Be aware of ice and weather conditions by checking online or calling ahead. Educate yourself on proper tools and techniques for checking ice conditions. Looks can be deceiving! Always test the ice rather than relying on its appearance
The buddy-system is best on the ice so try not to go alone. Let someone know your plan and where you're going. If someone is in need of rescue, call 911 for help - attempting a rescue could cause you to also fall through the ice.
Always wear a life jacket or float coat. Wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) over winter clothing. Life jackets provide excellent flotation and protection from the cold.
Assemble personal safety items, such as ice picks and a whistle, which should be attached to you while on the ice. Other essential equipment includes a rope or throw bag and a cell phone. Keep your cell phone in a secure pocket or waterproof pouch to make it more accessible if calling for help.
Wait to enjoy alcoholic beverages. Alcohol in your system increases the likelihood of hypothermia and poor choices. Stay hydrated with water and warm liquids.
Keep pets on a leash at all times. Never allow your pet to run out onto the ice and do not walk your pet near a frozen lake or pond without a leash. If your dog falls through the ice, do not attempt a rescue. Call for help.
Remember: Reach-Throw-Go. If someone falls through
the ice and you can't reach the person from shore, throw a flotation device or
rope. If you still can't quickly help the person, go or call for help.