Enjoying the outdoors is one of the benefits of living in this community. Northeast Ohio’s Metroparks are a destination for families and nature-lovers especially in the warmer months. As Spring is finally here, it’s a good time to think about safety tips for your next outing.
Always be aware of your surroundings. It’s a good idea to avoid out-of-the-way areas with few people, as you may be at greater risk of harm. Take a buddy or a group to the park and make a day of it. If you are by yourself, try not to wear headphones or any gear that may decrease your ability to know who’s nearby.
Carry a Communication Device
Have your cell phone so you can call 9-1-1 in the case of emergency. Also, carry a whistle to alert others if you need help. Especially if you are going out near dusk, wear bright clothing so you are easily spotted. You want people to see you as much as you see them.
Take Care of Others
Watch out for your little ones. You always want children to enjoy nature, but they need protection. Keep them within your sight and teach them how to call for help. You can preprogram the number for ranger headquarters (440.333.4911) into your cell phone to avoid delays.
Mind Your Belongings
Lock up your car and take only the essentials with you. You may want to consider anti-theft devices like a locking gas cap and a lock for your steering wheel. Place permanent identification on your valuables and record the serial numbers at home. That way, you can report a robbery to the police for the specific items missing.
Follow the Weather Forecast
Nature has its own hazards, so it’s important to be prepared. Read the news and weather reports before going out. Have a game plan in case conditions change without warnin. If you are caught in a sudden storm, seek shelter as soon as possible and call for help if necessary.
Great Tips for Staying Safe in the Metroparks
- Let headphones hang around your neck so that you can hear what’s going on around you.
- Carry a whistle; especially if you are in an isolated area of the park and need to call for help.
- Lock all valuables in your vehicle’s trunk before heading off into the park
- Try and keep your cell phone on you at all times.
- Have your keys ready when walking back to your car.
- Wear brightly colored clothing or a reflective vest if walking/jogging during dusk or dawn.
- When possible, visit the Metroparks with a friend or group
Most of all, have fun! When you are enjoying the best that Ohio’s Metroparks have to offer, you shouldn’t have too worry too much about being safe. It should come naturally to use common sense and take in all of your surroundings.