By SHANNON KELLY
The heat wave that has swept much of North America in the past few weeks is having some serious consequences for travellers.
Yesterday, a plane was evacuated after it sank into the tarmac due to extreme temperatures in Washington, D.C. Here are some other incidents of heat-related travel incidents. A road that had buckled due to heat in Wisconsin launched an SUV into the air on July 4. (No one was seriously injured.) Also on July 4, a train collapsed on a bridge near Chicago, taking two lives; investigators believe the rails expanded due to extreme heat, causing the train to derail. Another train in Maryland partially derailed due to heat warping the rails on Friday.
Though you can’t prepare for a train derailment, you can take some precautions while travelling to stay hydrated, cool and out of harm’s way.
7 safety tips for sizzling hot vacations:
- Don’t leave anyone (even for a few minutes) in a parked vehicle in the heat, including pets.
- Travel with plenty of bottled water. Hydrate frequently and give pets and children lots of water.
- If you’re doing anything strenuous, pack rehydration salts or tablets. (We love these super-packable Nuun tablets.)
- Plan indoor activities in air-conditioned spaces during the hottest parts of the day (usually 12 to 4 p.m.).
- Avoid sugar, alcohol and caffeine, which have dehydrating effects.
- Don’t forget sunblock—30 SPF or higher.
- Check your car battery before a road trip—heat can cause older batteries (five or more years) to die more quickly. (See more hot-weather road trip tips from CAA.)