At the mention of Goodyear people think of sunny skies, friendly neighbors, and warm days. Still, residents must be prepared for weather hazards and cascading impacts just like any other part of the country. A few major weather problems and how to stay safe during them are outlined below.
Flash Floods and Severe Storms
While the desert is primarily arid, the Phoenix metro has a monsoon season from June 15 -September 15. During these months, flash floods can become a very real danger for residents throughout the Valley. Brief, but heavy downpours can cause normally dry washes to swell with rapid water, storm drains can become overwhelmed and lead to street flooding, and storms can even sometimes produce funnel clouds. Below are a few key tips that everyone should remember in the event of severe weather.
- Prepare in advance. Create a kit with emergency supplies in case you need to shelter-in-place. for an extended amount of time. Also, create a "go-bag" for times you may be required to leave quickly. Visit ready.gov for guidance on these activities.
- Tune into news and information and heed storm warnings. Do not drive through running water, no matter how shallow you think it is. Six inches of water is enough to move a vehicle downstream. Also, if a tornado warning is issued, move to the basement or most inner part of your building, away from exterior walls and windows.
- Do not wade through water after a storm unless unavoidable. Water can contain debris, unhealthy waste or downed power lines.
Dust storms are regular occurrences in the Southwest desert. These storms have the potential to be extreme - winds can reach up to 60 mph and dust can rapidly reduce visibility to near zero. When they occur, there are a couple of basic safety measures you should take.
- Close air vents and windows when you are in the home or the car.
- If driving, pull off the road, turn off all vehicle lights, and remove your foot from the brake. (This is so vehicles behind you don't attempt to follow/tail brake lights.) Wait until good visibility returns before resuming travel.
Arizona can get hot! The City of Goodyear is no exception. During the summer months, temperatures will soar well above 100 degrees, creating a serious hazard. Being well-prepared and cautious in the summer is essential to avoiding heat-related illness. Below are a few safety tips that everyone should follow.
- Be sure to hydrate before, during, and after any time you spend outdoors.
- Plan your activities for the cooler parts of the day.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Children under 4 and adults over 65 are especially susceptible to heat-related illness.
- Never leave children or pets in vehicles for any reason, no matter how short a time span.
As with most storms or sever weather, the potential for power outages grows. Keep this in mind when you put together your emergency supplies kit. What would you need if the power went out for an extended amount of time? Where and how would you receive your information? How would you keep cool in the meantime? A little planning will go a long way, keeping an inconvenient power outage from becoming a personal emergency.