Petersburg Pilot -


By Bob Carter 

Outdoor Safety: Be prepared


Bob Carter, Captain Petersburg Volunteer

Fire Department Search and Rescue

“Be prepared” is the famous motto of the Boy Scouts. All of us who enjoy hiking, hunting, fishing, kayaking and other outdoor activities would be wise to heed the Scout’s wisdom. Unfortunately, each year in Alaska a number of people become lost. Some are found safe and sound while others sadly succumb to the elements before rescuers can locate them.

Petersburg Search and Rescue would like to offer the following survival tips: 

• Let someone know where you are going and when you are expected back. Be specific as possible. A trip plan will help Search and Rescue know where to begin searching saving valuable time which may save your life.

• Dress for the worst weather. As we are all aware the weather here can change quickly and punish the unprepared.

• Carry a map and learn how to use a compass. GPS systems are too reliant on batteries to be trustworthy.

• Carry a survival kit. This should include: matches and fire starters, plastic garbage bags, a first aid kit, a space blanket, knife and energy bars. Also it is important to carry signal devices such as a loud whistle, flares, flashlight and a signal mirror.

• Check if your cell phone shows GPS coordinates. If not consider buying the app. This will tell Search and Rescue specifically where you are located.

• If you become lost, stay in one place. Stay calm. Conserve your energy. Build a shelter.   

• Avoid alcohol. Alcohol impairs judgment and makes you more susceptible to hypothermia.

 “Be prepared." It may save your life.


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