Summer Preparedness

Summer in North Dakota means a variety of outdoor activities and plenty of fun to be had. But there are also many opportunities to incur injuries. This summer, remember to be safe when participating in activities and to be aware of the dangers around you, and or your family.

Heat-Related Illness

The first way to combat the heat is to be aware of the temperatures. By following information disseminated by the National Weather Service, you will know if you are facing heat, heat combined with humidity, etc. One of the best things you can do to stay safe in the heat is stay hydrated. 

During the summer, the temperature in a vehicle can rise up to 20 degrees in 10 minutes and become dangers for people or pets. Even a vehicle with the windows rolled down can be deadly. Heat-related vehicle deaths are preventable. 

Severe Storms

Being outdoors more often likely means being confronted by Mother Nature at some point. While summer storms differ in dangers from winter storms, the danger can be deadly. Use the following terminology to understand the potential weather you may be facing and to stay alive during subsequent weather events:

  • Cloudburst – A sudden, intense rain that normally lasts just a short duration.
  • Cloudy – Clouds covering more than 60 percent of the sky.
  • Flood – Water overflows the confines of a stream or river; water accumulates by drainage over low-lying areas.
  • Hail – Precipitation in the form of balls or lumps of ice. The precipitation freezes and is coated by layers of ice as it is lifted and cooled in strong updrafts of thunderstorms.
  • Heat Index – Index combining air temperature and humidity to give it an apparent temperature (how hot it feels).
  • Heat Lightning – Lightning that can be seen, but is too far away for thunder to be heard.
  • Humidity – The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.
  • Rain – Liquid water droplets that fall from the atmosphere, having diameters greater than drizzle (0.5 mm).
  • Severe Thunderstorms – Storms that are capable of producing hail that is an inch or larger, or wind gusts over 58 mph.
  • Tornado – A violent rotating column of air, in contact with the ground, pendant from the cumulonimbus cloud. A tornado does not require the visible presence of a funnel cloud. It has a typical width of tens to hundreds of meters and a lifespan of minutes to hours.
  • Warning – Issued for significant weather events.
  • Watch – Issued when conditions are favorable for severe weather.

 

Fireworks

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 280 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the Independence Day holiday. More than 50 percent of these injuries occurred to individuals’ fingers and hands (31 percent) or head, face and ears (22 percent).

While fireworks safety tips can help to keep you more safe, it is important to remember there will always be a potential for harm with fireworks. The only way to assure your complete safety is to leave fireworks to the professionals.

Grilling

Few images evoke Americana the way cooking meat on a grill in the summer does. When it comes to a family cookout, hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, kabobs, or a variety of other foods can make your summer event complete. But injury to fire, or damage to a home or similar structure, is also a possibility. Gas grills account for about 8,000 home fires per year, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved with 1,300 home fires each year.