(Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:55 a.m.) Governor Jan Brewer has proclaimed June 10-15 Monsoon Awareness Week in Arizona in anticipation of the 2012 monsoon and seasonal severe weather hazards.
Monsoon season begins in mid-June, extends through late September, and is characterized by late afternoon thunderstorms that produce lightning, straight-line winds and precipitation. Given the right conditions, a monsoon storm can cause flash flooding and dust storms.
“The monsoon is celebrated for the few inches of rain it brings to the state,” said Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) Director Lou Trammell. “Unfortunately, the monsoon can also result in severe weather--microbursts, flooding, dust storms and lightning.”
ADEM has partnered with the National Weather Service; the Arizona departments of Health Services, Insurance, Public Safety, Transportation and Water Resources; and The Salvation Army to advocate preparedness--plan, prepare, inquire and inspire—in advance of the “rainy season.”
Plan: Write communication and evacuation plans that identify a family meeting place, account for special needs and the family pet, and include an out-of-town contact. Practice your plan.
Prepare: Set aside enough non-perishable food and potable water to sustain your family for 72 hours. Suggested kit items include first aid supplies, a radio, batteries and a flashlight. Pack a smaller “go kit” with copies of important documents, cash and a phone charger for evacuations.
Inquire: Identify threats in your community. Bookmark www.azein.gov as a web browser favorite for real-time emergency updates and preparedness information.
Inspire: Motivate others. Be an advocate for preparedness by learning basic first aid, volunteering and/or talking to friends, family and coworkers about emergency preparedness.
Because the monsoon spans the hottest months of the Arizona summer, it is important to know the symptoms of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and to limit exposure to extreme heat. People over 65 years old, children under 5, persons with a pre-existing medical condition, and individuals who work outside or participate in outdoor activities are at especial risk.
Visit the Arizona Emergency Information Network (AzEIN) at www.azein.gov for preparedness tips, information on Arizona hazards and real-time emergency updates.
(Source: Arizona Division of Emergency Management)