Summertime is beach time, as millions of Americans head to the shore for sun and fun. But even while you’re enjoying a relaxing trip to the beach, you need to be prepared for the unexpected.
Keep these items in your beach bag to complete your beach safety checklist.
- Pepper spray Many beaches are public places. That means you don’t know who — or what — you might run into, and you may not be familiar with the area. How can you deter people looking for trouble? One way is to bring a friend or family member to the beach with you. Another strategy is to get in the habit of packing pepper spray. Don’t forget: Keep your pepper spray canister out of direct sunlight to avoid overheating and potential leakage.
- First aid kit A good first aid kit should include disinfectant and bandages for minor cuts and scrapes, moleskin patches for blisters, self-cooling ice packs, cloth bandages for sprains, and lotions to treat jellyfish stings and sunburns. If you’re heading to beach that’s in a remote location or doesn’t have a lifeguard, it’s even more important to have these items with you, as it could take longer for first responders to arrive.
- Cell phone Sand and water don’t mix well with cell phones, so many beachgoers don’t want to take one with them. But it’s important to have a fully charged cell phone with you in case of emergency. You can always dial 911, but programming local emergency numbers into your phone can give you another way to reach help.
- Emergency items If your waterfront adventure takes you to a really remote lake or beach, you’ll need other items that could come in handy if you get lost or stranded. These include a GPS unit that can signals your location to emergency responders.
Other emergency items to consider are an emergency blanket to keep you warm in the event of cold temperatures or injury shock, waterproof matches to start campfires, water-purification tablets for drinking and cooking, and bear spray – in case you encounter aggressive wildlife.
With the right amount of preparation, you can enjoy your summer excursion to the beach and be prepared for an emergency.