Monsoon preparedness: Are you and your pet ready for the extreme weather?

TARA ALATORRE –

ARIZONA – June is the beginning of a long season of severe weather in Arizona – dry conditions, extreme heat, fire threats and flash flooding from monsoon storms – and The Arizona Emergency Information Network wants to get the word out about how to keep residents and pets safe during disasters.

The Arizona Emergency Information Network (AzEIN) is facilitating “Pet Pawparedness Month,” to spread the word about pet emergency preparedness to residents during the month of June as well as reminding residents about crucial safety factors during the monsoons.

“There are many ways to maintain healthy, happy and safe pets,” stated the AzEIN website. “We want to know your tricks and tips that keep your pets waggin’, purrin’ or even chirpin’ during those hot summer temperatures or emergencies.”

The department is marketing a social media campaign and asked residents to submit a photo of their pet and one tip on how they prepare their pets for emergencies.

Submissions of pet photos and tips are featured on the department’s social media sites, and residents can follow the campaign through the hashtag #AzPetPrepared.

AzEIN is also offering these preparation tips for the Monsoon Season:

Plan:

Write and rehearse a family communication plan. The plan should identify a meeting place and include out-of-town contacts

Inquire:

Know what hazards in your community and where you travel. Get current weather forecasts on TV, on the radio or online. Go to EIN.az.gov and enter your address in the hazard viewer to learn about hazards in your area.

Inspire:

Be a preparedness example for others in your community. Check your home for potential hazards like overhanging trees and loose debris, donate blood, or do a fire drill at home.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown:

Heavy monsoon rains can lead to flash flooding. Don’t underestimate the power of water. Six inches of fast moving water can knock down an adult, and 18 inches of water can carry most vehicles away. Avoid low water crossings and areas that are already flooded. Never drive around barricades or attempt to cross streets with flowing water.

Pull Aside, Stay Alive:

Strong monsoon winds can create large downbursts of air, creating dense blowing clouds of dust and reduce visibility to near zero in seconds. If you are caught in a dust storm pull your vehicle off the roadway, place your vehicle in park, turn off your vehicle’s lights, and take your foot off the brake. Remain inside your vehicle with your seatbelt fastened and wait for the storm to pass.

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors:

Typically summertime leads to family vacations and outdoor activities. Whether it’s swimming, hiking, biking, or any other outdoor activity pay attention to changes in the clouds and weather updates. Summer storms can move quickly and can be deadly. Lightning can strike from 10 miles away and can spark fires which spread quickly if accompanied by high winds. If you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike. If a storm approaches, head indoors or seek shelter, and remain indoors for at least 30 minutes after a storm passes before going back outside. This allows for a safe distance to be created from lightning or storm conditions to dissipate.

For more information on social media about the monsoon AzEIN is using the hashtags #AzWX and #Monsoon2018. For more tips go to the website ready.gov.