NEWS | Nov. 10, 2011

Veterans Day holiday safety reminder

By Glenda Middleton 628th Air Base Wing Safety office

Veterans Day is the designated national holiday to honor our Veterans for all that they have done and continue to do in the service of our country. This year's holiday falls on a Friday and extends the weekend for many of us. Any long weekend increases the possibility of driving long distances and participation in off-duty recreational activities. Therefore, whenever there is an extended weekend we should increase our awareness and focus on safety.

As we reflect on the meaning of the day and enjoy the extra time off, the Joint Base Charleston Safety Office encourages you to be safe and practice Operational Risk Management in your activities. There are risks in almost everything we do, but most of these risks can be easily managed with very basic ORM. Whether these activities include attending a parade, visiting a veteran's memorial, taking advantage of free meal offers from community businesses, relaxing and enjoying the weather or participating in recreational activities such as boating, camping, hunting or beach walking, attention to safety is vital. Your attention to safety can help determine if this holiday creates fun, pleasurable memories or tragic, painful memories.

As we commemorate Veterans Day and acknowledge the sacrifices that others have made, consider the following from the Naval Safety Center:

Driving

· Fatigue and distraction (cognitive, visual, physical, and auditory) are significant risks. Take frequent breaks and focus on your driving as well as potential hazards.

· Use TRiPS. This simple, web-based survey will help you plan your route and remind you of the common hazards you might face.

· Early wintery weather has already hit the northern parts of the country. Check the forecasts before you travel and make sure your vehicle is ready. Keep a sur¬vival kit in the trunk containing food, water, blankets, a flashlight and batteries.
Outdoor Activities

· If you're hiking or camping, dress in layers.

· Make sure someone knows where you are and when to expect you back.

· Stay on designated trails and at designated campsites.

Staying Home

· If you choose to drink, do so in moderation. If friends come over, you are re-sponsible for their safety. Remember, alcohol is implicated in a large number of sexual assaults. Drinking is no excuse for criminal behavior.

Have a safe and enjoyable Veterans Day holiday weekend, while remembering our American veterans especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Thank you for your service!