Each year, a variety of weather related dangers affect Arizona. In addition, dust storms present an array of hazards which often strike suddenly and with violent force. Through education about proper precautionary actions to be taken, lives can be saved and property losses can be minimized. With the monsoon season in full swing, it’s important for seniors to protect themselves and practice caution. Here are 4 monsoon safety tips for seniors to remember as the summer storms roll in.

1) Plan ahead The best way to avoid lightning, flash floods, and other dangerous conditions is by not being in danger in the first place. Many ways are available to gain weather information including watching current weather forecasts on TV or online, listening to weather reports on the radio, subscribing to lightning and severe weather notification services, and scan the skies 360 degrees around and overhead before leaving a safe location.

2) Watch the weather: It’s important for older adults to plan ahead by watching the current weather forecasts on TV, the internet or the radio for weather updates before you even leave the house. Also, make sure the severe weather notifications are enabled in your cellphone settings so as to receive warnings when you’re unable to access this information while you travel.

3) When thunder roars, go indoors: Lightning kills an average of 125 people annually in the United States and injures more than 500 according to the American Red Cross. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. So when thunder roars, go indoors. While indoors, older adults should unplug expensive electronics as soon as possible and only use a corded phone in case of emergency.

4) Driving in dust storms Huge gusts of wind in any thunderstorm can lift huge clouds of dust and reduce visibilities to near zero in seconds, which can quickly result in deadly, multi-vehicle accidents on roadways. If you encounter a dust storm and cannot avoid driving into it then pull off the road as far as you can safely do so. Turn off your headlights and taillights. Put your vehicle in "PARK," and/or engage your parking brake. Stay where you are until the dust storm passes.

Taking additional safety steps during the Arizona monsoon season could save your life and the lives of others. Please remember and share these 4 monsoon safety tips for seniors and stay safe! For more senior safety tips or if you’re an Arizona retiree looking to buy or sell your home, contact Sharon Mason.