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Before Arizona monsoon hits, have emergency kit handy

PHOENIX -- Monsoon Awareness week begins this week and national and state agencies are encouraging Arizona residents to gear up for severe weather.

The monsoon officially kicks off Saturday and ends Sept. 30. Thunderstorms, high winds, heavy rains, dust storms are not expected to start until early July.That leaves plenty of time to put together enough food and water to carry a household through 72 hours if the power goes out.

"With strong winds it is not uncommon for power to get knocked out for hours at a time or even days at a time," said Dan Leins with the National Weather Service. "So be prepared on the outside chance that something like that happens. It is a possibility."

Leins said emergency supplies should include a first-aid kit, radio, batteries, flashlight, among other items.

Pack a smaller 'go kit' with important documents, cash and phone charger in case of evacuation. Write communication and evacuation plans that identify a family meeting place, account for special needs and pets and include an out-of-town contact. Practice the plan.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Favorite news memory: The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges -- which was outstanding --, Lonesome Dove.

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, The University of Montana Grizzlies and Texas Rangers.

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.

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