5 Outdoor Safety Tips for Volunteer Groups
COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, from grocery shopping to attending concerts. But, one thing that's definitely going to change because of the virus spread is how people volunteer.
We understand that you can't put your life on hold and that volunteering may be a large part of your daily life. We don't want to keep you from volunteering and improving your community, and that's why we're going to provide you with some useful outdoor safety tips to make volunteering easier and safer for everyone involved.
Read on to find out how to make working outdoors safe to do without having to cancel any events.
1. Don't Volunteer if You're Sick
The first tip that we're going to talk to you about is not volunteering while sick. We understand that it's flu season, and you may not have the COVID-19 virus, but we would rather you be safe than sorry.
Ensure that you take care of yourself and stay home if you're feeling any symptoms that allude to the fact that you might be sick. These symptoms may include:
- The shakes
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches
- Runny nose
If you've got any of these symptoms, you should stay home and schedule an appointment to see your primary care physician. If you suspect that you may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you need to be tested; remember, there are plenty of other times to volunteer.
There's no reason that you need to put yourself or anyone else volunteering with you in danger. Besides, no one wants to spend the day volunteering when they aren't feeling 100% their best.
Take care of yourself, and then you'll be able to return to your volunteering duties without missing a single beat.
2. Social Distance
Another useful outdoor safety tip is to practice social distancing during the times that you'll spend volunteering. Outdoor volunteering is the perfect time to practice social distancing. You can still accomplish the job without having to stand too close to others.
Ensure that everyone participating is equipped with their own equipment to ensure that no one has to share. Even when you're meeting to get the instructions for the day, you can stand six feet apart.
Social distancing is one of the main guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control that will help to slow the spread of the coronavirus from person to person. Of course, this is for situations when you have to be in close proximity to other people.
3. Wear Protective Gear
When you're volunteering, you need to ensure that you're wearing protective gear, even when outside. If you're doing things like picking up leaves and sticks or garbage, you'll want to wear gloves to cover and protect your hands.
To protect yourself from airborne germs, it's essential that you wear your mask while you're working. If wearing a mask becomes overwhelming, designate a rest zone where volunteers can take turns catching their breath before returning to the volunteering work you've been tasked with.
The rest zone should be far away from where others are working in case someone needs to remove their mask. When you return to work, your mask should be placed correctly back on your face.
This means that it's covering both your mouth and nose at all times.
4. Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
When you've finished working or are taking a break to do something like eat lunch, take the time to sanitize your hands. If you're working outside, you may not have access to a bathroom that's nearby, and that's when setting up a handwashing station is essential.
A hand washing station should provide all of the essentials, water, soap, and paper towels for all volunteers. If you're using equipment that will be returned to one place after the work has been complete, take the time to sanitize it.
The equipment should be hosed done with hot water before it's stored, rinsing off any germs that may be lingering on the surface. Taking the time to sanitize the tools means that they will be ready for the next group of volunteers that will come out to participate in the next volunteering event.
When the equipment isn't sanitized, you run the risk of leaving behind germs that can be transferred from person to person, putting others at risk for becoming sick.
5. Bring Your Own Water
Before the pandemic took place, you probably didn't think twice about sharing your water or lunch with other people that you're close to. But, because of the pandemic, you shouldn't share things that make it easier to spread germs with other people.
When volunteering, every volunteer needs to bring their own water bottle and food to eat if the event takes a long time. If people aren't going to bring water, someone can purchase a case of water for people to pull from throughout the volunteering event.
Outdoor Safety Tips 101: Everything You Need to Know
Volunteering can teach us tons of life lessons that we would otherwise not learn. Even though volunteering is an integral part of some people's lives, you must always practice the outdoor safety tips that we've listed above.
If you're feeling sick, you need to stay home to reduce the risk of getting others sick and compromising the workspace that you'll be volunteering in. Also, take the time to make sure that everyone is staying six feet apart while the volunteering event is taking place.
If you're looking for tools to use during your volunteering excursion, contact us at Tools For Trails. We've got tons of tools that can be used for digging and cutting that will make it easier to get the job done. And if you've got some time, we recommend that you check out some of the other posts in our blog that are full of valuable information.