Monsoon season is fast-approaching and with it thunderstorm activity that will continue through September, during which more than half of Arizona’s yearly rainfall will occur. You and your family will be able to enjoy some great views of Arizona’s extreme weather, but it is also important to be aware that thunderstorms may result in alerts for flash floodinghigh winds, and lightning. This time of year also creates favorable conditions for dust storms, which can create hazardous driving conditions.

Standing water left from flooding can create increased risk for mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile Virus and Zika. People returning to flooded areas should protect themselves from mosquitoes by learning how to reduce the number of mosquitoes around their home and taking personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Flood impacted areas may promote mold growth , which can cause allergic reactions such as wheezing, sinus congestion, and difficulty breathing. Protect yourself from mold by cleaning it up as soon as you notice it in your home. Strong winds brought by thunderstorms can also damage power lines and cause power outages. Power outages and flood waters can also cause food safety concerns.

Monsoon Awareness Week begins June 11 through June 16, just in time for the start of the season.  The Awareness Week reminds us of steps we can take to keep our families prepared for monsoon weather. An initial way to get started is by creating a family emergency plan, learning how to receive weather alerts, and making an emergency kit. By taking these simple precautions you can help minimize unexpected situations.