Yuma, Arizona - This week mark’s the official start of “Monsoon Season” here in the desert southwest (officially June 15-Sept. 30, according to the National Weather Service). Some of the weather related hazards that could be encountered are Flash Floods, Lightening, Downburst Winds, Blowing Dust, and Excessive Heat. Sudden and intense storms can also down power lines and cause power outages.

Always treat any power lines as if they were live. Don’t touch them! Leave that to the experts. Even if a line is not charged at that moment, it could become live without warning. A common time for lines to be down would be during or after storms. Puddles or flowing water expand the area of danger, so be sure to stay well clear of them. Instead of stepping over them, go all the way around.

If power is out, intersections may be dark and the traffic control lights may not be working. If that is the case, approach the intersection with caution and treat it as if it was controlled by four way stop signs. It is not just a good safety procedure, it is the law!

Many traffic accidents seem to occur during or just after a rain storm. Roadways are slick and you need more room to stop. So slow down and use extra caution. Visibility is also reduced. Have you inspected your windshield wipers lately? Heat and direct sunlight can quickly age your wipers. Old and worn wipers can make visibility worse instead of better.

The time to make our personal and family plans/preparations are BEFORE the emergency occurs. For more about Monsoon Awareness Week and Monsoon Safety, check with the NWS at: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/psr/pns/2016/June/MonsoonAwarenessWeek.php

For more information about this topic and other fire and injury prevention classes we offer, contact the Yuma Fire Department Public Information Office at 928-373-4855,