Each year, a variety of weather related dangers affect the American Southwest. The time period from June 15 through September 30 is known as Monsoon season. A period of extreme heat is typically experienced which is followed by an increase of moisture that leads to daily thunderstorms. The heat is deadly on its own, causing more deaths than any other weather hazard in the region. In addition, thunderstorms produce a variety of hazards which often strike suddenly and with violent force. Lightning, high winds, dust storms and flash flooding are just a few of the typical monsoon hazards everyone must be mindful of.
Dust storms are an underrated killer in Arizona. Within seconds, visibility can completely disappear. If you get caught in a dust storm, please pull off the road as far as you can. Ensure all of your lights are off and put your vehicle into park. Apply the parking brake and remove your foot from the brake pedal. Other motorists tend to follow taillights in an attempt to make their way through the storm. For more information please visit pullasidestayalive.com.
Flash flooding is the number one thunderstorm-related killer. Most flash flood deaths occur in vehicles. If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising waters, please exit the vehicle and move to higher ground. Moving water, only 1-2 feet deep, will carry away most vehicles. Do not drive around barriers as they are placed for your protection. Be especially careful at night when water depth and road conditions are harder to see.
The best way to stay safe is to plan ahead. Ensure you are checking current weather forecast updates and staying inside when inclement weather is near. Supply kits are a great way to protect yourself in severe weather conditions. It is recommended that a household should have three gallons of water for each person and pet in the house; also a stock of food that does not require cooking or refrigeration. Portable and battery operated radios, flashlights and extra batteries should be readily available as well. Stay inside and avoid driving when at all possible.
For additional Monsoon safety tips and sandbag locations to help with flood protection, please visit surpriseaz.gov/monsoon.
The City of Surprise is hosting Free Chest Compression only CPR Classes on Wednesday, August 6 and Friday, August 8 from 9-11 a.m. or 2-4 p.m. at the Public Safety Building Auditorium, 14250 W. Statler Plaza, Ste 101. Registration is required in advance, so please call 623-222-5000 to enroll.
Arts HQ, located at 16126 N. Civic Center Drive, is showing an Arizona Broadway Theatre performance of Sister Act on Thursday, August 7 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. The cost is $11.95, and you must make a reservation. Please call 623-584-2626 or visit online at westvalleyarts.org.
WHAM, located at 16560 N. Dysart Road, is hosting a Poetry Slam on August 16 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. This is a free event that is open to the public. No registration is required, and everyone is welcome to participate or listen. For more information, please call 623-334-5271.
Sun City Grand residents are urged to obey traffic laws and restrictions. Please be mindful of your surroundings to help ensure a safe neighborhood!
I would like to invite all of my residents to attend one of my monthly chats. I meet the second Wednesday of each month from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the Arizona Traditions Classroom. Please ask the gate guard for directions upon arrival. Additionally, I meet the fourth Tuesday of each month in the Sun City Grand Palm Center-Mediterranean Room (19726 N. Remington Dr.) at 10:00 a.m. Please stop by and hear about what’s going on in the city and discuss any questions or concerns you may have.