Monsoon 2017 is here.
As storm chances begin to increase and alerts start to be issued, it's time to prepare yourselves for what's to come.
But what can Arizonans do to make sure they're prepared for and safe during a monsoon storm?
Here are a few tips to make sure you, your pet, your house and your car are ready and safe.
- Be aware of flash floods and avoid rushing water on foot and in your car. Remember: Turn around, don't drown!
- See lightning? Get indoors or move to shelter -- a building or metal topped vehicle with closed windows.
MORE: Lightning safety
- Avoid that big wall of dust. Breathing in the components that make up the "dust" can certainly increase. the risk for getting Valley fever.
- In case of an emergency, make sure you have prepared a "go kit" with water, nonperishable food, first aid supplies, dust masks and garbage bags.
- If possible, stay home or inside and definitely avoid driving as much as possible. The safest place to be in a storm is indoors. Plus, this allows you to enjoy the storm from the comfort of your couch and keep your furry friends calm.
- The Sonoran Desert toad, also known as the Colorado River toad emerges with monsoon weather. Check your property for these toxic toads and keep pets away from them.
- Provide some form of comfort for pets that fear the sound of thunder.
- Always make sure your dog has a well-fitted colar with up-to-date contact information. Microchipping your pet is also a good option.
- Walking your dog after a storm? Avoid walking near running water or washes.
- Keep pets indoors during dust storms and make sure you secure any doggy doors.
- Sign up for weather alerts and be aware of flash flood warnings, dust storms and damaging winds.
- Prevent flooding as much as possible. Use sandbags and make sure gutters and drains are clear. You may need to hire a landscaping company to ensure your property has a proper drainage solution and that your yard isn’t pooling water during a rainstorm.
- Protect your plants, trees and outdoor furniture on your patio before the monsoon storms hit. Strong winds can loosen soil, so be sure to stake down trees.
- Don’t hesitate to fix leaks and cracks. There’s nothing worse than coming home to a puddle of water and trying to find the source as water continues to pour in. Inspect your roof before the season begins or hire a roofing professional to do it for you.
- Clean out your garage and make room for your cars. Falling branches and hail frequently damage cars during the monsoon season.
- Check rubber molding and windshield wipers for cracks
- Make sure brakes are working well and always check tire tread to avoid slipping and sliding on the wet roadways.
- Be sure brake and headlights are clear and bright.
- Avoid driving into or through a dust storm. Slow down and pull off the road as soon as you can safely do so. Turn lights off and take your foot off the brake pedal.
- If you’re driving in a storm, switch you’re A/C to “recirculate” or “Max”
Bonus safety tip for your wallet: After a dust storm wash your car and check your engine ASAP dust can cause fine scratches and damage that could be costly to fix.
PHOTOS: Best monsoon photos of 2016