Severe Weather

 

SEVERE WEATHER WATCH OR WARNING:
  • Listen to the National Weather Service alerts at KTAR 92.3 FM or KEC94, Phoenix VHF Frequency 162.550.
  • Weather Watch - Is issued by the National Weather Service when severe weather conditions are possible in the area.
  • Be prepared to respond if weather conditions worsen.
  • Weather Warning - Is issued when sever weather has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.  If severe weather warning is issued for your area, move to your designated area.
 
FLOODING:

Flood Preparedness:

  • Check nearby storm drains to ensure they are clear of debris.
  • Move furniture, valuables to higher ground.
  • Secure or bring in outdoor furniture.
  • Unplug appliances - do not touch wet electrical equipment.
  • Fill jugs with clean water in case water supplies become contaminated.
  • Place sandbags in and around all outside doors and thresholds.  Sandbags can be obtained from your local county government. (Sandbag locations)

 

Flood Response:

  • If told to evacuate, do so quickly.
  • Avoid downed power lines.
  • Do not drink tap water.
  • Leave low-lying areas immediately.
  • If driving in low-lying areas or if your car stalls in rapidly rising water, get out of the car and seek higher ground immediately.  Flood water has more force than you think.
  • Stay away from storm drains and irrigation ditches.
  • Police/construction barricades are for your protection.  Do not drive through or around them.
  • Walking or driving through flood water is very dangerous.
 
LIGHTNING/THUNDERSTORMS:
  • Go inside immediately and stay away from windows, water, faucets, sinks, bathtubs, and telephones.  Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightening.
  • If you are in your car, stay there.
  • Turn off and unplug TV's, computers, and other appliances.
  • If outside, stay away from tall trees, open fields, water, or metal objects.  If you are caught in an open space or field, crouch low to the ground, but do not lie flat.
 
HEAVY WINDS, TORNADOES, MICROBURST'S:
  • Go to a safe place immediately and protect yourself under a sturdy object.
  • Go to a bathroom, closet or interior hallway in the center of a building on the lowest floor.
  • If outside, lay flat in a ditch or low-lying area with your hands protecting your head.
  • If you are in a car or mobile home, get out and find shelter in a ditch or other low-lying area.
 
DUST STORMS:
  • If dense dust is observed blowing across or approaching, pull your vehicle off the roadway as far as possible, stop, turn off lights, set the emergency brake, take your foot off of the brake pedal to be sure the tail lights are not illuminated.
  • Do not enter the dust storm area if you can avoid it.
  • If you cannot pull off the roadway, proceed at a speed suitable for visibility, turn on lights and sound horn occasionally.  Us the painted center line to help guide you.  Look for a safe place to pull off the roadway.
  • Never stop on the traveled portion of the roadway.

If Stranded in Your Vehicle;  Stay with the Vehicle.   Put up windshield sun shade, if available.  Beware of carbon monoxide and oxygen starvation; keep fresh air in the car by keeping a down wind side window slightly open for ventilation.  Tying a bright colored cloth to your radio antennae can help alert rescue personnel to your presence.

As a general rule of thumb, any time between April and October, make a special point of keeping vehicle in good operating condition and do not let your fuel drop below the 50% mark on your gas gauge.  If you have a cell phone, carry it with you, an adapter to plug it into the car cigarette lighter for additional power is also highly recommended.  Keep a survival kit in the vehicle, even during mild weather.

 
EXTREME HEAT:
  • Avoid strenuous activities on hot days; rest often in shade.
  • Limit activities to the coolest parts of the day (4:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.).
  • If active between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., drink at least one quart of water every hour.
  • Stay in air conditioned areas, if possible.
  • If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, away from sunshine, and go to a publicly air conditioned area during the hottest part of the day.
  • Have a buddy system where relatives, neighbors, and friends check on each other.
  • Wear lightweight, light colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water often to help keep your body cool.
  • Drink plenty of water often, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, which worsen the affects heat has on your body.
  • Never leave an infant, child, or pet left unattended in parked vehicles.
  • Eat small meals often.
  • Avoid foods that are high in protein or salt.
  • Avoid using illicit drugs (such as cocaine, amphetamines, and methamphetamines).
  • If your heart begins to pound, or if you become light headed, confused, weak or faint, STOP ALL ACTIVITY!!  GET ASSISTANCE IMMEDIATELY!!


Heat-related illness signs and symptoms:

  • Thirst: By the time your body tells you that you are thirsty, you are already mildly dehydrated. 
  • Heat Cramps:  Are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion.  They usually involve the abdominal muscles or the legs.  The loss of water and salt from heavy sweating causes the cramps.
  • Heat Exhaustion:  Is less dangerous than heat stroke.  It typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a warm, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating.  With heat exhaustion, sweat does not evaporate as it should, possibly because of high humidity or too many layers of clothing.  As a result, the body is not cooled properly.  Signals include cool, moist, pale, flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion.  Body temperature will be near normal.
  • Heat Stroke: Or sunstroke...is life threatening.  The victim's temperature control system, which produces sweat  to cool the body, stops working.  The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.  Signals include hot, red, dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid weak pulse; and rapid shallow breathing.