FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Monsoon starts this week, but you don’t have to wait until the storms hit to prepare.
Floods and fires are just a couple threats coming with every monsoon and the Director of Coconino County Emergency Management, Todd Whitney, warned Monday, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Easy monsoon safety tips
1. Sign up with your county’s emergency notification system to know via a call, text or email when a dangerous storm is on the way.
2. The summer weather event isn’t all rain and thunder—dry lightning can start a forest fire. So be ready, be set and go if you are asked to evacuate.
Whitney recommends you pack "medicines and some cash and other things to be able to sustain outside of your house.”
3. Prepare your home. Create a defensible space around it to keep the flames away and make sure everything on your property can stand through wind gusts of 50 miles an hour or stronger.
“Things that you want to remain on your property, making sure that they’re tied down or stored appropriately,” Whitney said.
4. Monsoon doesn’t wait for you to be safe at home, away from windows when it strikes, so make sure your windshield wipers and tires are in good shape in case a storm catches you on the road.
Remember, if there’s flooding turn around, don’t drown. If you can’t safely get to higher ground, you may have to wait for the water to subside, so have plenty of drinking water and food in your vehicle.
5. Monsoon may not tell you it’s coming, but you can be ready for it by checking the weather ahead of time, especially if you’re spending time outdoors.
“If I’m in Sedona, I’m checking what’s happening upstream or on top on the rim and what happens on top of the rim will flow downhill,” Whitney said.
According to the National Weather Service, heat is the deadliest weather-related hazard in the United States, add to that the humidity of monsoon and you have to prepare for nights that are a lot hotter than we’re used to.
You can visit the NWS website for more tips on monsoon preparation.