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What is a Monsoon?

The VRC team reviewing their documentation to support their individual roles within the VRC.

A monsoon is not a storm in itself, but rather it’s a wind system that blows in opposite directions during different times of the year. The direction in which the wind is blowing determines the weather in that region, until the wind shifts direction again.

For example, the monsoon in Southeast Asia and India brings very heavy rainfall in the summer. In Arizona, our monsoon occurs primarily from June to September, increasing our humidity and bringing afternoon thunderstorms with heavy rainfall, lightning, strong winds, dust and flash floods to the Valley. All of these can endanger homeowners, motorists and anyone caught outside unaware.

During monsoon season, the National Weather Service in Arizona may issue the following watches or warnings:

It’s best to avoid dust storms while driving, if you can: “Pull Aside, Stay Alive.” Pull off the road and move as far to the right as possible. Turn off the car and headlights and set the parking brake. Remove your foot from the brake pedal or other drivers may think you’re a car in motion. Never stop on the pavement.

Lightning is also a danger in our monsoon storms. Observe the following safety tips:

Floods can strike quickly and without warning. If evacuation is advised, know where to go, how to get there and what to take before a flood occurs. Remember the five P’s of immediate evacuation:

For longer evacuations, identify places where you could go in an emergency—to other family members, fire stations or Community buildings. Know alternate routes in case your route becomes blocked, and have everyone in the family agree on an evacuation and meet-up plan.

If your property regularly floods during the monsoon season, check with Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Public Works or the nearest fire station for the availability of sandbags.

Build a 72-Hour Kit to Prepare for Any Emergency

It’s smart to have at least two emergency supply kits: one full kit for your home and a second, portable kit for your workplace and/or vehicle.

The following items should be in a basic household emergency kit: