Summer Safery

Over the years, I have maintained a collection of common sense anecdotes that are affectionately referred to as “Funk’s Rules.”

There are 36 of them, and many are “borrowed” and live up to Funk’s Rule Number 35 – TOPS – Take Other People’s Stuff – so I won’t ask the III Corps and Fort Hood community to memorize them all … right now.

What I do want you all to do is this: learn and live by Funk’s Rule Number One, which is simply, “Always Secure Yourself First!”

When it comes to safety, you – the individual – need to know the risks and mitigate them at every turn.

When I was with the 1st Cavalry Division in 2004, as we ramped up to deploy to Baghdad, we had a very simple and effective safety message for our troopers: “I Can Save My Own Life,” which, in turn, became Funk’s Rule Number Three: “You Can Save Your Own Life.”

Normally, commands begin their Summer Safety campaigns in mid-May, targeting the Memorial Day to Labor Day summer months, and the unique hazards that hot weather, lots of sun and recreational activities normally reserved for the summertime pose to all of us. Here in Texas though, after a brief cool front, we’ll be breaking 80 and soon 90 degrees on a daily basis.

Here are some things I want you all to consider as summertime arrives early here at the Great Place and its surrounding Central Texas partner communities.

It’s hot!

Stay hydrated, and by hydrated, I mean water, or something not in the adult beverage category. Also, wear sunscreen on exposed areas of your skin.

Water safety is a must

The boat ramps are open at Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area now. On June 3-4, BLORA hosts its annual Water Festival. If you plan to swim, swim only in authorized areas and know your limits as a swimmer. If you’re on the lake boating, fishing or water skiing, drive safely and ensure you have the proper floatation devices for everyone in the boat.

Most of all, remember recreational activities in any body of water and alcohol do not mix. Use the buddy system when in or on the lake.

Watch out for each other, but most importantly remember Funk’s Rule Number One: “Always Secure Yourself First,” because “You Can Save Your Own Life!”

Be careful with the heat

BBQ grills will be fired up even more than ever, and by some very novice grillers among you, too. Take care around open flames and never, ever use gasoline to light your charcoal briquettes. Not only could you turn your backyard into a raging blaze, but even if you don’t, your steak, burger or hot dog will taste like … well, you know, not good.

Phantom Ready! Phantom Strong!