Five ways to prioritize summer safety

Laynie Clark, Managing Editor

As flowers bloom and spring settles upon us, we remember that the steamy summer heat is rapidly approaching. Warm weather means pulling out your favorite pair of shorts and venturing outside, but doing so comes with many risks. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice, crime heats up during the summer, especially when related to intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Because of the rising danger, you must be able to keep yourself safe while still enjoying the season. 

Let someone know

Whether you are going out on the town for a night of passion or a brisk jog to start the day, it is important to keep someone in the loop. Make sure someone is always aware of your location on the off chance that something goes wrong and you need help.

Avoid route repetition

Summer is a season filled with outdoor activities like hikes and casual strolls. To stay safe during these activities, do not frequent the same route. If you run every day or walk every evening, switch up your path each time so that predators cannot use pattern recognition to determine your whereabouts.

Do not go home

If you feel you are being followed, do not go home or anywhere in that direction. Instead, head for a public space where you are certain there will be a crowd of people. A good option is to go straight to the police department and wait there; this will freak the potential predator out and give you some time to think straight in a safe space. 

Be prepared to defend yourself

In case of an emergency, you will benefit from carrying something to defend yourself. Most people carry a taser or mace on their person at all times but let us take that a step further. You can purchase mini sound alarms that can be used to alert surrounding folks in times of crisis; this is helpful if you are unable to verbally call for help. 

Trust your gut

While it is cheesy, trusting your gut is the ultimate safety hack. You know your body and the way it feels on a daily basis, so if something feels off, trust it and run. Trusting your gut can help you avoid dangerous situations by filling you with a sense of danger and awareness. 

It is possible to enjoy summer while still prioritizing safety and self-awareness. Be careful and have fun, but know your surroundings and the people surrounding you.

Time until Final grades are due:
Have a great summer!