Are you ready for monsoons? Read on…

lightning from monsoon flashes through downtown tempe
Photographer Billy Hardiman, whose camera and creative skills are always at ready, shared one of his photos of the lightning that flashed through our neighborhood last August.

By Wrangler News Staff

The city of Tempe wants all of us to be prepared for when the tropical storms bear down, bringing dust, debris and plenty of lightning in their wake. The typical season starts June 15 and ends around Sept. 30.

Families are being encouraged to pack a three-day bag of supplies that includes a gallon of water per person/pet per day, alongside nonperishable food, flashlights, radio, batteries, medications, first aid kit and a back-up power source for cell phone chargers and medical equipment.

Tempe is also offering sand bags throughout the monsoon season at two locations. The bags can be picked up 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Prior to a major storm event, bags are available on a first come, first served basis and can be picked up at the Solid Waste Compost Facility at 1001 N. Rio Road and Benedict Sports Complex, 490 W. Guadalupe.

The flooding of streets, sidewalks and homes can be much worse if the city’s storm drains are blocked by debris. Residents can help prevent that by disposing yard waste in trash receptacles. If you notice excessive amounts of debris near a storm drain, report it to Tempe 311 at 480-350-4311.

You can also prepare your home by trimming trees so they are away from windows and roofs; clearing debris from your roof drainage system, including gutters and downspouts; pretreating pools with chlorine shock to help prevent algae growth; not applying fertilizers or other outdoor chemicals before expected storms; securing loose items on your property, such as patio and pool furniture; and unplugging expensive electronics such as televisions, stereos, home entertainment centers and computers—or installing power-protection devices.

In the event of a severe weather alert, the city of Tempe will post news and information at Follow Tempe on Facebook @CityofTempe and Twitter @TempeGov to stay up to date on street closures. Flash floods are the number one thunderstorm-related killer, with most deaths occurring in vehicles. Be sure to avoid flooded areas and low-water crossings. Moving water 1-2 feet deep will carry away most vehicles. Keep children away from creeks and washes when heavy rain is in the area and be especially careful at night when water depth and road conditions are harder to see.

Do not play or swim in flooded areas; water may be contaminated with chemicals and bacteria. Wash hands and disinfect any items that come in contact with flood waters.

Lighting strikes are a major feature of monsoons. Keep in mind that no place outside is safe from lightning during a thunderstorm—lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a storm.

If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. Move inside a strong building or an enclosed hardtop vehicle. Avoid contacting inside wiring and plumbing during a thunderstorm; this includes appliances and corded phones.

Stay in shelter for 30 minutes after the last thunder. If someone is struck by lightning, call 911 for help immediately.



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