It's monsoon; be safe - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

It's monsoon; be safe

Sheriff's office offers advice

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Posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 11:00 pm

Monsoon has arrived, and with it, suggestions from the Pima County Sheriff's Department on ways to stay safe.

If a person is at home during a monsoon, there are some things that can be done to stay safe:

• Turn off all unnecessary electrical equipment to decrease the draw on power companies;

• Keep extra batteries, a working battery-powered radio, and flashlights handy;

• Stay off the phone. Even cordless phones can cause a shock if lightning strikes nearby. Use cellular phone in an emergency only;

• Stay away from plumbing fixtures including showers, baths and sinks. Lightning can travel through metal pipes.

If a person is caught outdoors during a monsoon, here are some safety tips:

• Take signs reading, "Do not cross when flooded" seriously. All caution signs should be observed and respected. Even if the water rushing across the road or wash looks shallow, it may very well be so deep that even a high clearance vehicle will get stuck and require emergency intervention;

In Arizona, under the so-called "Stupid Motorist Law," municipalities and rescue agencies can charge people up to $2,000 for the cost of being rescued if they fail to observe posted warnings and enter flooded washes. The driver may also be cited for reckless driving.

• If driving, slow down;

• If visibility is impeded by heavy rain, slowly and safely pull off the road until it is safe to proceed. If driving in a dangerous storm, find somewhere to safely park the vehicle. A parking lot might be a good choice to wait out a storm.

• To avoid being struck by lightning, stay away from open fields, high land, trees, poles, other tall objects and standing bodies of water, including swimming pools.

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