California is home to beautiful mountain ranges, lush valleys and inviting lakes, rivers, and streams and for many Californians, the Spring season means it’s time to explore outside.
However, don’t let a fun day spent outdoors turn into an emergency! The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) encourages all Californians to prepare before they head outside.
Cal OES Mutual Aid Coordinator Troy Clegg, who specializes in search and rescue efforts, encourages Californians to follow three basic steps when heading outdoors:
MAKE A PLAN
It’s important to plan before you leave your home. Know the route you’re going to take and how long you plan to be gone.
Tell a responsible person back at home your plans and what time you anticipate you’ll be home. If you don’t come back after a reasonable amount of time, that person can notify local authorities and provide them with details of the area you went to. Especially if you’re in low or no cell reception areas, letting someone else know your plans is important in case you need to be rescued.
Even if your outdoor plans involve only being gone a few hours, packing some extra resources, including food, water, and clothing, can help you be prepared for any situation.
“The things that happen to people when they get out there are dehydration and hypothermia,” said Clegg. “If you have those extra supplies, you can eliminate the two biggest problems people come across when spending time outdoors.”
CHECK THE WEATHER
Weather during the Spring season can be unpredictable, so it’s best to prepare for all possibilities. Checking the weather for the day of your trip ensures you know what clothing to wear and what additional supplies you may need. It’s also a good idea to check the weather for the following day and pack accordingly. Should you get stuck outside overnight, you’ll be prepared with additional resources to sustain yourself until help arrives.