Merry Meet 2018 – Surviving Florida for the Uninitiated

The heat and humidity in South Florida, particularly in August, can be overwhelming for those unacclimated to our climate. Here are ways to stay safe and comfortable:

1. Timing: The beach is a great place to hang out but watch your time. It is best to go earlier in the morning or late afternoon when the heat and sun are less
intense. That means- unless you are used to it – avoid the beach 10:00AM to 4:00PM. If you are walking to stores or restaurants, be mindful of the time as well.

2. Sunscreen: APPLY ALL THE TIME even when just casually walking in the sun. Do not risk it. The sun’s rays are very intense here. And do not forget to REAPPLY if you spend time in the water or perspiring. Pay attention when applying sunscreen to parts of your body that are always in direct sunlight.

3. Clothing: In addition to sunscreen, consider clothes that are light and cover a good portion of your skin. Wear shoes outdoors and consider a hat that covers
the top of your head and extends past your nose and the back of your neck. Golf or open crown hats can cause sunburn. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Clothing
generally has an SPF of 30.- yes, you can burn through your clothes. Welcome to Florida!

4. Hydration: make sure you drink plenty of water! ALWAYS make sure you have water with you and drink more water than you would normally. Bear in mind as well that alcoholic drinks do not count towards hydration as alcohol is a diuretic. The same is true for coffee and tea. Drink water regularly even when you are not thirsty.

5. Swimming: If you do not know how to swim, (1) go to the beach with someone who does and (2) hang out near the lifeguard tower. Ask the lifeguard about
safest area to go in the water and follow their instructions.

6. Speaking of Swimming. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. DO NOT approach or enter any natural body of fresh water unless YOU UNQUESTIONABLY KNOW it is SAFE to do so.

7. And speaking of approaching things. If you are unfamiliar with the plant, animal or insect you are looking at, DO NOT TOUCH it.

8. One last thing. If you feel hot at any time, get to AC immediately. Heat exhaustion is very real and can hit fast. It can cause confusion and make you
think you are ok and not thirsty. Do not risk this. Stay in AC often. Get into AC if you feel hot.