Monsoon Season is a pattern of pronounced increase in thunderstorms and rainfall over large areas of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, typically occurring between July and mid-September.
Here are 10 tips for keeping safe during the monsoon season.
1. Find somewhere to park your car safely if you are caught in a monsoon and your visibility is near zero.
Driving in low visibility storms is not worth risking your life or others.
2. Do not leave your headlights on if you pull your car over.
Doing so could cause other drivers to think you are still on the road and hit your vehicle. In low visibility, drivers may not interpret your car as pulled away from the road and try to follow you.
3. Get cell phone weather alerts.
Keep your notifications on for weather alerts so you can anticipate closing windows and put the car in the garage before a storm hits.
4. Make sure your windshield wipers and tires are in good shape.
Monsoon season can bring slick roads and torrential downpours with almost no warning.
5. Prepare a supply kit that includes water, non-perishable foods, flashlight, batteries and other necessities.
Keep a supply kit in your home and car to ensure that if the power goes out or you are stranded in the storm that you have supplies.
6. Do not let children play near storm drains or washes after a heavy rain.
Arizona is known for its flash floods, which can be deadly. Adults, and especially children, can be taken by surprise by a flash flood if they are near a wash or storm drain during a monsoon.
7. Check weather reports before hiking or doing any other outdoor activities.
Don't get stuck in a dust storm or flash flood by spending time outside in a storm.
8. Teach children about basic safety around lightning and thunder.
Do not allow them to spend time in the water or outside when thunder and lightning are near. Though the outdoors may be dry, lightning can still strike.
9. If you are caught outside while hiking or exercising outside, make sure to find high ground in case of a flash flood.
Additionally, bringing a handkerchief and sunglasses can help protect your eyes and mouth when caught in a dust storm.
10. Contact an insurance agent to discuss flood insurance coverage.
Flood losses are usually not covered under normal homeowners' insurance policies. If you live near a wash or relatively undeveloped area, you may consider flood insurance. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program. Try to get coverage early, as there is a waiting period before it takes effect.