Monsoon Safety Tips and Reminders

July 22, 2019
| by:
Communications and Public Affairs

Arizona monsoon season is known for high temperatures, elevated humidity, thick clouds of dust, lightning and thunderstorms, and sometimes heavy rains and flash floods. The following tips are provided to help keep you safe during this unpredictable weather season: 

  • Heat advisories are common. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Take frequent breaks and wear protective sunscreen if you must work outdoors, and use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. You should NEVER leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles. 
  • If you see an approaching dust storm while driving, pull into a safe place off the roadway. If the dust storm comes on suddenly, check traffic immediately around your vehicle and slow down. If you cannot see more than 300 feet (length of a football field), it is time to get off the road. If traveling on a highway or freeway, exit at an exit ramp if possible and never stop in a travel lane. If no exit ramp is near, look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway. Stop the vehicle in a position ensuring it is a safe distance from the main roadway and away from where other vehicles may travel. Turn off driving lights and all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers. Set your emergency brake and keep your foot off the brake pedal so you won’t activate your brake lights. Stay in the vehicle with your seatbelt buckled and wait for the storm to pass.

Dust storms are usually followed by thunderstorms, so keep these tips in mind: 

  • Thunderstorms and heavy winds can damage property, trees and power lines. If you are home when a storm approaches, secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage. Avoid using a corded telephone or an electrical appliance. Unplug appliances that are not necessary. Do not take a bath or shower during a storm. In case of power outages, contact your utility company (SRP 602-236-8811 or APS 1-855-OUTAGES).
  • If caught outdoors during a storm, find shelter in a building or car. If you are unable to find shelter, go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles or metal objects, and make yourself as small a target as possible. Get out of swimming pools, boats and away from all water. If flooding is possible, go to higher ground.  
  • If driving during a storm, reduce speed and turn on your headlights. Always obey traffic warning signs and avoid flooded roadways. If the storm is severe, drivers should pull safely onto the shoulder, stay in the car and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy wind and rains subside.