Warm weather in Louisiana is one of the great blessings of our environment, but it can also be one of the most perilous.

As St. Tammany Parish gets hotter, many of us engage in outdoor activities. The boys (and girls) of summer swing baseball bats, boaters haul watercraft of all types into our rivers and Lake Pontchartrain, and swimmers hit the pools. Meanwhile, there’s work to be done, too. Constructions continues apace, air conditioning repair men climb into our attics while roofers work in the sun. It’s all a recipe for fun and progress, but it’s also a time that’s ripe for injury and illness.

If you’re working or playing outside, stay hydrated. If you’re drinking alcohol, keep it to a minimum. Beer might taste good, but it’s not a good hydrator! Same for soda or anything heavy in caffeine. Water and sports drinks are the way to go to stay healthy in the heat.

If you’re swimming or boating, watch out for underwater dangers. We have beautiful waterways in St. Tammany, but the dangers – from downed trees and debris to dangerous wildlife – can lurk just below the surface. Never swim alone. And if you think you can’t get a DWI on the water, think again. Operating a boat while intoxicated can be just as dangerous as driving a car. Don’t take chances!

Backyard barbecues can be great family fun, but please make sure your grill is fully doused when you’re finished. Just recently, hot coals from a grill caused a fire in our district, hours after the cooking was finished. And never, ever leave children unattended with a lit grill.

As always, of course, keep a phone handy. We are only one call away, no matter what your emergency. Like our motto says, We’re Here for Life.

-The Chief