Are you prepared for impending monsoon season?Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- With the hottest day of the year showing up earlier than usual, monsoon season is expected to arrive just as quickly.
"While most of us delight in the soaking rains that are synonymous with the monsoon, the season is also full of severe weather dangers that can damage property and threaten the safety of Arizonans," said Wendy Smith-Reeve, director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management.
Gov. Jan Brewer proclaimed June 9-14 Moonsoon Awareness Week in Arizona, which is a week before the official beginning of monsoon season. Lasting until late September, it consists of afternoon thunderstorms producing lightning, high winds and heavy rains. It also includes weather dangers like flash flooding or dust storms.
Here's how you can get ready for Arizona's most notorious natural disaster:
At home, make sure you have enough food, water and emergency supplies on hand to last 72 hours, in case the power goes out. Flashlights should have extra batteries, and first aid supplies should be readily available.
Items that can blow away in the wind, such as outdoor fixtures, furniture and small trees should be secured.
Also, be sure to review your homeowner's policy. According to AAA, standard ones do not typically have flood coverage.
On the road, take particular caution when you see a dust storm approaching. The best thing to do is avoid driving into a wall of dust. Instead, pull to the side of the road as quickly as possible, turn off your lights and wait it out.
However, "it's better to alter travel plans than to attempt to drive through dangerous conditions," said John Halikowski, director of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
To help increase awareness of safe driving, ADOT is hosting its second "Haboob Haiku Challenge." People can submit their 17-syllable poems via Twitter with the hashtag #HaboobHaiku. Contestants have until the end of June to submit their poem.