Sgt. Bryan Lovell, Bonneville Sheriff’s Office

Everyone in our area has been gearing up for several significant events this summer, the largest ones being the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration on the Fourth of July, in a new location at Snake River Landing, the Blue Angels Air Show at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport July 22 and 23 and the Solar Eclipse in various places all throughout Eastern Idaho on Aug. 21.

These events, along with the usual outdoor activities and construction season, could look somewhat different than what you may be used to and result in unforeseen obstacles. Whether you are planning on attending these events, planning your own events or just staying home, it doesn’t hurt to think about and plan ahead for the things you need.

1. Be prepared for road construction. Keep in mind that several major construction projects on the I-15 corridor have just started resulting in new traffic patterns and potential delays. While construction crews and the Idaho Transportation Department are planning around these events as best they can to keep a minimum delay in traffic flow, we ask that motorists be patient and cautious around these construction zones. Safe driving is very important any time you are in a construction zone and while traffic flow is handled as efficiently as possible, unsafe drivers who cause a crash interrupt that flow even more and put people in danger. Be patient, slow down and always wear your seat belts. Don’t hesitate to check road conditions and construction status before you travel; it may save you time and headache.

2. Be prepared for long waits in potential traffic delays. Even though predictions say there will be a larger than- normal amount of traffic in the area, it’s even more difficult to predict exact problem areas that could cause delays. Take time to make sure you have sufficient supplies such as extra food, water, first aid or anything else you may need to take care of yourself and your passengers. Weather conditions vary in Idaho and can quickly change between extreme heat, rain, thunder storm and wind, so be prepared with proper clothing if you end up outside the shelter of your vehicle. Before you travel, make sure your vehicle is mechanically safe, your tires are in good condition and you have plenty of fuel.

3. Be prepared ahead of time for your needs. Retail areas around these large events are stocking up for an influx of customers on top of the community regulars as best they can. If you wait until the last minute to get that gallon of milk or hamburger buns, you could find yourself waiting in longer-than normal lines. Taking the time to shop ahead of the crowd will be the best way to ensure your needs are met. We not only recommend that for food and groceries, but also for prescriptions, pet food, medical items or anything else you may need.

4. Be prepared for the little things. It’s very easy in the days ahead of summer to think about where you want to go and what you want to participate in, but to forget about the little things that could affect you along the way. There are many local websites, links, social media pages and phone applications that are useful in planning how to get where you are going safely and how to best enjoy yourself. Seek them out and take advantage of the information they have to offer so you can optimize your summer fun.