By Carmen Wright, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross
1. The auto show alone covers over 300,000 square feet, make sure you have a plan to meet up with your friends or family if you get lost. Big Tex is a pretty good choice, considering he’s 55 feet tall and can be seen from just about anywhere.
If you have children or elderly family members who need extra assistance, make sure they stay with you and show them where they can go for help in case of an emergency. And know where the nearest stroller or wheelchair rental location is if they get tired.
2. An estimated 3 million people attend the Texas State Fair each year, so you can expect some crowds. The easiest way to get out of a crushing crowd is to avoid the situation all together.
- When you arrive at any new place, locate the nearest exits, whether you’re in a building or on the fair grounds.
- If you start feeling uncomfortable in a crowd, listen to your instincts and leave immediately.
If you get trapped in a crowd surge, the best way to ride it out is to do the following:
- Take a boxer’s stance: arms up in front of your chest and one foot in front of the other.
- Don’t fight the crowd; go with it and stay on your feet.
- Take advantages of breaks in the crowds to get towards the edge and out.
3. Some of the best parts about the fair, besides the funnel cake and the chance to eat fried bacon cinnamon rolls, are the rides. While the chances of being seriously injured on an amusement ride are 1 in 9 million, it’s best to avoid being a statistic by keeping the following in mind:
- Keep your hands inside the ride at all times.
- Make sure you secure all safety equipment provided, such as seat belts and lap bars.
- Secure loose hair, clothing, and objects.
- Obey age requirements for rides.
- Do not get out or stand up until the ride comes to a complete stop.
4. Although it’s fall, Texas temperatures can still be pretty high, so make you wear sunscreen and stay hydrated, especially since you are allowed to bring your own food and beverages.
If you come to sample this year’s delicacies, such as smoky bacon margarita and pretzel crusted pollo queso, make sure you come prepared with some antacids or know where the first aid station is if you get an upset stomach.
It’s national preparedness month, so you can never be too careful. The Red Cross wants you to eat your cake and enjoy it too, except not right before the tilt-a-whirl!