OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It is starting to feel like summer, so now is the time to prepare for those triple-digit temperatures and outdoor activities.

“Here in Oklahoma, many of us enjoy spending time outdoors with loved ones as we garden, grill or get in the water,” said Alice Townsend, Regional CEO. “The Red Cross wants you to avoid any danger no matter what your plans include and offers steps you can follow to have a safe summer.”


  • Drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement drinks before and during summer heat exposure
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat
  • Do not drink alcohol or caffeine
  • Use a buddy system if working outdoors and check on elderly neighbors
  • Always keep a cell phone on you when outdoors.

When the summer heat starts to take effect, EMSA will issue its Medical Heat Alert to increase awareness to the risks associated with the higher temperatures.

A Medical Heat Alert is issued when EMSA paramedics respond to five or more heat-related calls within 24 hours.


  • Use insect repellents containing DEET when you are outdoors
  • Consider staying indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • When hiking in woods and fields, stay in the middle of trails. Avoid underbrush and tall grass.
  • Inspect yourself carefully for insects or ticks after being outdoors or have someone else do it.
  • If you have pets that go outdoors, spray with repellent made for their breed/type. Apply the repellent according to the label and check your pet for ticks often.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying sources of standing water outside of the home, such as from flowerpots, buckets and barrels.


  • Wash your hands, utensils and workstation before preparing the food.
  • Separate uncooked meats, poultry and seafood from ready-to-eat foods like salads, fruits, vegetables, cheeses and desserts. Use separate plates and utensils to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Use a food thermometer to be sure grilled foods are cooked enough. 
  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Never grill indoors.
  • Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to help keep the chef safe.
  • Wash your hands before preparing the food.  
  • Don’t leave food out in the hot sun. Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.  


  • Learn to swim and know how to handle emergencies.
  • Swim in an area with lifeguards. Designate a “water watcher” to keep a close eye and constant attention on everyone in and around the water until the next water watcher takes over.
  • Wear your life jacket.
  • The Red Cross says you should reach or throw things to a drowning victim instead of jumping in. In the event of an emergency, reach or throw an object to the person in trouble. Don’t go in! You could become a victim yourself.
  • Swimming classes are available for both children and adults. Visit redcross.org/watersafety for a map of Learn-to-Swim providers in your community.
  • Download the Red Cross Swim app for safety tips, kid-friendly videos and activities, and take the free Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers online course in English or Spanish.