PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- From north to south, Arizona is a playground for the outdoor enthusiast. Most of the year, you don't have to worry. During the summer, you do.

Monsoon storms can make a day of recreation a day of danger. So there's always something you want to do first.

[WATCH: How to stay safe outdoors during a monsoon storm]

“Take a look at what the forecast is going to be like in the area you are going to," said Shawn Gilleland, a public information officer for the Rural Metro Fire Department.

You also want to check the weather of the 50-mile radius from the area. It might be sunny where you are while raining in the mountains around you.

"You want to make sure you’re not going to get caught in a flash flood in a wash," said Kim Jackson of Arizona Game and Fish.

Dirt bikes, four-wheelers and all types of off-road vehicles are fun to run through dry washes. But if a storm is coming, you want to get out of the wash and get to higher ground.

Jacksons says when the thunder roars, you are safe in your vehicle because you are on rubber tires.

Despite this, you should stay in the vehicle until the storm passes. If you are out kayaking on the Salt River, get off the water immediately.

As for hikers and bikers, Gilleland says the best thing to do is try to get down as quickly as possible.

If you can't get off the trail in time, get to the low ground, then crouch down as low as you can and wait for the storm to pass.

Be prepared ahead of time.

"Bring a little extra food, a little extra water, a charged cellphone; maybe a battery back-up," said Gilleland.

Make sure someone knows where you are going and how long you will be gone.


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