Time to get ready for mon­soons

Sea­son of­fi­cially starts June 15, with a chance of rain al­ready on tap

Yuma Sun - - OPINION -

Are you ready for mon­soon sea­son? It of­fi­cially starts June 15, which is al­most here.

A mon­soon oc­curs when there’s a seasonal shift in wind pat­terns, which in turn bring a change in mois­ture con­di­tions, re­act­ing with the sum­mer heat. In Yuma County, mon­soons can in­volve high winds, sud­den rain­storms, flood­ing, ex­treme heat and rolling dust clouds.

And thanks to Hur­ri­cane Bud churn­ing off the coast of Mexico, the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice re­ports that deep mon­soon mois­ture will move into the state this week­end, bring­ing a slight chance of thun­der­storms to the Yuma area. So what should you do if a mon­soon strikes? The first fac­tor to weigh is the rain. Yuma County, es­pe­cially in the ru­ral ar­eas, is filled with washes, which quickly fill when mon­soons hit. Don’t drive through flooded ar­eas, and if vis­i­bil­ity is bad, pull over and wait it out. Should you see a downed power line, stay away from it, and call 911.

There are two things you can do to pre­pare for the rain and be ahead of the curve. The first is sim­ple — make sure your wind­shield wipers are in good work­ing order, and not dry-rot­ted from the sun. Also, inspect your prop­erty, and make sure that your roof is in good shape, which is es­pe­cially im­por­tant when that rain comes down.

The sec­ond fac­tor to weigh dur­ing mon­soon sea­son are the dust storms. Should you en­counter one while driv­ing, pull over, turn off the tail­lights and head­lights, put the ve­hi­cle in park, and wait it out, ac­cord­ing to the Ari­zona Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion.

A fi­nal fac­tor at play is the wind. Those mon­soon winds can cause a va­ri­ety of dam­age, not to men­tion blowing pa­tio cush­ions and fur­ni­ture right out of the yard. If a storm is blowing in, make sure to walk your prop­erty and se­cure any items that might blow away or cause dam­age.

And af­ter the storm passes, give your prop­erty one more walk-through, to check for any dam­age.

In case of mon­soon storms, it’s rec­om­mended that fam­i­lies keep a dis­as­ter sup­ply kit on hand, just in case of emer­gency. The kit should be able to keep a fam­ily sus­tained for at least three days, with food, wa­ter, cloth­ing, first aid sup­plies, med­i­ca­tions and bat­tery-op­er­ated ra­dio and flash­lights.

We never know when a dan­ger­ous mon­soon storm will strike in Yuma. Some­times, we sim­ply get some ex­tra hu­mid­ity, while other times, homes lose roofs and trees are up­rooted all over the city.

A few mo­ments of prepa­ra­tion be­fore the sea­son be­gins, how­ever, can help keep you and your fam­ily safe dur­ing the worst of mon­soon sea­son. Un­signed ed­i­to­ri­als rep­re­sent the view­point of this news­pa­per rather than an in­di­vid­ual. Columns and let­ters to the edi­tor rep­re­sent the view­points of the per­sons writ­ing them and do not nec­es­sar­ily rep­re­sent the views of the Yuma Sun.

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