Do you remember that scene in the movie Independence Day when the space ships arrived hiding in a dark and gloomy cloud? Well, although there are most likely no alien invaders hiding behind them, the sight of a Haboob dust storm can often bring similar trepidation and can actually lead to accidents and potential property damage. The fact is that living in Arizona comes a hand full of potential weather-related risks – and among the most frightening is the Haboob Dust storm.
In order to become better prepared to handle a Haboob – and the clean-up that follows directly after these violent wind storms approach, here are a few important Haboob dust storm tips that you should be aware of to keep you safe when living in Arizona during Haboob season.
Always Be Prepared on the Road for a Haboob Dust Storm to Arrive
A Haboob dust storm can literally come out of nowhere and surprise you. And quite often, the people who are impacted worse by these huge dust storms are those who are traveling on the road and become caught up in the enormous cloud of blowing dirt and debris. This is why if you live in Arizona or arid areas in the United States, you should be prepared to live through a Haboob while inside your car.
Here are a few important items you need to have in stock at all times in case you happen to drive upon a Haboob.
1) Always keep a dust brush and a few bottles of water in the back of your car. If you’re stuck in a Haboob it is quite possible that the tremendous amount of dust and debris can find itself clogged inside your car’s critical components. After the Haboob passes, simply take your dust brush and make sure your engine cover, hood, and vents entering the car are brushed off and free of debris. Then, pour a bit of water onto the windshield and the vents to keep them clear – before starting your car. This will allow your car and you to breathe easy after a Haboob passes.
2) Always keep a flashlight. You’ll want to have light to see inside your car or to warn others of your presence in case the Haboob lingers.
3) Make sure you keep a blanket. Just like any emergency pack, sometimes if you’re on the road and a Haboob strikes, your car won’t start – due to the amount of dust and debris.
If you’re at home and a Haboob strikes, here are a few safety tips you should consider:
1) Make sure you close all doors and windows.
2) Turn off your AC unit or HVAC system. This will ensure that the system does not suck in extensive debris and dirt during the Haboob dust storm.
3) When it has passed, take a broom and brush off your outside HVAC system and any outside vents you can reach. This will again reduce the amount of dirt that enters your home’s filtration system.
A Haboob dust storm can be a very dramatic and scary weather related event. However, as long as you are prepared – both on the road and at home, you’ll find it much easier to survive these powerful dust storms with as little damage and stress possible. Once the storm is over contact an indoor air quality specialist in Scottsdale to see how to prevent dust and debris from entering your home in the future.