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Ask the Experts: DNR Summer Safety

Summertime in Northern Michigan means sunshine, hiking, and lots of time on the water. Louise Hunt, lead ranger at Petoskey State Park, has provided us with some great summer safety tips to keep you and your family safe and having fun during all of your summer activities. Check out the DNR’s website for more safety tips.

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Hiking:

* RESEARCH your trail

Most trails will have trail markers that list the intensity level of the trail. Ensure you are fit enough to take on the trail safely.

* COMMUNICATE WITH someone

Let someone know where you are going, and bring your phone, in case you get injured or lost while hiking.

* Bring WATER and a SNACK

Its important to drink plenty of water when you’re being active in the sun. Bring food in case you are out on the trails longer than expected.

* Wear Good Shoes

Good shoes will help keep your feet dry and comfortable while hiking. Use a boot brush after hiking to clean invasive species off of your shoes.

Beach Safety:

*Watch the weather

Avoid swimming on windy days that can cause rough water.

*Wear Sunscreen

Always wear sunscreen to protect yourself against harmful rays from the sun.

*Swim Areas

Designated swim areas will be marked with buoys. Stay between the buoys while swimming to ensure you are in a safe area.

*Read the Signs

Pay attention to signs posted on the beach. They will tell you if a lifeguard is on duty, and let you know what to do in case of an emergency.

Here are some examples of beach signs or flag that you might see:

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Red Flag = STOP. Stay on the beach, do not enter the water, do no swim.

 
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Caution. Watch for dangerous currents and high waves.

 
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Green= Go! Enter the water, but be aware of changing conditions.

 

Additional Safety Features:

Never swim alone

Use the buddy system in case of an emergency.

Have children wear life jackets

Keep children within arms reach and make sure they are wearing a life jacket.

Avoid Piers

Never jump off of piers. There are often rocks or strong currents around piers that can be dangerous.

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How to escape a current

1) FLIP

Flip over onto your back and float.

2)FLOAT

Floating will keep you calm, conserve your energy, and keep your head above water.

3)FOLLOW

Follow the safest path to safety and out of the water.

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Swim perpendicular to the direction that the current is pulling and swim to shore.

Thanks for reading; We hope these tips help keep you safe and having fun this summer!

All graphics from : https://www.michigan.gov/ogl/0,9077,7-362-85256_88053---,00.html

Ricci Swiderek