So, you’re getting ready to move to Arizona from a northern state or province and you want to know what to expect? This state is full of natural beauty and interesting culture, but the weather can be a bit of a shock for northerners. When you first arrive, you’ll probably love the incredible warmth of the sun in comparison to the freezing, icy place you just came from. However, as you’ll soon learn, Arizona has a few tricks up its sleeve. With that said, here are 10 things you must know before moving to The Grand Canyon State:

1. Be Prepared for Grueling Heat

Everyone knows Arizona is hot but until you’ve lived there for a large portion of summer, you really don’t know just how intense the heat can be. Temperatures start to rise in April and reach as high as 120° Fahrenheit or higher. People generally stay inside on these days and anytime the temp is over 100° you can easily burn yourself by touching a door handle, steering wheel, or any metal on your car.

2. You’ll Need a Long-Distance Moving Service

Scolding hot surfaces are just one reason why you may want to hire long distance movers to help you make your southward migration. A long-distance moving service will make the entire process a lot less stressful and will take a lot of the responsibility out of your hands. There are numerous services available that you can utilize, for example, Phillips Moving & Storage who regularly facilitate long distance moves from Toronto to Arizona and other nearby states. They also provide international moving services for people and companies looking to relocate to a different country. Philips Moving are one of the longest running companies of this type in Canada, so they have plenty of experience behind them to assist you.

3. The Storms Can Be Intense

Have you ever heard of a haboob? If not, you’re in for a somewhat unpleasant surprise. These destructive wind and sand storms are feared and disliked by many locals. Still, you can’t help but be in awe of the power and beauty of these storms as well. Every summer, the haboobs also bring flash floods that inundate roads and cause power outages.

4. Your Tap Water Will Need Ice or Refrigeration and a Filter

You will absolutely need to refrigerate or ice your tap water unless you like drinking warm water. “But I like drinking warm water,” said no person ever. It’s also worth noting that Arizona’s water is particularly hard, meaning it contains high levels of minerals like magnesium and calcium. Thus, you’ll want to buy a good water filter and change the filters slightly more frequent than the manufacturer’s recommendation.

5. Scorpions, Centipedes, Snakes, Oh My!

If you’re a northerner, chances are you’ve never lived anywhere with more creepy critters than Arizona. Scorpions are the most common, and they seem to sneak into your home regardless of what preventative measures you take. Centipedes and rattlesnakes are also found in abundance, as are lizards and other interesting reptiles.

6. Traffic is Heavy in the Winter

If you’re from a northern city like Toronto or New York City, you probably visited Arizona your first time to get away from the sub-zero winters of the north. When you stay there for an entire year, you get to see the contrast between road traffic in the summer and winter. There are hardly any cars on the road in the summer, while traffic jams are common in the winter.

7. There are Lots of Senior Communities

Arizona has so many 55+ communities, you could accurately call it the Senior Citizen State. Many northerners choose to retire here after spending most of their lives dealing with the discomfort of the cold. Of course, the cheap housing and year-round golfing are additional perks.

8. Your AC Bill is Going to Be Extremely High in the Summer

It can’t be that bad, right? Wrong. We’re talking $300-$500 utility bills just to keep your home at a modest temp of 75 degrees. Some people even sit in front of fans and spray themselves with water to reduce their dependency on their home’s AC system. The problem is, within minutes of stepping outside or away from the fan, you’re going to feel very, very hot.

9. Dust Gets Everywhere

When temperatures do start to cool down a bit, it can be tempting to open up the windows and let a fresh breeze in. While the air isn’t always dusty, there are days when your sinuses and lungs would thank you for staying inside and not opening the windows.

10. Dehydration is a Serious Concern

When it’s not raining, the air is usually extremely dry. It’s wise to keep plenty of water bottles, spray bottles, hand fans, and portable fans in your vehicle in case you run out of gas or break down on an unbearably hot day. In Arizona, going all day or even half a day without drinking is a horrible idea that could land you in the hospital.

The Grand Canyon Isn’t the Only Thing to See

Touring the Grand Canyon is great, but did you know that many of the guided tours have been reserved by so many people that you have to book more than a year in advance? Other notable nearby sights that you can tour immediately include Glen Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Petrified Forest National Park.