You can expect conditions to intensify starting this week as the season officially changes with the summer solstice. The earth is tilting on its axis, heat is rising and storms surely are ahead.

Voters need to dress, prepare and act accordingly. Here's a short list to consider before heading out:

• Sunscreen

When applying protection, go for a respectable SPF. That's short for sagacious political filter. Used wisely, daily and spread evenly and often, SPF will help you assess candidates from now until the dog days of summer (the Aug. 14 primary) and right up to the November Election Day. SPF will help prevent you from getting burned.

• Sunglasses

Eye strain isn't an uncommon side effect this time of year ... those bright, glossy flyers can strain your belief, too. Shield your eyes from the political glare so you can see the truth better.

Tip: Sunglasses come in a variety of styles, including lens tints that range from yellow to dark gray, and you may need to change that filter. The best sunglasses for a sunny morning may be the wrong ones for a cloudy afternoon. Just remember, don't look straight at a candidate while you're wearing rose-tinted glasses.

• Hat

Wear one, but not the same one every time you head out. Choose a cap that's appropriate for who you are and what you're doing today. The logo above the brim might say "Sustain" one day, "Jobs" tomorrow, "Climate Change" the next day and "Family Values" a week from now. Don't be a single-issue voter.

• Summer clothing

Wear light, loose clothing. When you put on something too dark or constricting, you increase your risks of heat stroke.

• Water

Cool, clear water is the best drink for you when you're politically parched. Carry water with you. Stay refreshed and hydrated. You don't really want to be that guy everyone nods at and says, "He drank the Kool-aid."

• Umbrella

Seek shade under a particular party by all means, but know that no umbrella provides all that you, your city, county, school, state or nation needs. Dangerous UV rays - unending vitriol, you might say- can reflect off sand, water, pavement and grass, reaching under that umbrella and leaving you exposed.

The sensible approach to the season is one of preparedness.

Now get out in the sunshine and absorb some of the vitamin Democracy that is so essential to our health and wellbeing.