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Playing It Safe When Dust Storms Strike The Valley

August 22, 2014 Hastings and Hastings

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.