Sunday, July 22, 2012

Beat the Heat in AZ

Yesterday's Dust Storm surprised a few people from out of town, and the rain was a welcome break in the heat. While many people know that Arizona can see temperatures will in excess of 110 degrees during July. You probably don't know that during the month of June through September Arizona sees some pretty big storms we call the monsoon season. This means along with high temperatures, we periodically have massive dust and rain storms. This makes it really important to prepare for anything. 

When going out this week it will get hot, but with the proper protection it'll be no problem. Here are some easy tips to help.

Sunscreen is your friend! Make sure to apply sunscreen every time you want to go out and reapply often. About every two hours especially if you are swimming or sweating heavily. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher that guards against UVB and UVA rays.

Seek the Shade. Especially during the peak hours of the day from 10am to 4pm. At each venue, look for the shaded areas. We also provide tents at many of the sites. At Kino Aquatic Center there is covered setting for spectators along the pool. You should wear loose fitting close with long sleeves. Bring your own shade with a wide brimmed hat. Protect yourself and get a souvenir at the same time with a sombrero!

Water, Water, Water. Dehydration is an all too common occurrence in Arizona's warm, sunny, dry climate. Our wonderful sponsors have provided us with lots of bottled water so take advantage of it. Our bodies loose almost 10 cups of water a day and physical activity increases that number. If you think you might be dehydrated find help right away. Some symptoms include: Thirst, a dry sticky mouth, headache, rapid pulse, dizziness and lightheadedness, muscle weakness, sleepiness or fatigue, and dark-colored urine. Make sure to eat too! Eating food is an easy way for your body to get the water it needs. 

Dust storms are rare, even during the monsoon season but here's what you need to know!

Check the Weather forecast. (Stay inside) Find out before you venture outside if there is a chance of dust storms. If there are any storms, plan on staying indoors if possible. Dust storms happen fast, if the wind starts to pick and it gets dark, be careful you might be in a dust storm. 

Find Shelter. The easiest and safest thing to do during a dust storm is to go inside. The Hilton is great place to sit back be social while watching the storm go by. 

Bring Protection.  Bring water with you when you go out. Dust storms happen when it's hot and dry and you don't want to be stuck without water. If you are outside you want to protect yourself from flying objects, sand and dust particles. A mask and goggles work best for this. If you don't have these you can wrap a cloth tightly around your head to protect your eyes and ears.

When you’re Driving.  Do not try to out run a dust storm. If you find yourself stuck in one and the visibility drops below 300ft immediately pull of the road. If you can, pull into a parking lot. If you are on the highway exit if possible, if you can't move as far to the right as you can.  When stopped, turn off lights; set the emergency brake, and make sure the brake light is off. This will reduce the possibility of a rear-end collision. If you are unable to safely pull off the road, keep your headlights on, turn on your hazard lights, slow down, and proceed with caution, sounding your horn periodically. Use the highway's center-line to guide you if you can't see in front of you. Pull over at the nearest safe spot.

Last but not least we all love the rain but it's easy to forget how dangerous it can be.

Watch the Weather Forecast. Just like with dust storms, know ahead of time what the weather is going to be like that day. The safest place is always indoors. 

If you’re stuck outside. Find shelter immediately. Avoid open fields and power lines. 

When you’re Driving.  Slow down. Roads become slippery when water mixes with oil, dirt and grease making it harder to control a vehicle. Refrain from tailgating. Stopping distances are greater on wet, slippery roads. If your visibility is reduced just as in a dust storm, pull completely off the road. Never stop in the travel portion of the road. When you are stopped make sure your lights are off, lifting foot from the brake to ensure brake lights are not lit. This will prevent other drivers from following your taillights, thinking you are still on the road.

Flash Floods.  Do not drive in flooded areas! It only takes a few inches of rushing water to move a vehicle. It is always safer to wait or go around flooded areas than to try and go though one. 

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