When You Are Out There by Yourself, Don’t Be Alone
Make yourself necessary to somebody. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Unlike the carefree days of our youth when we could be gone all day and no one would worry, such is seldom the case today. When you are out of communication and truly “alone” you sacrifice a certain level of safety and security. You relinquish the piece of mind that someone knows where you are, and if you don’t check-in, will come and find you. However, with this being said sometimes you end up in a situation (through intent or happenstance) when you, or you and the kids are out there by yourselves. At every given opportunity we emphasize to our families and staff members about not being totally out of communication, and effectively limiting your options for assistance if you encounter an emergency situation.
When you’re alone and faced with a dangerous emergency or encounter a disaster situation, the potential for a bad outcome can only be reduced or magnified by what you’ve done or not done beforehand to help yourself. Being by yourself, does not necessarily mean being alone.
Communicating. Take the time to communicate to a responsible person where you are going, your itinerary, and when you plan to return. Failing this, leave notes in obvious places in your home or office with this information. Do not put this information on your Facebook page as it can immediately signal criminals that you are away from home. Since no plan ever survives first contact, use at least two different forms of communications to insure your message is understood and can be acted upon.
Situation Awareness. We live in a world today that has changed drastically from the communities that we grew up in during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Situational awareness is key to your personal safety and security whether you are at home, work, driving, recreating or on travel. The vulnerability of you and or your family can be compounded by a host of factors (e.g. disasters, compromising medical emergencies, vehicle breakdowns, extreme weather conditions, utility outages, etc.). Another instance might occur where you could find yourself in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and in the wrong state of mind. Do yourself a favor by reading “A Primer on Situational Awareness” republished with permission of STRATFOR.
Driving. Everyday lone drivers face the day to day reality associated with common automobile breakdowns or just simply running out of gas. There are many other threats that also need to be considered when you are alone behind the wheel. Vehicle crashes, criminal carjacking, extreme weather driving conditions, and simply becoming lost. The upcoming winter weather driving season brings with it slippery roads, reduced visibility driving (blowing snow, sun glare, and icy/dirty windshields) and the potential of becoming stranded on the road. If you slide off the road, down an embankment and you are not visible from the highway, you really have a life threatening emergency. In this situation emergency signaling devices and a vehicle emergency sustainment system become invaluable. Cellular telephones with vehicle chargers, at all times of the year, are a must!
Working – On The Job. Whether you are working in the office late at night, catching up on paperwork over the holidays, traveling to see a client in or out of the country, or out in the field checking equipment in remote locations by yourself; remember you are by yourself. You cannot afford for safetys sake to be alone. When a real emergency arises, you only have yourself to count on and you could easily come up short. You can easily be isolated by a myriad of emergencies, calamities or disasters. Understand that you are vulnerable and that you need to have made plans and be equipped to return home safely. If a cellular telephone is your primary “life line” be sure that you have chargers, and a back-up battery power module. Here at ICE PACK Emergency Preparedness Systems, we are also working with corporations that have “lone workers” in the field that are equipping field personnel with a satellite messaging capability using SPOT technology.
Travel. Whether you are traveling anywhere by plane, train, bus or automobile, in or out of the country, you need to advise others of your plans, travel safely, and have the ability get home in the unlikely event of an emergency. Personnel in our company at all levels have been affected by an emergency while on travel. Snow storms causing roadway closure left staff stranded for more than 22 hours in freezing temperatures and more than a foot of snow on the way home (emergencies have many definitions that also include having to go to the bathroom with none anywhere in sight). A full fuel tank, warm clothes, a way to melt snow for water and available snacks were issues on Rt 81 that day. On the day Iraq invaded Kuwait in the first Persian Gulf War we had an executive in the Gulf Region stranded for weeks trying to get home. A Bug Out Bag, passport, phone card, and cash (believe it or not almost everyone in the world knows Ben Franklin ) were very, very important. And who would have ever thought of a 21st century modern society being affected of all things by a volcano in Iceland?
Recreation. Backpacking, sailing, trekking, big game hunting, rock climbing, kayaking, and off road trail driving are all highly enjoyable solitary pursuits. All of these recreational pursuits present some form of personal hazard, thus requiring solid emergency preparedness planning and high quality survival equipment. Recreational pursuits can also make you more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions so you need to keep an eye on the sky and “ear” on the weather forecast. Extreme weather conditions such as storms, lightening, high winds, ice and snow can turn an enjoyable outdoor experience into a fight for your life. Even when driving around the countryside in your Recreational Vehicle you need a RV personal disaster plan.
Obviously you can begin to see the importance of communications as a common thread throughout this blog post. Murphy’s Law (if it can go wrong it will) tends to have greater impact when you are by yourself. You can be by yourself, but you don’t want to be alone during a disaster. You can however, rest assured if you’ve planned, equipped and communicated properly you stand an infinitely better chance of enduring the emergency or disaster and staying alive.
FACTA NON VERBA…