Someone will be looking Everyone should know what to do when they get lost. In CAP, if an air crew makes a forced landing, or if a ground crew has a vehicle problem, or goes missing on a search, they need to know the basic skills to stay alive and safe until they are rescued. But CAP air and ground crews benefit from one special circumstance: someone knows pretty closely where they are and also will notice quickly when they do not report in. Thus a search will be timely and relatively accurate.
This lesson covers the special needs of CAP crews. They need to be able to stay alive and safe for a few days, but not likely for more than a week. The recommendations in this lesson are also relevant to anyone who gets lost, but do not discuss the special needs of long- term wilderness survival.
Course outline Your survival chances will be greatly improved if you follow these three rules: 1.Be Prepared 2.When something first goes wrong, STOP 3.Take care of the priorities first We will discuss each of these rules in this module.
Rule 1: Be Prepared The three essentials of being prepared are: 1.Knowledge 2.Attitude 3.Equipment
Knowledge Know the basic rules and skills for wilderness survival in the event of an accident – That is what this module is about Be trained and know your teammates – You are all in the same situation, and cooperation will greatly improve your situation
Attitude Have a positive attitude. You know that someone will be looking for you soon, and that you have the knowledge and equipment to take care of yourself and others.
Equipment Always carry the essentials for wilderness survival in the region you are working in. Aircrew members should wear a vest with survival gear, so it will be with you after an emergency egress. Ground crew members can carry a personal emergency kit in a small bag. Consider putting a similar kit in your family car!
10 Essential Items There are 10 items you should always carry on a mission in case you are stranded. For your immediate care: 1. First aid kit For knowing your location: 2. Map (sectional, topo map, gazeteer) 3. Compass
For your health: 4. Water – including purification tablets or bleach and containers 5. Extra food – energy bars for short term use
For your shelter and protection: 6. Extra clothing – warm jacket and rain gear. Wool keeps you warm even when wet. Great lightweight options are aluminized mylar blankets or bags, a plastic garbage bag for a rain poncho. 7. Fire starter – matches, magnesium sticks, candles, wood pieces soaked in wax, cotton balls soaked in vaseline, fine steel wool (5-0) and 9 v. battery, a wire pull-saw 8. A good knife
For signaling and movement: 9. Flashlight – LED bulbs are brighter than incandescent and use less power. Consider a hand-crank flashlight. 10. Signaling devices – signal mirror or CD; whistle; pink surveyors tape or a signal tarp; a charged cell-phone; and dont forget the radio!
Rule 2: STOP When something first goes wrong: - Stop what you are doing - Think about the overall situation - Observe the situation clearly - Plan what you are going to do about it.
Dont just react in a hurry. When you get rushed you make mistakes and your judgment is poor. If you are not in immediate danger of further injury (fire, landslide, fall, drowning, etc.), take time to assess the situation and discuss it with your crew mates. Use your training, knowledge and equipment correctly.
Rule 3: Remember the Priorities 1.First Aid: stop bleeding, restore breathing, attend to wounds and broken bones, get clear of damaged a/c or vehicle 2.Shelter: hypothermia or sunstroke happens faster than dehydration 3.Signal: stay put, near your vehicle/aircraft, but get somewhere you are visible. Use contrasting colors to the environment. 4.Water: You can survive a couple of days without water except in very hot environments 5.Food: Not a priority – you can survive a couple of weeks without eating
Lets look at each of these priorities in more detail… Priority 1 - First Aid: Be Prepared: Take a first aid course, and have basic first aid equipment in your survival kid. This module will not discuss first aid procedures in detail. If someone is injured, attend to the injuries first. STOP and consider whether you need to get the person clear of the vehicle or aircraft before caring for him/her.
Priority 2 – Shelter: Stay dry. Stay warm in a cold climate. Stay cool in a hot climate. You need shade, protection from wind, rain, snow. Find a site that is not subject to flood, rock falls, excess wind, poisonous plants. On a mountain slope, shelter next to a large boulder that will absorb heat and block wind.
Shelter, continued Make it visible from ground and air – in open area, and of contrasting color. Do not leave the general area of your emergency landing or disabled vehicle unless absolutely necessary. –Getting lost just makes it a bigger problem!
Shelter, continued In a cold climate, make the shelter just big enough to trap and not dissipate body heat. Insulate the floor (with brush, pine needles, aluminized mylar)
Shelter, continued In a hot climate, create shade and allow air movement. Desert environments can go from hot in the daytime to freezing at night. Shelter accordingly.
Shelter, continued Fire: for heat in a cold climate, and as a signal source. Find a dry location, sheltered from wind. Dont start a wildfire: build on dirt or rock.
Shelter, continued Start fires small: Lay tinder (moss, dead grass, wood shavings, crumpled paper) and kindling (dry twigs, cardboard strips, wood strips) first. Lay a tepee or lean-to in order to focus heat. Light your candle and use the candle to light tinder; once the kindling is burning add fuel (small branches, fallen wood, grass twisted in bundles, etc).
Priority 3 – Signaling: The handheld radio is your best resource. Be sure you have it when you leave the airplane or vehicle. Call on 121.5 and any commercial aircraft in range will hear you. Hold the antenna vertically, and do not point it at the aircraft.
Get as high as possible, in an open area. Deploy bright colors: spread out the mylar blanket; drape orange surveyors tape over branches. Flash a signal mirror or CD; make smoke (lots!); whistle.
Priority 4 - Water: You need at least 2 liters a day to stay healthy and effective. If the temperature is 96°, you need 7.5 liters if resting in the shade! In a hot climate, water quickly becomes a high priority.
If there is a stream or lake nearby, use that, with purification tablets if available. If the water is murky, strain it through a shirt first. Ice & snow can be melted. (Ice is better than snow.) Catch rain in a tarp or your mylar blanket. Look for water in rock cracks, tree clefts, or some plants (cactus, bamboo).
Priority 5 - Food: This is the last of your worries. Dont spend time looking for food until everything else has been taken care of. Eat your energy bars, but be prepared to be hungry for a couple of days, if needed. Learn the edible plants of your region. Dont waste energy hunting. If youve done everything else right, you will be located in a few days.
Extreme environments: Deserts In the desert, water and shade become the priorities. –At 96°F, a person resting in the shade needs 7.5 liters of water a day. At 110°F, you need 11 liters (3 gallons). –Any exercise or sun exposure will add 2 to 7 liters more to the need. –Drink water regularly. If water is scarce, do not eat because that raises the need for water. Keep your clothes on, so that the sweat stays near your body and cools more effectively.
Extreme environments: Cold In a cold environment, shelter and warmth become the priority. –Cold is insidious and dangerous. It decreases your ability to think and your will to survive. –Protect your body. Cover your head and hands. Any exposed skin is a source of heat loss. –Wear all your clothes, in layers. –Avoid overheating and stay dry. Stay out of the wind.
Cold environments, continued Make a small shelter, just big enough for your crew. Insulate yourself from the ground (with branches, leaves, etc). Dont shelter in a bare metal fuselage that will conduct heat away. Keep any fire or candle properly ventilated to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Put it out while you sleep.
Review Be Prepared –Knowledge –Attitude –Equipment STOP –Stop –Think about the situation –Observe the situation –Plan what you will do
Review Follow the priorities –1. First Aid –2. Shelter –3. Signal –4. Water –5. Food Work together and you can stay safe!
Thank you for taking the time to complete this training presentation! Please take a moment to complete the associated quiz to receive safety education credit. As a professional member of Civil Air Patrol, awareness is a key part to the safety of all members. Civil Air Patrol National Safety Team firstname.lastname@example.org