The absolute best part of the entire year is on our horizon. Frankly, it’s the redeeming factor in dealing with our infamously scorching Arizona summers. That’s right, I’m talking about monsoon season. There is something about that sweet smell of the warm rain on the Arizona desert that cannot be described or duplicated anywhere else. As those characteristic black clouds roll in from the north, you can literally feel the electricity brewing as the wildest light show in the world builds right over the Phoenix area.
Apart from the searing heat of July and August, our Monsoon season is the closest thing to a natural disaster in this area. We may not have to worry about tornados, hurricanes, volcanoes, or earthquakes over a 2 on the Richter scale, but the repercussions of a big monsoon storm have been known to be pretty serious.
It’s always better to be prepared. Here are a few things you should have good-to-go as soon as you feel that electricity stirring. Then you can just sit back and enjoy the show.
Prep Your Apartment:
- Double check that all of the seals on your window are still doing their job. Throughout the years the calking tends to get a bit crunchy and chewed up by the summer sun. This also allows you the opportunity to be sure none of your air conditioning is escaping as well!
- If you notice a gap, however small under your doors separating your indoor space from your outdoor space, be absolutely sure to have this addressed. You can ask your landlord to install a water guard to extend the door all the way down to its proper location, the floor!
- Take a look around at all of your electrical outlets; is everything connected via a surge protector? A lightening strike may hit your apartment complex, a power line may be knocked down by wind or who knows what else. Picking up a few of these handy guys for just a few bucks is a great idea, especially if you don’t feel like replacing your fried TV, computer, or other electronics after a storm.
- Stock up on candles, lighters and flashlights. It’s inevitable that the power will go out at least once a year. If you’re not lucky you may experience it during the day, but our storms typically hit at night and it gets pretty dark in those apartments!
- Have extra water stock piled like it’s 1999. No power means, no air conditioner, which means it will be extremely hot in your apartment in no time flat.
Prep Your Car:
- Replace your windshield wipers. You don’t even need to test them, just replace them. The sun will be doing its best to fry them to a rubbery crisp this summer. It’s best to start the season fresh.
- The next time you take your car for an oil change, have your brakes and tires inspected. Rainy weather in Arizona completely freaks out drivers. It’s so bad that they seem to act like the sky is falling and suddenly have forgotten how to control their cars. Additionally the residual oils deposited on the asphalt builds up throughout the dry weeks and will make the roads incredibly slippery the moment the first drop of rain hits the road. Avoiding accidents in a monsoon storm means you’ll need to be able to stop, and stop fast!
- Double-check your spare tire. A flat spare will do nothing for you except frustrate you for having to change two tires.
Living as a true Phoenician means we are pretty good at taking the good with the bad. Sure our winter months are mind-blowingly beautiful, but we have the summer and the lack of a spring or fall to deal with. In the same way we have to take monsoon season in the same fashion. Just be prepared and there will be no worries!