Today is the official start of the Arizona Monsoon Season. In years past, humidity levels and wind direction determined the start, but in order to focus on the dangers Mother Nature brings this time of year, and to help us be prepared, the official start is now declared as June 15th.
Wind and rain storms are coming and we can help you keep safe and dry with rain gear, tarps, sand bags and erosion control products such as straw wattles, silt fence and jute mesh.
One thing we can’t protect you from is lightning. The Maricopa County Cooperative Extension Service posts the following Lightning Safety Rules:
When the weather forecast calls for thundershowers or thunderstorms, take it seriously. It means that lightning is possible. Lightning kills 125 people on the average each year in the United States and injures over 500. This makes it one of the most dangerous weather events in terms of lives lost.
Follow these lightning safety rules and it may save your life.
- When thunderstorms are forecast, keep an eye on the sky and when a thunderstorm threatens, stay indoors or in an automobile (not a convertible).
- Do not use the telephone except for emergencies.
- If you are caught outside, avoid tall, isolated trees and utility poles. Avoid projecting above the landscape; don't stand on a hilltop. In a forest seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees. In open areas go to a low place such as a ravine or valley.
- Get off and away from open water. Avoid tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts and other metal vehicles. Avoid lines, wire fences, metal pipes and railings. Put down golf clubs. If you are in a group in the open stay several yards apart.
- If you are caught in an open area far from shelter, and you feel your hair stand on end, lightning may be about to strike you. Drop to your knees and bend forward putting your hands on your knees. DO NOT lie flat on the ground.
Persons struck by lightning receive a severe electrical shock and burns, but they carry no electrical charge. Handling the victim will cause you no harm. Prompt action can revive someone "killed". When a group has been struck, treat the "apparently dead" first.
The American Red Cross says that if a victim is not breathing, give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until medical help arrives. If the victim is not breathing and has no pulse, the properly trained should administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Victims who appear stunned or otherwise unhurt may also need attention. Check for burns especially at fingers and toes and next to buckles and jewelry.
Be ready for the storms, and stay safe out there!