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Start of monsoon, take time to prepare

PHOENIX — The National Weather Service has set June 15 as the official start of the Arizona monsoon after years of determining the start based on three straight days of dew points above 55.

Greg Roybal with the Arizona Division of Emergency Management said families should identify a meeting place when street flooding or storm damage keeps them from getting home.

“Some place where the kids can go,” he said. “Maybe it’s their school or a church or mall parking lot.”

Roybal said it is also a good idea to have a kit ready for when storm damage forces families to leave home. It should include medicines, eyeglasses and other essentials.

These storms can knock power out for hours or even days. Homes should have an emergency stock of water and food that doesn’t need to be cooked.

Roybal said residents should have an out-of-town contact because weather events can overload the local phone systems. Sometimes it’s easier to get a hold of someone out of state who may be able to contact other family members.

Valley mechanic Scott Anderson said now is the time to get a fresh set of wiper blades for the car and have tires checked.

“When the wipers have been sitting on a windshield at 110 degrees temperature, the windshield is 150 degrees,” Anderson said.

“The wipers bake and crack and the last place you want to find out that you have bad wiper blades is in a downpour or dust storm.”