Flash Flood Safety Tips

Flash Flood Safety Tips

Flash floods occur every year during the monsoon season that result in property damage, personal injury and loss of life. With that said, considering a few flash flood safety tips can go a long way in reducing the dangers associated with this often unexpected and quickly developing weather phenomenon. For example, staying fully aware of current weather conditions is one of the best ways to avoid the dangers associated with a flash flood.

Visibility Is Greatly Reduced

This simply means monitoring radio, television and the Internet for developing weather that may result in flash flooding. In addition, parents should always pay particular attention to where children are playing outdoors when a flash flood is imminent. Preventing children from playing near storm drains during heavy rain is essential to ensuring the safety of all involved. Flash flooding can even be more threatening at night or when visibility is greatly reduced. Always avoid being in areas that present the danger of flash flooding under these conditions.

Fast-Moving Water

Drivers should avoid low-water crossings and avoid driving around caution barricades that are intended to protect motorists from the dangers of flash flooding. In addition, drivers should never attempt to navigate a vehicle through areas that are already flooded. This is especially true where there is fast-moving water. Large volumes of fast-moving water that is deep can spell disaster for those in an automobile, truck or motorcycle. Campers should also be cautious when it comes to flash flooding by never camping at the bottom of a canyon or in a wash. These simple preventative measures can greatly reduce the chances of injury or property damage.

The Vehicle Should Be Vacated Immediately

Most importantly, drivers should never attempt to drive through flooded roadways. This is one of the surest ways to avoid the dangers associated with monsoon related flash floods. Another important consideration with regard to flash flood safety tips is to immediately seek higher ground and avoid areas that are subject to frequent flooding. Any time a vehicle is subjected to rising water, experts advise that the vehicle should be vacated immediately. Seeking higher ground is always the safest option in this regard, especially when a vehicle has been vacated. Careful route selection is another smart way of avoiding the dangers associated with flash flooding. Contact Hastings and Hastings for Phoenix personal injury legal assistance.

Monsoon Safety Tips For Residents Of Phoenix

Monsoon Safety Tips For Residents Of Phoenix

Monsoon season can be a dramatic and sometimes dangerous time of the year that usually requires adhering to a few good safety tips. While the residents of Phoenix often look forward to the moisture and water that comes with monsoons, they also know that there are some dangers associated with these massive weather conditions. For example, lightning, flash floods and dust storms are a common byproduct of a monsoon that can cause property damage and personal injury.

Monitoring The Internet And Tracking Weather

Perhaps one of the best tips with regard to avoiding the dangers associated with a monsoon is to simply stay abreast of current weather conditions. Watching TV, monitoring the Internet and tracking weather on a mobile device can go a long way in keeping everyone safe when the weather turns south. Perhaps most basic of all is to simply watch the sky for developing weather conditions while outdoors. Scanning the entire horizon before leaving home or some other safe location is one of the best policies that anyone living in the greater Phoenix metro area can adopt.

Improve The Chances Of Weathering The Storm

Another great tip for better dealing with monsoon season is to have some type of emergency kit or disaster kit prepared and available. When severe weather strikes, having a safety kit ready to go can greatly improve the chances of weathering the storm. A typical disaster supply kit should contain a few essentials. This includes water, food and extra clothing. Most importantly, there should be enough supplies to last a family for several days if electrical power, water or other utilities are interrupted.

Many Injuries Occur During A Monsoon

Typical supplies include having a backup power source, extra medication, a battery-operated radio, candles, flashlights, and a stock of food that is easily prepared without the necessity of cooking. In addition, a first aid kit and several gallons of clean fresh water in sealed containers should be considered a standard necessity. Planning ahead when it comes to monsoon safety tips for the residents of Phoenix is a smart and effective way to protect your family. It is also important to know that many injuries occur during a monsoon. If you have been injured through the negligence of another individual contact Hastings and Hastings for Phoenix personal injury attorneys that offer focused legal guidance.

What Is A Haboob?

What Is A Haboob?

This is a common question that is asked by those new to the southwest desert that are unfamiliar with the region’s unique climate. In short, a haboob is a type of dust storm that is often fast developing and intense. They are typically found in arid regions and can cause disruption in normal daily activity for many people. For example, when a haboob is present airlines have been known to cease operation, and driving a car can become difficult to impossible.

Move Swiftly Through A Region

In the simplest terms, a haboob is the result of a large volume of cold air that creates a down burst or downdraft. When this large volume of air reaches the ground it causes dirt, clay and loose silt to quickly rise creating a massive wall of dust. These giant dust storms can range in size from just a few miles to up to 60 miles wide. Their elevation can be quite impressive with some reaching over a mile in altitude. Often occurring with little to no warning, a haboob can move swiftly through a region reaching speeds of up to 60 mph.

Traveling By Car

From closing airports to causing serious traffic problems, these powerful and destructive dust storms can have a big impact on a region. Those traveling by car, motorcycle or truck and even pedestrians should be cautious when one of these unsuspecting storms approaches. Many automobile accidents have occurred as a result of a sudden haboob. In fact, because visibility is so greatly reduced, the chances of a vehicular accident rise dramatically.

Visibility Approaches Near Zero

One of the best ways to avoid being involved in some type of accident or becoming injured when a haboob occurs is to stop driving or move indoors as quickly as possible. Pulling over to a safe location until the storm passes is typically the best option for drivers. In addition to being involved in a vehicular accident, pedestrians can also easily be struck by a vehicle when visibility approaches near zero. Taking precautions, being safe and avoiding accidents is best achieved by avoiding travel when storms are present. Many people are injured each year when a haboob appears out of nowhere. Contact Hastings and Hastings if you have been injured in a vehicular accident that is the result of someone else’s negligence.

Simple And Obvious Safety Tips When A Haboob Strikes

Simple And Obvious Safety Tips When A Haboob Strikes

Arizona is known for beautiful and delightful weather year round, however there are certain times of the year when weather events can create hazards. One such example is when monsoon season approaches and windstorms result in severe dust storms. With that said, following a few simple and obvious safety tips when a windstorm or haboob strikes can greatly reduce the chances of being injured or having property damaged.

Keeping Seatbelts Fastened

While there are many essential safety considerations when a windstorm is present, such as not stopping in the middle-of-the-road, there are a few less common safety essentials that are worth noting. For example, keeping seatbelts fastened in a vehicle while waiting out a storm is a smart way to increase safety. High-speed winds that are violent and abrupt can cause a vehicle to move about and even turn upside down in some rare cases. Stay safe by always keeping seatbelts fastened even when a vehicle is turned off and parked.

Stay Away From Doors And Windows

Another great safety tip that is very obvious yet sometimes overlooked is to never stand outdoors while a dust storm is in progress. This is a sure way to become seriously injured in a violent haboob. Not only is it a good idea to avoid being outdoors during a dust storm, it is also wise to stay away from doors and windows. Wind speed in a haboob can approach the speeds found in some of the world’s most dangerous hurricanes. These high-speed winds can lift large objects and hurl them through windows causing injury or loss of life.

Using Common Sense And Being Cautious

Homeowners should also make it a point to stay on the ground floor and at the center of any structure, preferably in a room with no windows to ensure the greatest degree of safety. Avoiding broken glass, flying projectiles and the effects of sandblasting is best achieved by following this simple strategy. While every windstorm is different, the end results can ultimately be the same. Severe damage, severe injury and even loss of life are frequent in these dangerous weather conditions. When a haboob strikes, using common sense and being cautious in all respects can go a long way in preventing damage and injury. Contact Hastings and Hastings for Phoenix personal injury legal assistance anytime there has been injury or loss of life.

Image credit: Daniel Bryant

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Lightning Storm Safety Tips

Lightning Storm Safety Tips

Phoenix Arizona is a beautiful and inviting part of the country that everyone should experience at some time or another. However, the area does experience severe weather conditions that can have a big impact on overall safety. For example, monsoon season brings with it many violent thunderstorms that have the potential to produce a tremendous amount of lightning. As such, those involved in a lightning storm should always remember that there is no place outside that can be considered safe when it comes to a lightning strike.

Serious Injury Due To Lightning

Seeking shelter indoors and remaining indoors is always the safest option when dealing with lightning. It is also important to note that lightning can often strike dozens of miles away from an actual storm. Never underestimate the potential of a monsoon related thunderstorms to cause serious injury due to lightning. These simple safety tips are worth considering with regard to lightning. For example, avoiding touching any type of wiring when a thunderstorm is present.

Lightning Propagating Through Telephone Lines

In addition, those who must use a telephone during a thunderstorm should only use cordless phones or cell phones. Phones that have a cord can be dangerous and even life threatening when thunderstorms are present. There have been cases where people have been seriously injured or where loss of life has occurred due to lightning propagating through telephone lines. It is also a good idea to avoid any type of water indoors when lightning is in the area. Showers, tubs and even toilets where water is present can easily conduct lightning generated electricity.

Seek Medical Attention As Quickly As Possible

Staying proactive with regard to thunderstorms can greatly reduce the chances of injury and the damage associated with lightning. For example when thunderstorms are expected to be in the area it is always a good idea, as a preventative measure, to unplug all electronic devices. This should be done long before the storm approaches. Most important of all is when someone has been struck by lightning to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Calling 911 as soon as injury occurs can improve the chances of someone surviving one of these devastating events. Contact Hastings and Hastings for Phoenix personal injury legal guidance and assistance if you have been involved in an accident that was no fault of your own.

Safety Tips For Homeowners When Dealing With A Flash Flood

Safety Tips For Homeowners When Dealing With A Flash Flood

It seems that monsoon season arrives right on schedule each and every year in the desert southwest. While these massive rainstorms can bring much-needed relief in terms of moisture and water, they can also cause serious property damage and personal injury due to flash flooding. As such, there are a few safety tips that homeowners should consider when being confronted with a flash flood.

Never Underestimate The Potential Of Water

While municipalities do a good job of alerting homeowners to the potential for a flash flood these weather related events can often be unexpected and can indeed develop very quickly. Torrential rain and heavy downpours can result in massive amounts of water that has no place to go. When this happens runoff conditions create a dangerous scenario that may cause injury and even loss of life. Because this is often the case it is important for those experiencing flash flood conditions to never underestimate the potential of water to cause damage, injury and death.

A Flash Flood Event

Those that live in an area that is prone to flash floods should have an evacuation plan available and accessible at all times. In addition, homeowners should store materials that can be used during a flash flood event. This includes everything from plastic sheeting and sandbags to other construction materials that can be used to protect the occupants of a building from floodwaters. With that said, it is always important to store items above expected flood levels. In addition to being stored high and away from water these items should also be adequately secured so they do not simply float away.

Reduce The Impact Of Property Damage

Another important safety tip that is essential to ensuring the safety of everyone is to seek high ground as quickly as possible when the onset of a flash flood is imminent. Other preventative measures can also be implemented long before a flash flood occurs. This includes talking with your insurance company with regard to acquiring flood insurance coverage. Homeowners should know that flood losses are not typically included in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Staying proactive in this regard can greatly reduce the impact of property damage caused by severe flooding. Contact Hastings and Hastings for Phoenix personal injury legal assistance when you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.

Avoiding The Negative Effects Of Monsoon Generated Dust Storms

Avoiding The Negative Effects Of Monsoon Generated Dust Storms

Monsoon season comes around each year right on schedule and with it comes many undesirable weather events that can easily be avoided. One example of this is the all too frequent dust storm that occurs throughout the Valley almost every year. Dust storms or haboobs as they are sometimes referred to as can create serious personal injury and property damage. The good news is that there are ways to avoid the negative effects of dust storms.

Internet And Mobile Devices

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to better deal with dust storms in Arizona is to simply stay proactive when it comes to monitoring weather conditions. Frequently checking news broadcasts and listening to the radio as well as monitoring Internet and mobile devices can go a long way in knowing well in advance when a dust storm is developing. By having adequate foreknowledge, it is easier to avoid the dangers associated with violent dust storms. One of the easiest ways to avoid the negative effects of a dust storm is to stay in your existing location until the storm dissipates or passes completely.

A Vehicle Should Be Put Into Park

Those driving in a vehicle that encounter a haboob or dust storm should know that pulling over is one of the best ways to stay safe during this type of weather events. Pulling as far off the road as is possible is always the best way to avoid an unexpected collision. Drivers should turn off all internal and external vehicle lights so as to further avoid collision. In addition, a vehicle should be put into park and the parking brake should be set. This helps to avoid the potential of other motorists impacting a vehicle that they believe to be driving along the road.

Reducing Visibility In A Matter Of Seconds

Dust storms are a fact of life in Arizona, but that does not mean that the residents of the state must experience the negative effects associated with these costly storms. Greatly reducing visibility in a matter of seconds, dust storms can also result in multicar pile-ups and serious vehicular accidents. Even pedestrians are prone to the dangers associated with automobiles when dust storms are present. Contact Hastings and Hastings for Phoenix Arizona personal injury law if you have been injured due to the negligence of another individual.

Playing It Safe When Dust Storms Strike The Valley

Playing It Safe When Dust Storms Strike The Valley

Dust storms are a frequent occurrence in the arid southwest desert and can cause considerable damage, health-related concerns and accidents. These often-unexpected dust storms are also known as haboobs. While this may sound like a funny word, it is actually Arabic in origin and its simply translated into the word “blown.” Very traumatic in nature, these dust storms can rise for miles and span dozens of miles in width.

Immense And Intimidating

In the simplest of terms, a haboob is the result of gale force winds flooding out of a collapsing thunderstorm that is in its final stages of development. High-speed cold air moving out of a storm with great velocity can pick up a huge amount of sand and dust and create a wall of debris that is immense and intimidating. When this happens visibility drops to near zero as sunlight is completely blocked. This is a big concern for those traveling in a vehicle or even in an airplane.

Massive Dust Storms

Airport closure is a common occurrence when a windstorm of this magnitude appears unexpectedly. There are some safety precautions that residents of the Valley can take when confronted with one of these massive dust storms. For example, seeking shelter as quickly as possible is perhaps one of the most important first steps in staying safe during a haboob. Getting caught outside can result in serious injury where flying debris, rocks and sand can deliver a powerful blow. With winds blowing well over 50 mph, the damage and injury potential is quite substantial.

A Storm Of This Nature Can Linger For Several Days

While there are many negative effects associated with a dust storm of this type, reduced air quality can have a wide range of effects on those with respiratory problems. Young and old alike can experience serious breathing related issues when confronted with a haboob. Perhaps most troubling is the fact that the effects of a storm of this nature can linger for several days. Those driving a vehicle should always pull off the road and turn off the vehicle’s engine. Waiting for visibility to improve is one of the best ways to avoid being involved in some type of accident when a windstorm is in the area. Contact Hastings and Hastings if you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another individual.

Windstorm Or Haboob Safety Tips Worth Considering

Windstorm Or Haboob Safety Tips Worth Considering

The desert southwest of the United States experiences a monsoon season each year that can cause abrupt and dangerous windstorms. With that said, there are a few sensible safety tips worth considering when a windstorm or haboob strikes the valley. For example, those traveling in a vehicle when one of these storms strikes should simply pull off of the road before reduced visibility and high winds become an issue.

Waiting Out The Storm

Most importantly, when pulling over to wait out a windstorm it is important to turn off the vehicle’s headlights and interior lights. This is a smart strategy because it lets other drivers know that you are not driving. If another driver perceives your vehicle to be driving they could try to follow and ultimately impact your vehicle. When waiting out the storm it is always a good idea to remain in the vehicle with your seatbelts fastened to ensure the highest level of safety.

Turning Off The Air Conditioning

Equally important while waiting out a dust storm in a vehicle is to close the air vents as a way to prevent dust, dirt and other debris from entering the vehicle. This can cause serious respiratory problems for everyone especially the young and elderly. Keeping all windows rolled up will further help to prevent respiratory related problems. For those that are inside a building during one of these massive weather displays – you should close the doors, blinds, curtains and windows for the same reasons. As with a car, turning off a home air conditioning or business air-conditioning system and closing vents will further protect the occupants of a building.

Dangerous And Lethal Electrical Threats

When storms increase in intensity and become increasingly severe it is vital to seek shelter in a protected room that does not have windows. Anyone that has ever experienced a hurricane knows that high-speed winds can pick up large objects and drive them through a window causing severe damage and injury. Those experiencing a massive windstorm can expect power outages and other types of similar disruptions. As an added note, any time a power line is down, it is important to avoid coming into contact with these dangerous and lethal electrical threats. Contact Hastings and Hastings for Phoenix personal injury lawyers that help those that have been injured due to someone else’s negligence.

Preventing Accidents When Riding A Bicycle

Preventing Accidents When Riding A Bicycle

Being a safer bicycle rider is best achieved through the careful consideration of some essential and important safety tips. For example, one of the most basic of safety tips with regard to being a cyclist is to always ensure your bicycle is in perfect condition and functioning properly. Checking to make certain all parts are tight and tire pressure is correct can reduce the chances of an accident. Other important considerations include checking to make sure the lights work correctly and that the brakes and chain are all in good condition.

Bicycle Riders Always Maintain A Defensive Stance

In addition, following traffic laws and using safety hand signals can further reduce the chances of an unintended accident. This combined with choosing less congested traffic routes can make for a more enjoyable and far safer bicycling experience. Equally important is to ensure that bicycle riders always maintain a defensive stance. This simply means knowing there are many instances where a motor-vehicle driver simply cannot see a bicyclist. Being a defensive cyclist is best achieved by leaving nothing to chance with regard to sharing the road with motor vehicles.

Poor Conditions Can Result In Catastrophic Injuries

Other safety tips often overlooked with regard to riding a bicycle include not wearing loose clothing and being cautious when riding in wet weather. Loose clothing can be very dangerous when riding a bicycle. This type of clothing can get caught in bicycles gears or even a bicycle chain. Riding in wet weather where roads are slick or icy can result in catastrophic injuries. Choosing where you ride but also the type of weather you ride in can make a big difference in how safe a cycling experience actually is.

Rocks And Potholes

Cyclists should also make certain they always have both hands firmly gripped on the brakes to ensure they can be applied quickly and decisively when necessary. Cyclists should also keep a watchful eye out for various types of road hazards such as obstacles, rocks and potholes. All this combined with wearing bright reflective gear can greatly enhance safety for cyclists of all ages. Contact Hastings and Hastings any time you have experienced injuries due to a Phoenix bicycle accident that was the result of someone else’s negligence.

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