driving and visibility is low, turn on headlights and slow down to a cautious speed.
  3. When driving in rain or soon after it stops, it is important to pay close attention to traction. Rain may cause tires to hydroplane at certain speeds.
  4. Pay attention to hazard signs such as “Do Not Cross When Flooded,” “road Closed Due To Flooding” and roadblocks.
  5. If your car has stalled in water, climb onto the roof of the car and use a cellphone to dial 911.

Thunderstorms and lightning(If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning):

  1. Take shelter in a sturdy building or a hard-topped vehicle.
  2. Telephone lines conduct electricity, so avoid taking shower and baths or using running water during a storm.
  3. Bring pets indoors.

High Winds(straight-line winds can exceed 100mph):

  1. Move into a central interior room away from windows to avoid blowing debris that could shatter glass.
  2. If you are driving in high winds, slow down and anticipate steering correction when moving from protected to unprotected wind areas or when encountering large passing trailers.
  3. Be aware of high-profile vehicles, they can be unpredictable during high winds.
  4. Before the storm hits, evaluate large trees close to your home for potential hazards.

Mesa/Phoenix Hotlines:

  1. Non-emergency police assistance: 602-262-6151
  2. Street issues:602-262-6441
  3. Traffic-signal outages: 602-262-6021
  4. Storm-debris pickup: 602-262-7251

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