The average starting date of the monsoon is this week, according to the National Weather Service. Mother Nature is taking notice as meteorologists are predicting “high humidity, cloudy skies and possible thunderstorms for the Valley this week.” As the monsoon envelops the Valley from July to September, being prepared and aware are essential for safety.
SRP offers Valley residents these summer safety tips:
• Be sure to have flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a phone readily accessible in case of a power outage.
• Maintain a first-aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications. Make sure items in the first-aid kit are in usable condition.
• Try to remain indoors during a storm.
• If caught outdoors, stay at least 100 feet from any downed power line.
• Never try to help someone trapped by a power line. The line could be energized and endanger your own safety. Instead, immediately call 911 for help. Then call SRP’s emergency number, (602) 236-8811, to report the incident.
• If a power line hits your car while you are in it, stay inside the car until professional help arrives.
• If your vehicle catches fire and you must leave it, avoid making contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Jump from the vehicle, landing with both feet together. Shuffle or hop away, keeping both feet in contact with each other until you are at least 100 feet from the vehicle. This may avoid making your body a ground path between energized and grounded areas or objects.
• Do not shower during a storm. Lightning can travel through pipes.
• Do not swim during a storm. Lightning can strike bodies of water.
• Lightning can travel through electric lines and damage electronic equipment. When practical, unplug the power cords to all electronic equipment to provide total protection from lightning-induced damage.
• To check for “real-time” updates during a power outage, customers can go to www.srpnet.com. Customers then can click on the “power outage map” link and scroll over the yellow pushpins to get information about affected areas, number of people impacted and expected time of repair. (Valley resident also can access the outage map from a smart phone or tablet.)
• To be alerted via email or text when your home is affected by an outage, customers can sign up for a notification on My Account. To learn more, visit www.srpnet.com and search “My Account.”
For more tips, visit www.srpnet.com/safety/storm. SRP routinely posts updates and outage information on Twitter and Facebook during major storms. To get connected, follow @SRPconnect on Twitter or “like” SRP’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/srpconnect. During a power outage, SRP customer service representatives can be reached 24 hours a day at (602) 236-8888.
The Salt River is officially open for business this summer, and has already received an astonishing amount of traffic from the community. It is important to be informed of the rules for safe recreation prior to visiting the river. In order to ensure an enjoyable and memorable experience with friends and family, I have compiled an excellent list of safety tips to remember and constantly enforce, while cruising down the river this summer and reduce the risk of personal injury.
It is critical to understand that the Salt River is located on an Indian Reservation, meaning that the tribe has jurisdiction for all suits against the Tribe. If an injury were to occur during your visit at the river, the homeowner responsible for the injured party would be liable and eligible to be sued. That is why the tips below are crucial to follow and understand to protect yourself and your friends from being sued.
I cannot stress enough the importance of regulating alcohol consumption and assigning the role of a designated driver to a specific person in the party. If a driver is pulled over after having been drinking, the fines can excel up to $2900, carry up to six months of jail time on the first offense and a two-year suspension of license. In addition, if a passenger is injured in an accident with a drunk driver, the DUI fines still apply with an additional liability for the driver to be sued by the passenger. All individuals in the car are in danger if a designated driver is not secured prior to alcohol consumption, and the result will be severely life changing.
Here are some tips to keep you injury free:
- Drink Water: While this may come across as an obvious piece of advice, it is imperative to drink an excessive amount of water while visiting and enjoying the Salt River. Arizona has already set heat records this season, thus staying hydrated will prevent health risks while experiencing all that the river has to offer.
- Wear Sunscreen: Salt River activities have been known to turn into an all-day event, even if a smaller amount of time had previously been allotted. Therefore, it is crucial to apply a generous amount of sunscreen and bring enough to the river to last all day.
- Bring Food: Not only is it important to eat a nutritious breakfast before heading to the river, it is necessary to pack portable snacks that will satisfy hunger while remaining under the sun.
- Water Shoes: Water shoes may not be the most attractive shields for your feet, but are essential in concealing your feet from all the underwater dangers that are not visible from the surface. Like they say, it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Bungee Cords: While traveling down the river, a bungee cord may become necessary if the party wants to keep all members together. Although it is a slow-moving river, currents can tend to pick up speed, causing tubes to separate if not previously tied together. It is recommended to tie-up with members of your group, so you do not get separated or injured. If you are not attached to others in your party, you have a higher chance of being flipped over or pulled under the rapids.
- Have a plan of action: In case you become separated from your party, have a meeting place set so you are not “stranded” in the heat, which could lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Thomas M. Richardson is an attorney and partner at Friedl Richardson Trial Lawyers in Phoenix. Friedl Richardson specializes in premise liability cases, as well as car accidents, bicycle accidents and dog-bite related injuries. For more information, please visit www.azrichlaw.com or call 602-553-2220.