How to Stay Safe

Staying safe means being ready for whatever crisis comes your way. The better you prepare for life's emergencies, no matter what the size, the better you will be able to cope when the time comes. 

Below is a listing of major weather related issues that can cause severe emergencies in the Phoenix area. Each section provides tips on how to prepare ahead of time to help you keep safe.

Severe Heat 

While heat is not unusual for this time of year, severe heat is a serious health threat and even seasoned yearlong residents may be affected.  

When you hear that a heat advisory has been issued, it means that an extended period of excessive heat is expected. This is usually when temperatures are 110 degrees or above. This could create a situation in which heat related illnesses are possible.  Drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.  If possible stay indoors in an air-conditioned room or building.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside.  

Here are some tips:

  • Try and limit outdoor activities to the early morning or evening hours and drink plenty of water when working or playing outside.
  • Check the backseat.  NEVER leave children or pets inside a car for any amount of time.
  • If you have not run your home air conditioner yet this year.  Test it now before the heat sets in.
  • Check on neighbors who may be reluctant to use air conditioning early in the summer season.

For more information, read the Preparing for Hazardous Heat informational brochure.

Learn about the Phoenix Heat Relief Network. ​

Learn about the Heat Relief Regional Network.  
 
City of Phoenix Summer Respite Program Homeless need help staying cool in the summer.  When the temperatures soar and the hot summer days are upon us, many homeless people who live on the streets do not have their basic needs met.

For detailed weather forecasts for the Phoenix area, visit the National Weather Service website. 

Please stay up-to-date on the latest forecasts by listening to the weather radio on the public service band.  Also, you can check for more detailed information on the National Weather Service in Phoenix on the internet at www.weather.gov/phoenix.​

Monsoon Preparedness

Each year, a variety of weather related dangers affect Arizona, New Mexico and southwest Texas, especially from late spring into early autumn. Through a collaborative effort between National Weather Service offices serving the states of Arizona and New Mexico, which includes offices located in Tucson, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, El Paso/Santa Teresa and Midland/Odessa, the time period from June 15th through September 30th has been defined as "The Monsoon." A period of extreme heat is typically ongoing at its onset, which in the coming days or weeks is followed by an influx of moisture leading to daily rounds of thunderstorms. The heat is deadly in its own right, causing dozens of deaths in Arizona each year. In addition, thunderstorms present an array of hazards which often strike suddenly and with violent force. 

In Arizona and New Mexico, lightning strikes, high winds, wildfires, tornadoes, flash flooding and extreme heat have caused an average of 10 deaths and 60 injuries along with tens of millions of dollars of damage each year since 1995.  Road closures, as well as power and communication outages are additional consequences of monsoon weather hazards. 

Monsoon Safety Awareness Week is held each year with the goal to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and property damage caused by weather related dangers that occur during the monsoon. Through education about proper precautionary actions to be taken, lives can be saved and property losses can be minimized.

Warning Information for Monsoon Season

Armed with Doppler radars, powerful supercomputers, advanced weather satellites, automated weather and stream gages, and an advanced lightning detection network, forecasters at the National Weather Service are able to provide highly accurate severe weather warnings.

Advanced National Weather Service computer systems now allow warnings to be generated in seconds for highly detailed areas. Those warnings are then transmitted to the public, the media and emergency management officials via NOAA Weather Radio, the Emergency Alert System, and the Internet.

Television meteorologists play critical roles in the warning process. They relay National Weather Service warnings to the public and provide additional detail about the storms, what they are doing and where they are going. 

Weather Terminology — Understanding Watches, Warnings, and Advisories

  • Watches mean that widespread severe weather is possible.
  • Warnings (Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood, Dust Storm, or in rare cases, Tornado) mean that life-threatening weather is about to occur, or has been reported. Take action immediately.
  • Flood Advisories mean heavy rains will cause minor flooding of washes, streams, and typical flood-prone areas. Flooding in this situation is usually not serious. If the flooding does become life threatening, then the flood advisory is upgraded to a Flash Flood Warning.

Warnings are not issued for lightning, mainly because most thunderstorms, no matter how weak, produce deadly cloud-to-ground lightning.

The Office of Emergency Management coordinates the response and recovery activities of the city during a natural disaster.