Prepare for summer monsoons sooner than later - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Prepare for summer monsoons sooner than later

Updated:
PHOENIX -

Time to start thinking about dust, rain, flash flooding and staying safe during the storm; it's Monsoon Awareness Week in Arizona.

Fire crews are asking the public to be extra vigilant as monsoon thunderstorms approach. They remind the public that these storms come rapidly and cane be deadly.

A wall of dust sweeping the valley, torrential rain and flash flooding: all the dangerous monsoon conditions fire crews want you to gear up for this summer.

"These storms can begin and end in short period of time so it's not like you're going to be able to predict where they pop up, where they occur," said Colin Williams, with Rural Metro Fire. "They can be deadly, they can be devastating."

If you are driving in a severe dust storm, pull to the side of the road and turn your lights off.

"People have done a lot of studies on this. If you're light is on, people will be attracted to you and cause a rear end accident," said Williams.

During a downpour, avoid streets with rushing water.

"[A] vehicle can be floated in just a little bit of water. It's really hard to tell how deep water is, where the street is, if there is barricades up. Don't cross," said Williams.

If you do go around flood barricades, a vehicle may come and save you, but you'll be the one paying for it.

"There's the Stupid Motorist Law. I don't like to call people stupid for doing that, but if you do go around a barricade and put yourself in that kind of risk, you put firefighters at risk. You are stupid," said Williams.

Stay smart and be prepared outside and inside your home.  Make sure to have a flashlight, candles, batteries and essentials ready in case a monsoon thunderstorm knocks out your power.

"Mother Nature has a lot of different things in her toolbox during monsoon season and it's best to have a good appreciation for that and good plan for it," said Williams.

Fire officials also advise staying indoors when there's lighting and to stay away from any metal objects.

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