Monsoon season are you prepared?
Monsoon storms bring welcome relief from the summer heat, but they can also be very dangerous, bringing lightning, damaging winds, dust storms, heavy rain, and flooding. The Bullhead City Fire Department would like to remind citizens to prepare and plan before these storms arrive. Monsoon season officially begins June 15 and runs through September 30. Surprisingly more deaths occur each year due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard. Knowing what to do in an emergency is key to staying safe.
Monsoon Safety Tips Before a Storm:
- Always be aware of the day’s forecast and keep up to date on changing conditions during the day. Monsoons can develop quickly and move rapidly.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Have extra light and power handy. Keep batteries, flashlights, and a battery-operated radio or TV on hand to keep you up to date during severe weather.
- Create an emergency preparedness plan and kit.
During a Storm/Lightning:
- Remember that it does not have to be raining for you to be struck by lightning. If you hear thunder, you are close enough to a storm to be struck by lightning.
- Stay off the phone. Even cordless phones can cause a shock when lightning strikes nearby. Use cell phones only if necessary.
- Keep away from windows.
- If you are caught outdoors in a thunderstorm and safe shelter is not available, find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles. Avoid high ground, water, trees, and metal objects.
- Thunderstorm wind gusts in Arizona can exceed 40 mph and cause extensive damage.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away. This includes garbage cans, umbrellas, patio furniture, and any other unsecured items around your yard.
- Stay away from trees. Many people are killed or injured in severe thunderstorms by falling trees, flying debris, or downed power lines.
- Never touch a downed power line, even if it appears dead. Assume that it is live. Call for help instead.
- Dust Storms move rapidly and can reduce visibility almost instantly.
- If you encounter a dust storm with zero visibility, ADOT advised pulling off the road as far to the right as possible. Turn off your lights, set the parking brake, and take your foot off the brake. These steps reduce the chances that other drivers mistake your vehicle as the one to follow.
- Do not go out in a dust storm if you can avoid it.
- Control of a vehicle can be lost in as little as 6 inches of water. Most vehicles will begin to float in only 2 feet of water.
- The way to prevent becoming trapped or swept away by flowing water is to not drive through it.
- Find an alternate route whenever available, even if it takes extra time out of your day. If no alternative route is available, wait it out.
When a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued, outdoor activities should be postponed as this is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation. More information on how to prepare for severe weather can be found at www.ready.gov or www.azdot.gov
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