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SIGNALING FOR HELP

There are many ways in how you can signal for help in a survival situation…

GOT A WHISTLE, HORN or GUN?

Three short whistle tweets, three blasts from a horn or three shots fired from a gun and a pause means…HELP! And two short tweets. two horn blasts or two gunshot blasts back means “Hold on Buddy, I Hear Ya and I’m a Coming For You!”

GOT A MIRROR?

A small pocket or vehicle mirror? A flashlight or vehicle light mirror reflector? Some broken pieced of mirror, glass, a shiny tin can lid, aluminum foil, a CD, emergency thermal space blanket? If it’s a sunny day you can use all these items for signaling.

GOT SOME FIRE?

Something to ignite and start a fire with like a lighter, matches or some other type of fire starter? If you build three separate fires (100 feet or 30 meters apart) either in a perfect triangle or a straight line, internationally this means HELP! But if you can’t build them in a triangle or straight line because of the terrain, one signal fire is better than no signal fire at all. But try to build your fire(s) somewhere in an open area and as high up as possible so it can be seen better from the air and ground search parties too.

DID YOU KNOW…during daylight hours a signal fire can be seen a lot further away if you can produce the right color smoke? For example, if you’re in a green environment like a jungle or forest you should try to produce a “white smoke” which can be done by adding some green vegetation to your burning fire. And if you’re in snow white or desert environment you should try to produce “black smoke,” which won’t be easy unless you have some type of petrol like diesel, oil, plastic or rubber tire. 

GOT A STROBE or CAMERA w/FLASH?

You can use’em at night for signaling a long ways off. Ain’t got no strobe or camera but a flint & steel fire starter? Great! If you strike the flint once every 3 seconds the bright white flash from a distance will look like a small battery operated strobe light.

GOT A CELLULAR or TWO-WAY RADIO?

Never use it unless you have a good signal, keep it always turned off to conserve battery power. Turn it on only when you come to any high ground, but if there’s still no signal, again keep it turned off and put it on only when you arrive at some new high ground. If there’s no high ground in sight and it’s all flat, try climbing the tallest tree to pick up a signal. Repeat and keep trying.

GOT SOME BRIGHT COLOR CLOTH?

Though you can attach any piece of cloth to a stick and wave it, but the brighter the color the more visible it is.  It’s best to pack & carry something more compact & lighter like some bright orange duct tape, property marking tape or one of our emergency orange sleeping bag.

SIGNAL KITE

Now think about it, if you were in a remote desert, jungle or forest and you saw one of these flying in the sky what’s the first thing you would say to yourself? Like me you would probably say “..who in the hell would be flying a freakin kite way out here?” Get my drift, so to speak? Yep, I’ll bet you do, and I’ll bet that’s what you would say too, wouldn’t you? Makes finding a needle in a haystack a lot easier to find, don’t it? You can also make these signal kites out of those pocket aluminum thermal space blanket too. Which if the sun’s out it’ll be seen a lot further away than a regular old kite due to the reflection of the sun bouncing off of it like a giant signal mirror in the sky. And if you don’t know how to make a simple kite, no problem, just google “how to make a kite” and dozen websites will pop up. Now it’s entirely up to you if you want to write SOS or HELP on your kite, obviously if your kite is flown way too high up in the air no one is going to be able to read what it says on it. But should it come crashing down and lands in some trees and you can’t get it down, someone from the air or on the ground just might see it and it could still lead to your rescue. But make sure you use a magic marker and NO SPRAY PAINT or it will add too much weight to your kite and it won’t fly. IMPORTANT: Make sure you test fly your kit before packing it away, don’t assume it will fly without testing it first or you just might be carrying “dead weight.” Get it?

Don’t have any of these items with you?

But don’t worry you’re not screwed yet. What you can do to get a low flying aircraft/pilot’s attention is to use the letters S O S or H E L P. How? By constructing these letters out of some rocks, logs, tree branches, stomped down weeds, snow or sketched out in the sand. Preferably in a open areas or along a water shore, the bigger the letters the easier they will be seen from the air.Not enough room for all these letters? No problem, a large “X” is better than no letters at all and will still get a pilot’s attention and indicate someone down below might be needing some help.

When “lost” or “stranded” should you decide to try to find your way out or home, always leave some type of markings along your route of travel. Why? So in the event someone finally does realizes you’re missing and or someone comes across your markings, they will know which way you’re going. Or should you have to back track, it will be easier to find your last known position. Make sense?

 

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Surviving winter if you are stranded in you car

Surviving winter if you are stranded in you car

 

What would you do if you found yourself stranded?

Being stranded in your car in nice weather is bad enough, but getting stranded in ice and snow and surviving winter weather is something you must be prepared for.

As preppers we all prepare for natural disasters of one sort or the other.

The UK Winter is something that we also need to prepare for as well.

The basic risks still exist – and during the winter months the added risk of Hypothermia is higher than at any other time.

In order to survive the winter weather, it is essential to be fully prepared and have the correct equipment with you, if you were to get yourself stranded in your car.

Breaking down in the snow and ice or just sliding off the road and getting stuck can be quite dangerous at the least and potentially fatal in the worse scenario.

Being fully prepared with the correct winter survival kit
is essential to keep yourself alive until help arrives.

The 5 basic rules to surviving, still apply to surviving winter in your car.

But remember, always adapt the amount of survival preparation to suit your own families needs and consider a worse case scenario of a car full of adults.

You must have enough survival equipment and supplies for this.

SHELTER:

 

This is your No:1 concern and most important survival decision.

  • Your car will provide all the shelter you need and protect you from the elements, so DO NOT leave your vehicle.
  • The only real time you would consider leaving is when you are fully equipped to do so, your life was in danger,  or you knew exactly where you were heading for.
  • Tip:  write “HELP & SOS” on the outside of the windscreen and back window

WARMTH:

being able to keep warm and offset hypothermia is essential to survival

  • Your car will provide all the shelter you need and protect you from the elements, so DO NOT leave your vehicle.
  • The only real time you would consider leaving is when you are fully equipped to do so, your life was in danger,  or you knew exactly where you were heading for.
  • Tip:  run your car engine for short periods of time [10-15mins] to stop any freezing, and run the heater [set on feet only], as any heat will rise and add to the warmth inside.
    Ensure that nothing is blocking that will allow fumes into the cabin area. [e.g. the exhaust system] and keep all windows and doors closed to prevent any fumes entering.

You will need a to ensure you have a supply of water for at least 48 hours. As well as an energy drink to keep you alert. 
Do not eat the snow or ice around you, no matter how fresh it is.
Snow will cool your body temperature down too much and the last thing you want is for your core temperature to drop.
Snow and ice can also contain dirt, bacteria and other unsavoury things.!

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How to Survive on a Raft in the Ocean

raft

To Survive on a Raft in the Ocean, you need to be prepared for some unexpected circumstances

Many people take to the water for a host of different reasons. Boating is a favorite activity for many, whether it’s for leisure purpose or for commercial fishing. Many of the big fishing boats are equipped with rescue craft of which they are regarded as virtually unsinkable. Many people set out in fine weather on a leisure cruise, and witness how the seas become choppy, the wind strengthens, and their boats overturn. Freak waves knock people off the decks of their schooners.

Never Underestimate the Elements

The news is full of tragic accidents at sea due to carelessness, inexperience or underestimating the elements. So many people take trips on pleasure cruise boats to sail safe waters, without realizing the treacherous coastal waters claim many lives each year. Boating has become increasingly popular because it enables people to escape from a world of problems and restrictions. Like any other sport, it does have it rules, if it is to be enjoyed in safety, and these must be observed with care and foresight by everyone afloat.

With the massive interest in boating all around the world, accidents are likely to increase. Sea Rescue Institutes exist around the world, and with their coast guard watch efforts, they keep a sharp lookout for boats in trouble and they take calls from people in distress at sea.

There are many experience sailors who reject the idea of safety laws because they believe that blanket regulations will keep people away from boating. Boating experts believe that the way to cut boating accidents is for newcomers to join established clubs. Anyone can join these clubs, even those people with tiny rowing dinghies.

  • Before you set out on any boating trip, learn the rules of the sea. Study local hazards and tides and pay heed to weather reports, as conditions in coastal water can be extremely changeable. Leave word where you are going and when you are likely to return.
  • Never take chances and never overload your boat.
  • Check your safety gear and distress flares before leaving
  • Make sure that everybody on board is equipped with approved life-jackets which should be worn by everyone even in calm conditions when you are out boating in a small boat.
  • If you are setting out in a small motor-boat, remember that two engines provide greater safety than one – if you only have one – rather stay close to the shore to other boats.
  • Take drinking water with you as thirst can be very distressing and even dangerous after a few hours adrift.
  • If your boat fills with water and capsizes, stay with it. Don’t try to swim to shore even if it looks temptingly close. Nine out of 10 people get lost trying to swim ashore and could have been saved if they had stayed with their boat.
  • If your boat does sink, and it has a raft, you can consider yourself truly fortunate. If your boat sinks and you don’t have a raft, look for something that can help to keep you afloat. Air trapped in wet clothing will provide extra buoyancy if you have no life jacket.

What starts out as a dream getaway – an adventure to an island paradise in the south Pacific – can turn into a nightmare when massive grey clouds roll up and winds and waves batter your boat from every side. Not for one minute tell yourself that modern boats of today can’t flip and always be ‘slightly fearful’ of the ocean’s power.

Whether you are stranded in a raft on the ocean because of a plane crash or a sinking boat, by following some useful survival tips, you know the strategies that can keep you alive for a while longer until help arrives.

  • The body can’t survive for longer than 4 days without water, so your first priority will be to find a source of water to stay hydrated. It might well rain and it is important to find different kinds of materials in the raft as well as floating on the water to make some of a container to catch fresh rain water. Refrain from drinking sea water for as long as you possibly can. If there is some form of an emergency kit in the raft you can try to make some kind of a fishing rod to attract fish as these will be a source of food and liquid for you. You may be fortunate to have managed to salvage desalination kits – use them only for immediate water needs.
  • Plankton and seaweed is nutritious and can often be found on the surface, and this can be something for you to feed on while you wait for rescuers to come.
  • Try to salvage all useful floating equipment and secure them to the safety lines which are both inside and outside your raft. Just make double sure that none of the items have sharp points that can puncture your raft.
  • Sanitation is critical for your survival – urine and excrement mustn’t be allowed to pollute the raft. It is best to urinate and defecate by sitting/hanging over the sides of the raft. With a weakened immune system, you can’t afford to slacken in your efforts to keep the raft free from urine and feces.
  • Make sure to use every available signaling devices you can find to signal and make contact with rescuers. If you suspect you can see a ship on the horizon or a small plane flying over, wave some fabric, even if it’s some of your clothing. If you managed to salvage some tin or glass items, use these reflecting materials to attract attention. Some modern rafts come equipped with signaling devices such as flares and these should only be used if you are certain a ship or plane will see you.
  • ● Panic can make you want to drift anywhere, but the truth is the closer you stay to your ‘disaster’ area, the better, as this is where your first rescue attempts will be directed. It is better to throw out the anchor to create some drag and this will help you stay close to your site, making it easier for searchers to find you. Without an anchor it is unbelievable but true, that you can drift about 150 kilometers in just one day, making your raft more difficult to find.
  • If you aren’t alone and there are several of you on the raft, you will be glad to huddle together at night to absorb warmth from each other. You will also need to take turns on keeping watch for any passing ships or planes. In the group each one should be assigned a task which rotates to relieve boredom – water collector, fishing, lookout, signaler and also water bailers. The water bailer should simultaneously be checking for leaks and to take appropriate action in your circumstances and with the provisions you have to stop leaks.
  • If you are in a hot climate, you should try to make provision to keep out of the direct sun as much as possible, as bad sunburn, blisters and red, aching skin can be debilitating and even cause sun stroke.

Be a Survivor

By following these tips, you may be wet, cold, dehydrated, sick, exhausted and close to death, but by keeping your head and following these tips and advice, you may well be carried off your raft alive where you’ll be treated in hospital and discharged, ready to take on your next adventure.