Jun 5, 2014 1:19 PM by Jeff Beamish
PHOENIX - Governor Jan Brewer has proclaimed June 8 - 13 Monsoon Awareness Week in Arizona in anticipation of the 2014 monsoon and summer severe weather hazards.
Arizona's monsoon spans the hot summer months of June to mid-September. Extreme heat alone can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People over 65 years old, children under 5, persons with a pre-existing medical condition, and individuals who work outdoors during the hottest hours of the day are at a higher risk for heat-related illness.
Most Arizonans, however, associate the monsoon with scattered showers and higher humidities. Thunderstorms can cause localized flash flooding, dust storms and-if there's lightning--wildfires.
"Arizonans enjoy the refreshing rains that accompany the monsoon," said Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) Director Wendy Smith-Reeve. "But we have to be prepared for the severe weather that may come along with it."
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 before the "rainy season." Arizonans are encouraged to take the following actions in preparation for the monsoon season:
Plan: Write communication and evacuation plans that identify a family meeting place, account for individuals' unique needs and family pets, and include an out-of-town contact. Practice your plan.
Prepare: Set aside enough non-perishable food and potable water to sustain your family (including pets) 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: Know the threats to your community and how to react to them. Ask your child's school about their emergency plans. Bookmark www.AzEIN.gov for emergency updates and preparedness information.
Inspire: Motivate others. Be a preparedness example by learning basic first aid, joining a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and/or talking to friends, family and coworkers about emergency preparedness. Better yet, take a friend or family member along to that first aid or CPR class.