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Arizona prepares for monsoon season

Arizona residents develop evacuation plans during Monsoon Awareness Week
Arizona residents develop evacuation plans during Monsoon Awareness Week

This week kicked off a statewide event in Arizona known as Monsoon Awareness Week. The official season for the inclement weather falls between June 15 and September 30.

Arizona is well-known for its warm weather but that comes with a price of potential flash floods and dust storms. Citizens have to be ready for anything this summer.

"With strong winds it is not uncommon for power to get knocked out for hours at a time or even days at a time," National Weather Service's (NWS) Dan Leins told KTAR-FM. "So be prepared on the outside chance that something like that happens. It is a possibility."

Many of Arizona's public agencies are involved with Monsoon Awareness Week like the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM), Health Services, Insurance, Public Safety, Transportation and Water Resources. Their continuity of operations plan also received input from the Salvation Army and NWS.

Residents were told to create an evacuation plan that includes a meeting place and an out-of-state contact. It's imperative to practice evacuation protocols to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Having a premade emergency kit to fit a family's needs for 72 hours is also an important aspect of an evacuation plan. Items like nonperishable food, water, a first-aid kit, batteries, a flashlight, cash and important documents should be included, according to the White Mountain Independent.

Business continuity planning is more effective when all parties involved are informed of what they must do to keep themselves and those around them safe. Arizona's Monsoon Awareness Week is an example of a thorough plan. Evacuations vary from town to town, but table top exercises can assist local communities have successful ones.