Thunderstorms, Haboobs and Lightning

Thunderstorms and Lightning

In the event that the City of Chandler and surrounding areas experience severe thunderstorms and lightning, the community should be aware of the following information for its safety.


  • In extreme emergencies, citizens who are in danger should call 9-1-1.
  • In case of power outages, contact your utility company. SRP can be reached at 602-236-8888 or APS at 602-371-7171.
  • For a listing of social service and relief organizations, contact the Community Information and Referral Service at 602-263-8856.

Thunderstorms are most likely to happen in the spring and summer months and during the afternoon and evening hours, but can occur year-round and at all hours.

Warning signs:
1. Dark, towering, or threatening clouds
2. Distant lightning and thunder
3. Increasing wind
4. Blowing dust

What to do When a Storm Approaches:

If indoors:
1. Secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture that could blow away or cause damage or injury.
2. Shutter windows securely and brace outside doors.
3. For power outages, listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest storm information. If you have access to cable, Channel 11 may post warnings and other storm-related information as well.
4. Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Use phones only in an emergency.
5. Do not take a bath or shower during the storm. Do not go swimming during a storm.
6. Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressors.

If outdoors:
1. Find shelter in a building or car. Do not take shelter in small sheds or under isolated trees.
2. If you are unable to find shelter, go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects and crouch with hands on knees. Do not lie flat on the ground.
3. Stay out of pools and away from water.
4. Get to higher ground if flash flooding or flooding is possible. Once flooding begins, abandon cars and climb to higher ground. Do not attempt to drive to safety. Note: Most flash flood deaths occur in automobiles.

If in a car:
1. Pull safely onto the shoulder of the road away from any trees that could fall on the vehicle.
2. Stay in the car and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rains subside.
3. Obey all traffic warning signs and avoid flooded roadways.

After the storm:
1. Check for injuries. A person who has been struck by lightning does not carry an electrical charge that can shock other people. If the victim is burned, provide first aid and call emergency medical assistance immediately.
2. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.
3. Report downed utility wires.
4. Drive only if necessary. Debris and washed-out roads may make driving dangerous.

Monsoon Safety Tips from SRP:
1. Stay at least 100 feet from any downed power line.
2. Never try to help someone trapped by a power line. The line could be energized and endanger your own safety. Instead, immediately call 911 for help. Then call SRP's emergency number, (602) 236-8811, to report the incident.
3. If a power line hits your car while you are in it, stay inside the car until professional help arrives.
4. If your vehicle catches fire and you must leave it, avoid making contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Jump from the vehicle, landing with both feet together. Shuffle or hop away, keeping both feet in contact with each other until you are at least 100 feet from the vehicle. This may avoid making your body a ground path between energized and grounded areas or objects.
5. Do not shower during a storm. Lightning can travel through pipes.
6. Do not swim during a storm. Lightning can strike bodies of water.
7. Lightning can travel through electric lines and damage electronic equipment. Therefore, when practical, unplug the power cords to all electronic equipment to provide total protection from lightning-induced damage.