Know what to do during 2019 Arizona monsoon season

Jun 14, 2019, 4:30 PM

PHOENIX – Arizona’s unpredictable monsoon season officially begins Saturday.

The season lasts 107 days, ending Sept. 30, with August the peak month for thunderstorm activity.

Last year, storms blew down houses in Buckeye, flooded neighborhoods, knocked down power lines and as usual, also smothered the Valley in dust and heat.

The state’s Emergency Information Network suggested residents keep up with weather news and most of all, stay safe.

During Monsoon Awareness Week, which began Monday, Gov. Doug Ducey said now was the time to get ready.

Here are some tips that can help prepare Arizonans for the coming storms.

Have an action plan

In case of an emergency, know where and when you, family or friends will meet beforehand. If you’re home, have an evacuation route mapped out. Write the plan down and give everyone a copy.

Call out-for-towners to let them know what is going on.

Have an emergency kit

Any emergency supplies should include a first-aid kit and water (1 gallon per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation), recommends.

Use the same time frame for food — a minimum three days’ worth of nonperishable items.

Also stock:

    • coolers and ice
    • important documents
    • candles
    • cellphone with chargers, extra battery
    • batteries
    • battery-powered or hand crank weather radio
    • prescription medications
    • dust mask
    • manual can opener
    • maps

Be safe in a vehicle

Drivers can’t always get off the road in time to avoid a thunder or dust storm.

In its Pull Aside, Stay Alive campaign, the Arizona Department of Transportation said after you pull over during a dust storm, keep your seat belt on, set the parking brake and turn off the car lights.

As counterintuitive as that sounds, other drivers who see the lights may try to follow but instead smash right into you.

Trying to drive across a flooded area is a hazard, too.

First responders could be put in harm’s way attempting a rescue.

“We’ve got a current that is strong enough to push an automobile miles down the wash,” Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade told KTAR News 92.3 FM last year.

“The current (could) speed up in an area; there could be something underneath (the water surface) that could grab (a person), pull them under. We could always have failure in a line.”

Under Arizona’s Stupid Motorist Law, the cost of a rescue from flood areas is the responsibility of the driver.

Stay indoors

If you hear thunder, lightning isn’t too far behind.

The Emergency Information Network advises everyone stay inside their home or shelter for at least a half hour after a storm passes before stepping outside.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

An abandoned Phoenix golf course will be revived this year by the new owner of the property. (Jim P...

Angela Gonzales/Phoenix Business Journal

Developer to breathe new life into abandoned Phoenix golf course, build 415 homes

An abandoned golf course at the southeast corner of 59th and Southern avenues in Phoenix's Laveen Village could get a new lease on life, after years of intense talks between the property's owner and community residents.

23 minutes ago

A two-year-old girl nearly drowned on Saturday in Chandler. (Pexels photo)...

2-year-old ‘breathing and alert’ after nearly drowning in Chandler

Fire personnel were called to a near-drowning incident in Chandler involving a two-year-old girl on Saturday.

9 hours ago

Exzavion Williams is in jail more than 15 months after a deadly shooting in Phoenix. (MCSO mugshot)...

Arrest made from February 2023 shooting that killed Phoenix teen

Detectives arrested a man for murder and armed robbery in a homicide case from last year, authorities said Saturday.

9 hours ago

dual-branded hotel groundbreaking...

Damon Allred

Dual-branded hotel coming to Phoenix in 2025 breaks ground

Mayor Kate Gallego was among those present for the groundbreaking on Tuesday of a new dual-branded hotel coming soon to Phoenix.

10 hours ago

Two brothers were arrested weeks after a dead body was removed from a car that was on fire in a can...

Pair of brothers arrested weeks after a dead body was found in Phoenix canal

Detectives arrested a pair of brothers after a dead body was found in a car on fire last month in west Phoenix.

11 hours ago

A bear was killed by Arizona game officials after it injured a teenager in northern Arizona. (AZ Ga...

Associated Press

Bear shot dead by Arizona game officers after swipe attack on teen in mountain cabin

A black bear was shot and killed by Arizona fish and game officers after it entered a home through an open door and injured a teenager.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Know what to do during 2019 Arizona monsoon season