Monsoon season arrives: Ways to stay prepared this summer

Monsoon season has arrived in Arizona, and rain, strong winds and walls of dust could be on the horizon.

Many Valley residents are starting to prepare. A large amount of the sand bags at ACE Hardware are already gone as people stock up in case of emergencies.

"You don’t really know until it happens, but you may have a low area and the water is going to find it," said Scott Pearson, ACE Hardware manager.

At ACE, customers are buying up the sand bags as quick dams to protect from flooding, as well as items for their gutters.

Meanwhile, at Moon Valley Nurseries, people are preparing their plants and trees for the stormy season.

"We are trying to get our clients and everyone that has trees in their homes prepared for what’s about to come," said Sal Bracale, director of operations at Moon Valley Nurseries.

At the nursery, they say to prune trees to reduce weight and to take off any branches that are crossing out of the tree or any excess drooping branches.

"One big storm can knock it out," said Bracale. "It takes a long time to get that growth back."

After the first monsoon storms, stores see a big rush of customers trying to pick up sand bags, so officials say it's important to prepare now.

Preparing for a severe thunderstorm 

The American Red Cross' tips for preparing for a severe thunderstorm:

Put together an emergency kit.

Know your community’s evacuation plan.

Create a household disaster plan and practice it.

Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank radio

Discuss thunderstorm safety with members of your household. Be aware that a thunderstorm could produce flooding.

Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm. This should be a place where there are no windows, skylights, or glass doors, which could be broken by strong winds or hail and cause damage or injury.

Rain/flood safety tips

The American Red Cross' tips for heavy rain situations and flood safety:

Turn around don’t drown! If you must drive and you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and go another way.

If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.

Tune in to your local radio, NOAA radio, or news channels for the latest updates.

If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly.

Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe.

If power lines are down, do not step in puddles or standing water.

If power is out, use a flashlight. Do not use any open flame as alternate lighting.

You can check the latest weather conditions by visiting the FOX 10 Phoenix weather page, or download the Free FOX 10 Weather app, which is available on Apple iOS and Android.

More Arizona news

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news: