Summer has officially begun! Summer in Eastern New York is a pleasant and beautiful time of the year. Whether you’re heading out to the beach, camping, attending a community festival, or watching a sports event, it’s important to always stay safe!  At the American Red Cross, we want everyone to enjoy the season, so check back with us weekly for safety tips you can follow all summer long.

For part 2 of our Summer Safety Series, we’re focusing on staying safe in large crowds.

If your summer plans include places where crowds may gather, such as at an amusement park, sporting event, music festival or concert, you can likely expect to wait in lines and possibly face extra security measures. There’s also risks that may arise if you get separated from your group. Follow these safety tips from the Red Cross:

  1. Have a few different methods to communicate – i.e. a cell phone, a tablet, or a calling card for a landline phone. Keep your phone charged in case of emergencies, and if possible, bring an extra battery to ensure you have your phone when you need it.
  2. Stay with your group – don’t go off alone. Carry a cell phone and exchange numbers with the everyone in your group. Plan where to meet should someone become separated. If you are going to a crowded event alone, let someone know where you’re going, when you arrive, and when you leave.
  3. Research the event – find out how many people are expected to be there and what is allowed when it comes to items such as coolers, backpacks, etc.
  4. Dress appropriately and in layers to be ready for any change in the weather. Stay hydrated, pack hand sanitizer, and apply sunscreen regularly.
  5. Watch the weather and seek shelter if any severe weather warnings are issued.
  6. Be on the lookout for suspicious activity and don’t be afraid to report suspicious people or packages.
  7. Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you know where the exits are, and identify at least two ways out of wherever you are standing/sitting/waiting.
  8. Monitor what’s happening around you. Stay on the edges of a crowd to avoid getting trapped in the middle. If caught in the middle, move with the crowd while zig-zagging to the outside. Consider leaving if the crowd seems to be getting out of control.
  9. Be smart about timing your arrival and departure. Leave early or late to avoid the rush of the crowd.
  10. Simplify your belongings. Try to carry only what you absolutely need — your identification, cash, and a credit card, for example — and keep your belongings in a secure place on your person that only you can access.

For even more tips, check out these insights from State Farm.