Staying Safe - Preparation is Key!


As I began looking up Duck Boat safety, like many of the rest of individuals after hearing of the accident in Missouri, I found many articles depicting the many warning signs of that accident. This was a horrible and obviously tragic mishap that might or might not have been prevented due to the storms that quickly blew in over that area of the Ozarks. I’ve personally never ridden on one myself, but my wife has when she was younger. This would have easily been a fun attraction that I could have seen us doing as a family.

Our household is a planner, all the way down to where we want to eat, and so we are constantly looking for things to do on our next outing or trip. In light of the recent tragedy in Missouri, it made me think about how safe some of these outings are and are there ways to be better informed and prepared. Living in the 21st century we have information overload at our fingertips. Is there a way to sort through some of this constant stream of information to make it more usable? Below I listed what I came across, in which most of us use very frequently and are great resources for finding information for your next adventure!

The first one is maybe one of the easiest, and likely one that you use daily but never thought about…Instagram. This app is really one of the best ways to find places to visit and AVOID. One can look through the geotagged posts and it help one sort through the typical tourist traps (unless you’re into that), find off the beaten path gems, opens one’s eyes to the local culture, or even the best way to dress for certain places! It really is one of the best places to start looking. Jenna Wortham wrote an amazing article that is a must read in the New York Times Magazine titled Turning Instagram Into a Radically Unfiltered Travel Guide. She discusses her uses of it as she has traveled around the globe and even uses it to look back at the past. The great thing about Instagram is that its not just for the typical family trip, but also everyday experiences that might be in your local area that you might not even know about. Plus, people are always ready to share their insights, both good and bad, during their stops along the way.

Tripadvisor is one that most well-known resources, it’s a go to for any trip or just to check out reviews on different places. It’s not necessarily designed for staying safe, but it will definitely tell you the good and bad of different places you’re wanting to visit. Even though some reviews are potentially fake, people are typically incredibly honest and if you start seeing an increasing number of poor reviews, beware! The great thing is that it comes in an app as well.

GeoSure is a different type of app than the first two that were discussed. This one is designed to keep you safe by giving you information on the areas that you might consider visiting. In case you haven’t heard of GeoSure, here is a brief description of their app below from iTunes.

GeoSure is the only personalized, location-sensitive safety app on the market. We’re dedicated to making you safer during your travels and at home in your community. GeoSure combines safety-related information gathered through machine learning from thousands of data sources, then models all that information through sophisticated algorithms. The results are scores reflecting localized safety conditions in neighborhoods across the globe.

This app gives you a safety rating from 1-100 of the neighborhood you are in or will be visiting. Then you can make the decision of if it’s a place you feel comfortable to remain or visit. The great thing about this is that you can check everything out before you go. You don’t have to wait and check the ratings until you arrive. Planning is the key to staying safe on this one!

Most people love amusement parks and flock to them at all times of the year. I can remember visiting Six Flags and Silver Dollar City growing up and looking forward to a day filled with rides and eating way too much food! Saferparks was created as a site for helpful advice on having fun but staying safe in amusement parks. It also provides free access to accident data on amusement parks, water parks, and carnivals across the country. Really a one-stop shop for finding all kinds of ways to stay safe at any of the above places.

The final resource is an article from Parenting Magazine titled Making Sure Summer Attractions Are Safe that requires a little more work, but has some very helpful advice for staying safe. The article was written by Jodie Lynn and discussed how she does her leg work to make sure amusement parks are safe to take her kids. She skims reviews from others to look for any potential issues or red flags, and then calls each place to confirm that they have been remedied. The same type of work could be altered for any location that you are planning to visit especially using Instagram and TripAdvisor. A definite must read!

I’m not one to shy away from going out and exploring the world. I believe that there are many amazing places that are just waiting to be discovered, and one should not allow yourself to become paralyzed due to safety concerns. I am a big proponent of planning and understanding the pros and cons of each experience though. My advice is to do your homework and go out and experience life to its fullest!


1 comment

  • Barry Taylor

    Great article – I wish I had those resources available when my children were still at home. Never to old to learn new tricks

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