How to alert others that you need rescuing
What if the unthinkable happens, what if one minute you are enjoying a quiet stroll through the beautiful terrain, then the next minute you are lost, or if you fall into an area that offers no tangible way of getting back on track and you are trapped! What do you do then? Do you just stay there without supplies and water and die from dehydration?
As human beings, we are hotwired for survival, everything within us pushes us to try to survive; trying to get out of dangerous situations and signal for help is a built in mechanism within all of us. Though we may know that we need to signal for help, we may not know how to. How can we use what we have around us at the time, to let others know that we are in danger and that we need rescuing.
Do you have a mirror with you, or something that has a shiny surface, like a knife or a blade of some kind? If you do, you can use the shiny surface to reflect the sun’s light. This is actually a very effective way of getting the attention of an airplane. From the moment you see the aircraft, you should begin to signal it. Do not wait until the airplane is directly above you as pilots cannot look directly down but tend to look out in the distance. Therefore, when they are far away is the best time to try to signal them.
A smoke signal can also be used; using a smoke signal depends obviously on where you are. If you are lost or stranded in a wooded area, this method would be useful. Your smoke cloud should be as big as you can make it as you want it to be seen by others and you should also create it as early in the morning as you can. Rescue workers tend to come searching very early in the morning, therefore getting that signal smoke going early, will give you a good chance of being rescued.
When signalling for help, it is quite important to remember the ‘rule of three.’ This is a very traditional way of signalling for help and it lets people from anywhere around the world know from the moment they see your signals that help is needed urgently. So whatever you are doing to alert others that you need help, you should do it in threes. If you are blowing a whistle, blow it in three shorts bursts, then pause and continue again with three short bursts.
Three signal fires will also let people know that there is trouble and that you are just not keeping yourself warm. If you don’t have anything to make a fire with, you can use nature to help you. By contrasting colours, you may be able to alert persons that you need help; building three hills of green leaves on a white sand, this will alert a plane that there is a need for help.
Getting lost or trapped is a very scary thing; knowing how to alert others to your situation may make the different between your demise and your survival.