Directorate of Public Works
As temperatures soar, New Mexicans turn their eyes to the sky in anticipation of the monsoon season, the time of year running from Late June to September when the sky blackens and thunder rumbles. But while the rain brings relief from the heat, it also brings danger.
Employees should be prepared for flash floods, lightning strikes, heavy rain, downburst winds, extreme heat, and wildfires. Power outages happen frequently due to lighting strikes and employees are advised to have an emergency kit at the ready.
Emergency kits should include:
•Water: one gallon per person, per day (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
•Food: non-perishable, easy to prepare (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
•Battery-powered or hand cranked radio
•First Aid kit
•Medications (7 day supply) and medical items
•Sanitation and personal hygiene items
•Copies of all personal documentation (medication list, passports, DD-214, insurance policies, etc.)
•Cell phone with chargers
•Candles and matches
If the power does go out on post, backup generators are in place to keep necessary operations running. However, it is advised residents and employees leave their refrigerators/ice-boxes closed, and to keep battery powered devices (clocks, radios) near in case power is not restored before cell phone and laptop batteries die.
In addition to power outages, flash floods are common during the monsoon season, and employees should be aware of running water. A sudden river cutting across a road may not look deep or powerful, but looks are deceiving, and travelers SHOULD NOT CROSS under any circumstance. Currents are deadly and vehicles can be swept away quickly and without warning. Because of WSMR’s remote location, help may not be immediately available to assist in vehicle recovery.
While the rain is a welcome relief from the summer heat, remember the monsoon season also poses a real danger. Keep your family and pets safe this rainy season; have a plan, have an emergency kit, monitor weather reports, and travel only when necessary in bad weather.