Waterways may be dangerous as the weather heats up

Local News

This week, we’ll see the warmest days of the year so far.

With that in mind, a lot of us probably plan to get outside and enjoy nature; however, before you head outdoors, there are a few safety precautions you should keep in mind.

“We’re finally getting some beautiful weather – everyone’s itching to get outside,” said Unified Fire Public Information Officer, Eric Holmes. “The snow yesterday is fast-moving water today. It’s super cold and it will get you into a hypothermic state very quickly if you’re trapped in that water.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, just six inches of moving water can knock over and carry an adult in a matter of moments.

Mitchell Sims, a student at Westminster College, learned hiking safety the hard way after getting lost.

“I would suggest hiking with multiple people because we encountered a moose,” said Sims.

Sims says his group survived, but next time, he plans to be a little bit more careful.

“We kind of got excited and wanted to get out and was like ‘let’s get to the top of Mount Raymond,’ rather than ‘okay, are we on the trail? How long has it taken us? How long is it supposed to take us?’ Keeping track of those sort of things,” said Sims.

It’s also important to wear the right clothes, bring water and food, tell others where you’ll be, bring a first aid kit, and not to rely on your cell phone.

“I usually bring my cell phone for a flash light as a last resort but it’s not smart to have your main source of communication because… you don’t get service up there,” said Tony Nickerson, a student at Westminster College.

Joan Burke is a mother with a laundry list of safety precautions for her son. She says teaching him to be thoughtful before he explores the outdoors is important.

“Just teaching him to be safe out running, hiking, biking, whatever,” said Burke. “Being around of who’s around him, being aware of what is around him.”

Staying hydrated is also crucial in the heat.

“Make sure the little ones are getting plenty of water,” said Holmes.

To learn more safety advice for when you explore the outdoors, click here.

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