Staying Safe at Smith Mountain Lake

on June 15, 2015

If you’re one of the lucky ones who get to vacation at Smith Mountain Lake during the summer, then you’re well aware of the anticipation that sets in as you count down the days between now and destination SML. There’s nothing like that moment when you step out onto your porch, dock or balcony to soak up the first summertime sunset or that lazy slumber that follows a busy day of exploring the open waters.

All in all, life at the lake is laid back and easygoing. Part of the charm of this lifestyle is the allure of an open itinerary. Your to-do lists have been banished to the dark corners of your mind as you park yourself on the patio with your sunglasses, a glass of sweet tea and a good book.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” Coined by Benjamin Franklin, this golden nugget of advice is oftentimes left behind with those aforementioned to-do lists and the everyday responsibilities of a life not on vacation. But taking the time to ensure that you and your family have a safe Smith Mountain Lake summer is one list that you should study and keep close at hand.

Here are a few tips for ensuring that you have a fun-filled family vacation:

  1. Sunscreen: Nothing puts the brakes on a summertime vacation like a painful sunburn. Take the extra time to apply and reapply your sunscreen to keep your skin safe. Aside from not looking like a lobster in all of your selfies, you’re helping to prevent permanent damage to your skin that may result in skin cancer.
  2. Hydrate: It seems silly that one would forget to stay hydrated when surrounded by so much water, but it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re out and about at Smith Mountain Lake. Intense exercise, such as hiking, biking, and water skiing, can leave your body dehydrated, and dehydration can cause disorientation, dizziness, heart palpitations, and fainting. Keep plenty of water with you at all times and know when it’s time to take a break.
  3. Rules of the (Water) Road: Operating a vessel on the open water is a lot of fun, but it’s also a huge responsibility. Take the time to get properly trained on how to operate a boat and familiarize yourself with area marinas and channel markers. Always make sure that everyone on your boat, including pets, has a lifejacket on board, and check to make sure that you have plenty of gas to get you to and from your destination. Do not operate a watercraft while drinking alcohol and put your mobile device away.
  4. Know Your Healthcare Options: If you or someone in your family has special medical needs, take the time to connect yourself with area specialists in the event that you may require their care. For instances that may not require an emergency room visit, you can go to Velocity Care, an urgent care clinic by Carilion. You can even check in online using their iTriage portal located at
  5. Relax and Recharge: Listen to your body. If you’re tired, skip that midnight bonfire and go to bed. If you’re being pulled away by push notifications from your mobile device, let those who need to know that you’ll be taking a hiatus from your phone for a few hours and put it up for a while. If you’ve been binging on fried foods, decadent desserts and cocktails, then treat yourself to a salad filled with fresh vegetables and fruits and some lean protein.
  6. Slow Down: Yes, you’re excited to get out and explore, but make sure you obey all traffic laws and slow down in unfamiliar areas. Some of those back roads can be tricky, especially during those sudden summertime thunderstorms. Slow down and pull over if you need to reference your mobile device for directions.


Now that you’ve taken a moment to make sure that you and your family will be safe this summer, you can set your sights on Smith Mountain Lake and start your highly anticipated summer vacation. And remember, if you have questions about Smith Mountain Lake homes for sale, including waterfront, water access, condos, townhomes and more, call me directly at 540-420-0135 or visit


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