Each year in the Southwest Desert we experience “Monsoon” activity during the summer from June 15 through to September 30. Monsoon is a defined season in Arizona, typically consisting of increased humidity, wind storms, dust storms and periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms. The weather can dramatically change from area to area. When traveling in Arizona, pay attention to forecasts for the area in which you will be traveling. At Karsten’s Ace Hardware, we always suggest some planning ahead for the Monsoon Season.

Preparing for Arizona monsoon season involves different areas of readiness. Being aware of weather forecasts on TV or the internet, listening to weather reports on radio or a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / US Department of Commerce) weather radio.

We suggest preparing a disaster supply kit in the event of severe weather conditions. The kit should contain essential items to sustain a family for up to 3-4 days. Please keep in mind, services such as electric, gas and water may be interrupted. We recommend 3 gallons of clean drinking per person and for each pet. Stock up on food that requires no refrigeration or cooking. Contact your physician for any medications that may be needed. Check batteries in portable radios, fire detectors and flashlights, ensuring that you have additional batteries for these items as well. Establish a first aid kit to cover the needs of your family and pets, complete with bandages, antiseptics, and general over the counter medicine like aspirin, antihistamine, and ibuprofen. Make sure to have your cell phones charged and you may want to purchase a battery backup device for your cell phone in case services are interrupted.

If rain or thunderstorms are forecasted and you must drive, check and replace any windshield wipers and also check that all lights are in working order. Your vehicle lights should be on, increase the distance between cars and reduce your speed with no sudden braking. Heavy rains can lead to flash flooding; TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN. It only takes 6 inches of water to displace a person and only 18 inches of water to carry away a vehicle. Avoid areas that are flooded such as storm drains, washes, canyons, and streams.

Home owners need to take some action during these times to protect their homes from flood waters and heavy rains. If at home during these storms, it is important to unplug electronics before the storm hits. Use a cordless phone or cell phone. Secure stored materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, tarps, water dams and lumber for protection from water. These supplies can be used to protect the home and to make quick repairs after these storms. Clean gutters and downspouts to prevent water pooling around the home. Remember the barn areas, as feed and hay may be damaged by the rain. Feed products should be protected with tarps and raised up off the ground. Loose feed should be placed in closed storage containers for protection.

During Monsoon Season, dust storms can be unpredictable (also called haboobs). Have a bandana handy to cover your nose and mouth under these conditions. If driving, you should pull aside and stay alive. Place your vehicle in park, turn off your vehicle’s lights, keep your seat belt fastened and wait for the storm to pass.

It is always wise to have a communication plan during these events. Have phone numbers available for utility providers, first responders and doctors. Share this plan with family members, co-workers, church and school. If you live in a flood-prone area, have an evacuation plan.

Monsoon awareness week is June 9 to June 14, so take this time to prepare for Monsoons and Haboobs and remember – when in doubt wait it out. To help you with your readiness plan please see the Karsten’s Ace Shopping List.

Karsten’s Ace Shopping List
Bottled drinking water
sku#9194945 -$5.59 per case
YETI cooler Roadie 20 sku#8399032-$249.99
Duracell Batteries
sku#34574 “C”- 4pack $9.99; sku#5977- “D”-2pack $9.99
First Alert fire detector w/9v battery
sku#5977368- $11.99
Vehicle replacement bulbs sku#82962-AMBER-$3.59; sku#85813 & sku#86788-CLEAR-$2.39
Cordless phone by VTECH sku#3391612-$19.99
Plastic sheeting, 15’x25’/ 375 sq ft /4mil
Phone charger-RAYVAC sku#3529591-$14.99
sku# 6267348 – $ 1 .99
(5) gal Bucket
Bucket lid
Flex seal Tape, clear
Flex seal Glue, white
Heavy duty Tarp 10’x12’ 8mil
Heavy duty Tarp 16’x20’ 5mil
Flashlight-COAST red, white and strobe
sku#3766128 -$36.99
Plywood -1/4” 4’x4’

DIY Corner brought to you by Karsten’s Ace Hardware. Karstensace.com