ANCHORAGE, Friday, June 28 — The Fourth of July holiday is just around the corner and many Alaskans will take time off to enjoy a long weekend outdoors with family and friends. With projected warm temperatures across much of the state over the next week, the American Red Cross of Alaska wants everyone to have a great holiday and offers safety steps people can follow.
Alaska offers tremendous opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. With that opportunity comes responsibility. Here are three outdoor safety tips to keep in mind during the holiday and throughout the summer:
- Learn to recognize and be prepared for severe weather. Consider the intensity of the weather you are heading into, the outdoor activity you’ll be participating in and what the forecast is for the surrounding area. Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1.
- Have an emergency plan in place for your trip. Tell a friend or family member where you are going and what your expected return date is, and be sure you know how to get help if you need it. Be sure to bring enough extra food, layers of clothing and supplies in the event you experience a delay caused by severe weather or another type of emergency.
- Include the following contents in your personal and/or group wilderness and remote first aid kit: adhesive bandages (6), sterile gauze pads, 3-×-3-inch (2), adhesive tape (1 small roll), moleskin, 3-×-6-inch (1), soap (1 small bar) or alcohol-based hand sanitizing gel (1 travel-sized bottle), wound gel (1 small tube), scissors (1 pair), latex-free medical exam gloves (1 pair), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) breathing barrier (1), tweezers (1)
For a wealth of additional Alaska-specific outdoor safety tips, visit the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation website. For more heat safety tips, visit redcross.org.
It’s wildfire season in Alaska and unfortunately, wildfires can spread quickly across forests, fields and dry tundra, giving residents little time to evacuate to safety. Dry conditions, lightening and the careless use of fire all contribute to increased risk of wildfire. The Red Cross offers three simple tips you can utilize to keep your loved ones safe:
- Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio, TV stations and local officials for the latest wildfire information.
- Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Discussing your evacuation plan with your family ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for young children.
- Check your emergency preparedness kit and replenish any items missing or those in short supply, especially medications or medical supplies. Download a full list of items to include here.
For more information, download the Red Cross wildfire safety checklist to review with your family, or check out a list of what to do before, during and after a fire has affected your area on the Red Cross of Alaska blog.
DOWNLOAD FREE RED CROSS APPS
The Red Cross has developed a number of free apps for mobile devices which give people vital information to help keep them safe during everyday emergencies and large-scale disasters. Other apps offer valuable first aid information and tips for swim safety, right from your phone. For tools and preparedness information you need every day, download the following free mobile apps:
- The Red Cross Emergency App can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hands for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, including emergency shelter locations.
- The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and provides information on available water safety courses, tips and resources.
- The Red Cross First Aid App gives users instant access to information on how to treat bleeding, burns, insect bites, stings, and more.
Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your mobile phone app store or by visiting redcross.org/apps.
About the American Red Cross of Alaska:
In FY18, the American Red Cross of Alaska offered food, shelter, comfort and hope to 892 Alaskans. We responded to 308 disasters. Our preparedness/Health and Safety teams installed 2,309 smoke alarms statewide and educated 1,722 youth through The Pillowcase Project. Additionally, our Service to the Armed Forces staff exchanged 1,161 emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Alaska or visit us on Twitter at @redcrossak.