Sunday, July 24, 2011

Visual Emergency Signals for Survival - Daytime Emergency Signals

In an emergency situation, being able to utilize any and all your options to create an emergency signal will increase your chances of being found quickly. From a simple vehicle breakdown to being lost in the wilderness, your ability to create a visual distress signal can be critical. The most important factor in creating a visual emergency signal is its ability to get someone’s attention and make them aware of your presence.

Most persons readily noticed items that are unusual or seem out of place and this should be your goal when creating an emergency signal. If you can combine a visual signal with movement, sound and color, you will draw even more attention to yourself and your chances of being found will increase dramatically. For these reasons, flags have been utilized as distress signals with great success. It’s extremely difficult for someone to fail to notice a colorful flag that is flapping in a breeze. You can utilize a bandanna, your shirt, a mirror, a blanket or a poncho or raincoat or just a  colorful piece of cloth or surveyor’s tape for this purpose. If you’ve got a flag bandanna, it can be even more effective if it’s flown upside down. This is a universal distress signal familiar to most people. 

Another option for creating a visual signal is the empty container. An empty can, water bottle or bag can be tied to a limb or other object to draw attention to your situation as well. If you’re carrying a small notepad and pencil, you can even leave a note with additional information. Even if you don’t have writing material, you can still leave a message by simply wring in the dirt with a stick. If you happen to be a riverwalker, you can even float an empty bottle (with a note inside) on a piece of cord in the river and leave it fastened to a tree branch on the riverbank.

Even natural objects, when placed in an unnatural position can be used to create an emergency signal. A pile of rocks in the middle of a trail will most assuredly get someone’s attention. You can even indicate your direction by making it look like an arrow to point the way to your location. You can even use a combination of all these types of signals to further increase your chances of being found. If you can include the sound factor in your emergency signal it will be even more effective. A simple object like a rock, a stick or an eating utensil (i.e., spoon, etc.) tied on a piece of cord that is banging against a can or bottle blowing in the wind can create a wind chime effect to draw attention to your plight.

Remember, the main goal of an emergency signal is to get someone’s attention in as quick a manner as possible.

Got wind chime for survival?

Staying above the water line!



millenniumfly said...

Good reminders. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget smoke - a moving object catches the eye very quickly.

riverwalker said...

To: milleniumfly

A lot of time we forget all the different alternatives.



riverwalker said...

To: anon 5:50

Smoke works great also!

Thanks anon.


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