The allure of the great outdoors compels many people to hike, kayak, fish, and engage in myriad other activities in the fresh air. The call of nature can be difficult to ignore, but inclement weather can quickly turn a fun day under the sun into a race to escape the elements.
Regardless of which activity is beckoning you to answer the call of the wild, a few simple safety measures should be taken to ensure your day is not derailed by sudden changes in the weather.
- Do your homework prior to traveling. The Department of Homeland Security advises travelers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts to learn about potentially severe weather in areas they plan to visit prior to beginning their trip. For example, if an area is vulnerable to tornadoes, learn about what to do in the wake of a tornado. The National Weather Service notes that emergency response protocols differ depending on the type of storm or severe weather. For example, what to do in the wake of a tornado differs from what to do when confronted by a flash flood. Familiarizing yourself with these response protocols can help you make it through unforeseen weather changes safely.
- Take along an extra set of keys. The NWS advises taking along an extra set of keys should your keys get lost due to inclement weather. The spare keys to a vehicle, for example, can help you escape inclement weather if your vehicle is still accessible and the roads are safe enough for travel. Without a backup set of keys, outdoor enthusiasts may find themselves stranded even if their vehicles can still run.
- Create a communication plan with your family prior to leaving. A predetermined communication plan can help family members keep in touch should the weather suddenly take a turn for the worse. Before embarking on a getaway, let loved ones who won’t be joining you know exactly where you will be staying and how to reach you. This can make it easier for them to get you help should you need it.
- Monitor local forecasts. Changes in the weather can be sudden, so anyone planning to spend significant time outdoors should monitor local forecasts before and during their trips. This is especially important for travelers who will be visiting areas during certain times of year when inclement weather is normal. For example, travelers should be ready to postpone their plans if they will be visiting areas vulnerable to hurricanes during hurricane season.
- Purchase travel insurance. Insuring a trip with travel insurance can serve as a financial safety net if a trip is not possible due to inclement weather. With such a policy in hand, vacationers may not feel compelled to travel if the forecast is less than ideal.
Inclement weather can threaten outdoor excursions. But outdoor enthusiasts can take various measures to protect themselves in the face of sudden or unforeseen changes in the weather.