Be A Force of Nature

WRN Summer Weather Safety
Summer Seasonal Safety

Summer means vacation, outdoor activities, and fun in the sun! It’s a time when families hit the road to visit national parks or distant relatives. The warm months and long days mean that there is plenty of time for baseball games and barbecues. The sultry temperatures practically invite you to take a dip in the pool or ocean.

But don’t let the sunny days and warm nights fool you. Summer also holds significant weather and water hazards. But you're not powerless in the face of these hazards. With just a few simple steps, you can become weather-ready.

Know Your Risk - Take Action - Be a Force of Nature!


  • Check water conditions before going in by looking at the local beach forecast before you leave.
  • Only swim at a beach with lifeguards. The chances of drowning at a beach with lifeguards are 1 in 18 million.
  • Don't assume! Great weather for the beach does not always mean it is safe to swim or even play in the shallows.
  • Learn more about dangerous waves and other hazards and why you should never to turn your back on the ocean.


  • Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty, and avoid drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine.
  • During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke - hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing.
  • If it's suspected someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 9-1-1.
  • Be sure not to leave children or pets unattended in vehicles, and "Look Before you Lock."
  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15, even on somewhat cloudy or cool days. Reapply every two hours.
  • Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Protect the eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight.


  • Be weather-wise. Keep an eye on current and predicted weather conditions, and know the signs for approaching storms or changing weather conditions.
  • During lightning storms, avoid bare ridge tops, exposed places, lone trees, rivers, and rocks. Take shelter in your vehicle if possible, otherwise find a densely forested area at a lower elevation.
  • Do not pitch your tent near the tallest trees in your vicinity.
  • Have a way to receive weather alerts & warnings (NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, FEMA app, text alerts, etc)


  • Check the forecast to see if dangerous fire weather conditions are expected.
  • Wildfires are most often started by lightning or humans.
  • When camping, stay with your fire when lit, and make sure it is fully extinguished before leaving.
  • Be smart and safe when burning debris. Keep the fire small and don't burn on windy days.
  • Properly extinguish and dispose of all smoking materials.

WRN_Ambassador_logo II

Otter Tail County Recognized as Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™

The Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ initiative is a voluntary, intent-based initiative of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) intended to galvanize efforts toward building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events.

In becoming an Ambassador, Otter Tail County will work to:
  • Promote Weather-Ready Nation messages and themes to stakeholders.
  • Engage with NOAA personnel on potential collaboration opportunities.
  • Serve as an example by educating staff and the public on home and workplace preparedness.
For more information on the initiative, visit the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation website.

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