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Excessive Heat Warning: Be Safe this Labor Day Weekend

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for the Bay Area extending from Friday, September 1 to Monday, September 4 (Labor Day). Temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees in many areas of the East Bay Regional Park District.

 “Maintaining public safety in our parks is a top priority,” said East Bay Regional Park District Interim Chief of Public Safety Anthony Ciaburro. “We want to make sure visitors enjoy the parks, but do so as safely as possible.”

Labor Day weekend is typically one of the busiest of the year for Park District so visitors are encouraged to carpool and arrive early. Some of our more popular parks are expected to reach capacity in the morning.

There are certain tips and rules visitors should follow to stay safe this hot holiday weekend.

Stay Cool and Hydrated
With temperatures expected to be extremely hot, visitors are reminded to plan ahead and follow recommended safety tips.

The potential for heat-related illness is high and the public is encouraged to take precautionary measures to avoid a medical emergency,” said Chief Ciaburro. “On hot days, emergency services are frequently called upon to assist visitors who have become overheated. Prevent a life-threatening situation this summer by being heat smart. Stay cool and stay hydrated.”

“Dogs are also vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Consider protecting your canine companion by keeping him home on hot days,” added Chief Ciaburro.

Tips for staying cool and hydrated include:

·         Drinking plenty of water even if you do not feel thirsty.

·         Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine. They make the heat's effects on your body worse.

·         Wear sunscreen and lightweight, light-colored clothing.

·         Keep physical activities to a minimum during the hottest parts of the day.

·         Stay in the shade.

·         If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day – the morning between 7 and 10 a.m., and in the evening.

Drink Safely
Drinking alcohol is only allowed at certain Regional Parks. Please check at www.ebparks.org before you go.

If you do drink, don’t drink excessively and absolutely do not drive home intoxicated.

“Driving home intoxicated is against the law and especially dangerous on holiday weekends when so many children and families are out,” said Chief Ciaburro. “If visitors are drinking alcohol they should plan their way home in advance with a designated driver or ride service.”

“We will have extra police officers on duty throughout the weekend to ensure all visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience. Officers will be enforcing park rules, including driving while intoxicating,” added Chief Ciaburro.

Follow Water Safety Rules if Swimming
Water safety rules include:

·         If you’re unsure of your swimming abilities, wear a life jacket. Swim facilities have free loaner life-jackets available. It is recommended that all young children wear life jackets.

·         Keep a close eye on your children.

·         Refrain from drinking alcohol if you plan on swimming. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, coordination, and affects swimming abilities. 

·         Only swim in areas with a lifeguard on duty.

·         It is recommended anyone on a boat, regardless of age, wear a life jacket. By law, all boats must have life jackets available for every person on board and those under age 16 are required to wear one at all times.

“The most important thing visitors can do to stay safe, besides drinking water, is keeping an eye on their kids,” said Chief Ciaburro. “Drowning can occur quickly and silently, even in a foot of water.”

“There are free loaner life jackets available at all East Bay Regional Park District swim facilities as an extra safeguard for anyone concerned about their swimming abilities or those of their children,” added Chief Ciaburro.

Understand Fire Dangers
A Red Flag Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service. Fire dangers are especially high on hot days. NO smoking is allowed at in the East Bay Regional Park District. Fireworks are NOT permitted as well.

“Wildfires are potentially devastating to our parks, homes, and lives,” said Chief Ciaburro. “We should not forget the impacts of the 1991 Oakland firestorm that took 25 lives and destroyed more than 3,800 homes.”

“We are asking the public to be aware of the fire danger in our parks and follow the established fire safety rules – no smoking, no open fires, and no fireworks,” added Chief Ciaburro.

 

The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 120,000 acres in 65 parks including over1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.

 

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Contact:
Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor
(510)-544-2217
dmason@ebparks.org