PICKENS COUNTY — Feeling a little “outdoorsy” this summer? While that usually promises a good time, it’s important to keep in mind that weather patterns can be extreme at this time of year, introducing new — and unexpected — safety hazards.
Prepare for the Heat
When planning a day outdoors, most people remember to pack items such as sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. However, summer heat can be dangerous if you’re not prepared, so consider the following: make sure your vehicle’s air conditioning is in good working order well before a trip, have a rain umbrella on hand to shield you from the sun, as well as frozen water bottles and instant cold packs that can help cool you down quickly.
Lastly, make sure you have plenty of water on hand when traveling with children and pets and be sure to keep them out of unattended cars where temperatures can quickly reach fatal levels.
Know What’s Coming
Before heading to the pool or packing that picnic lunch, check the weather report to make smart decisions about where the day will carry you.
In the modern day world of digital technology, there are plenty of apps that allow for 24/7 access to accurate weather information.
Available on both iOS and Android, weather apps can help users prepare for intense heat, lightning, beach hazards and flooding prior to summer travel, events and activities. They also provides access to educational resources on the health impacts of different weather events, including safety tips and resources, personalized weather preparedness plans, detailed checklists and more.
Helpful year-round, weather apps can be particularly informative in summer, with their wealth of tips and resources on topics like avoiding rip tides, staying safe in extreme heat and preparing for tropical storms.
Don’t Be Bugged
Take precautions against bug bites, particularly mosquitoes, which can be carriers of the Zika virus. Experts are warning that those located in or traveling to the southern United States should take precautions to guard against the disease, especially if you are already or planning on getting pregnant.
On the home front, be sure your backyard is drained of standing water — even if you city or town “sprays” for mosquitoes. Use citronella candles to ward off bugs. Apply insect repellent on hikes and other times you’re in buggy areas, and if possible, avoid skin exposure during dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
With a little preparation, you can make the most of the summer and your travel plans by dodging common weather risks and hazards.