UK: Most hillgoers unprepared for emergencies, Ordnance Survey study reveals – Published 30 Jun 2017 1400z (GMT/UTC)

 Most hillgoers unprepared for emergencies, Ordnance Survey study reveals

“A study by Britain’s national mapping agency has revealed many hillgoers are clueless about what to do if things went wrong.

Ordnance Survey said one in eight of people asked would not know how to deal with a mountain emergency if they had no phone signal.

And three-quarters of recreational walkers don’t plan their route properly or pack the right gear, the survey found.

The figures were released as OS announced it was teaming up with Mountain Rescue England and Wales, the umbrella body for voluntary teams south of the border, to try to reduce outdoor incidents.

There were only 14 days last year where a mountain rescue team in England and Wales wasn’t called out.

In 2016 MREW attended 1,812 callouts, up 170 on the previous year, of which 360 were serious or fatal. Mountain bike incidents also continued to rise in 2016, though not at the same rate as previous years.

OS’s survey of more than 2,000 adults from across Great Britain who enjoy recreational walking and hiking highlighted the need for a more safety-minded approach when venturing outdoors.

A total of 83 per cent of those questioned admitted that if they were in trouble on a mountain and had no phone signal they wouldn’t know what to do. It also revealed how more and more walkers and hikers, especially those from younger generations, are not carrying paper maps, compasses or whistles, and are relying entirely on the functionality of their mobile phones, even though only 28 per cent of all respondents would think to check in advance the availability of a mobile phone signal in the place to where they are heading…..” – Bob Smith, Editor of grough magazine
Thursday 29 June 2017 06:39 PM GMT Click for full story

Calling the emergency services from a mobile phone (Advice from Dartmoor Rescue)

The short video gives important information about dialing the emergency services from a mobile phone in the event of an accident. It answers important questions such as:

  • what�s the difference between 999 and 112?
  • How can you call when your mobile phone is showing no signal?
  • Or if somebody in your party is unconscious and their�s is the only mobile, �how can you bypass the phone security to make that important call and potentially save their life?

All this and more is explained simply and clearly.

So be prepared and watch the video as it could save the life or a family member of friend.

�Help Me� The Secrets of using 112 on a mobile phone in an emergency/accident

You need to register your mobile phone before being able to alert the emergency services, including mountain and cave rescue, via SMS text message. �This is best done�before�you need help. You can register by sending an SMS text message from your mobile phone as follows:

(Goaty: Suggest better to register with 112 rather than 999 � why? see video, but why not both)

sms999.001 - Version 2

More information can be found at the following website:�http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/

“Help Me” The Secrets of using a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) in an emergency/accident

https://lh3.ggpht.com/_D_E5598eI3o/TSm5QDx_3vI/AAAAAAAACCk/aym4dYflxxg/s1600/mountainrescue.jpgGeneral Mountain/Moorland Advice from Mountain Rescue England & Wales:

Mountains and moorlands can be treacherous places without proper care and there are many, many ways to enjoy the mountain environment, be it walking, climbing, running, cycling or skiing. There�s no subsititute for experience, but there are steps you can take to minimise the chances of getting lost or hurt.

Prepare and plan

  • Develop the mountain skills you need to judge potential hazard, including the ability to read a map.
  • Think about the equipment, experience, capabilities and enthusiasm of your party members, taking into account the time of year, the terrain and the nature of the trip � and choose your routes accordingly.
  • Learn the basic principles of first aid � airway, breathing, circulation and the recovery position. It could make the difference between life and death.

Wear suitable clothing and footwear

  • Wear suitable footwear with a treaded sole, and which provides support for ankles.
  • Clothing should be colourful, warm, windproof and waterproof and always carry spare, including hat and gloves (even in summer the tops and open moorland can still be bitingly cold, and it�s always colder the higher you climb).

Carry food and drink�

  • Take ample food and drink for each member of the party. High energy food such as chocolate and dried fruit are ideal for a quick hit.
  • In cold, wet weather a warm drink is advisable, and always carry water � even in cool weather it�s easy to become dehydrated.
  • Of course, large quantities of water can weight heavy in the rucksack, so take a smaller water bottle and top up when you can � streams on hills are drinkable if fast-running over stony beds.

�and the right equipment

  • A map and compass are essential kit and should be easily accessible � not buried in the rucksack!
  • A mobile phone and GPS are useful tools but don�t rely on your mobile to get you out of trouble � in may areas of the mountains there is no signal coverage.
  • Take a whistle and learn the signal for rescue. Six good long blasts. Stop for one minute. Repeat. Carry on the whistle blasts until someone reaches you and don�t stop because you�ve heard a reply � rescuers may be using your blasts as a direction finder.
  • A torch (plus spare batteries and bulbs) is a must. Use it for signalling in the same pattern as for whistle blasts.
  • At least one reliable watch in the party.
  • Cllimbers and mountain bikers should wear a helmet. In winter conditions, an ice-axe, crampons and survival bag are essential.
  • Emergency survival kit comprising spare clothing and a bivvi bag.
  • New OrdnanceSurvey free smartphone app OSLocate will help walkers in a fix http://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2014/03/24/ordnance-survey-free-smartphone-app-will-help-walkers-in-a-fix

Before you set out

  • Charge your phone battery! Many accidents occur towards the end of the day when both you and your phone may be low on energy.
  • Check the weather forecast and local conditions. Mountains can be major undertakings and, in the winter months, night falls early.
  • Eat well before you start out.
  • Leave your route plan including start and finish points, estimated time of return and contact details with an appropriate party.

On the hill

  • Keep an eye on the weather and be prepared to turn back if conditions turn against you, even if this upsets a long planned adventure.
  • Make sure party leaders are experienced. Keep together, allow the slowest member of the party to determine the pace, and take special care of the youngest and weakest in dangerous places.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia, particularly in bad weather � disorientation, shivering, tiredness, pale complexion and loss of circulation in hands or toes, discarding of vital clothing. Children and older people are especially susceptible.
  • If you prefer to go alone, be aware of the additional risk. Let people know your route before you start, stick to it as far as you can and notify them of any changes.
  • If you think you need mountain rescue, get a message to the Police (112/999) as soon as possible and keep injured/exhausted people safe and warm until help reaches you.

Dangers you can avoid

  • Precipices and unstable boulder.
  • Slopes of ice or steep snow, and snow cornices on ridges or gully tops.
  • Very steep grass slopes, especially if frozen or wet.
  • Gullies, gorges and stream beds, and streams in spate.
  • Exceeding your experience and abilities and loss of concentration.

Dangers you need to monitor

  • Weather changes � mist gale, rain and snow may be sudden and more extreme than forecast.
  • Ice on path (know how to use an ice-axe and crampons).
  • Excessive cold or heat (dress appropriately and carry spare clothing!).
  • Exhaustion (know the signs, rest and keep warm).
  • Passage of time � especially true when under pressure � allow extra time in winter or night time conditions.

Check out the Safe in the Hills website � pioneered by the Kirkby Stephen MRT, for more information about how you can keep safe whilst walking in the hills.

How to take care of your feet when hiking�. The key recommendations are:

  • Choose the right hiking boots
  • Trim your toenails
  • Soften any tough skin (which are subject to hard to treat deep blisters)
  • Rest feet when walking

�Avoiding and treating foot blisters for hikers�, as well as giving some useful advice on how to treat blisters, highlights the importance of changing your (decent walking) socks when they get wet

  1. Make sure you have a decent pair of boots
  2. Take plenty of decent hiking socks
  3. Change your socks when they get damp (if you do this as early as possible you have a fighting chance to dry them in your sleeping bag)
  4. Regularly let your feet rest and breath
  5. Regularly apply talc to your feet
  6. If it is raining or very damp, wear gaiters to stop water getting into your boots

Do this and your feet, the most important hiking equipment you have, will thank you!

(Stolen from http://philsorrell.com/2010/03/01/importance-of-foot-care-whilst-hiking/)

Do not use any information on this site for life or death decisions. All information is intended as supplementary to official sources. Kindly refer to your country’s official weather agency/government website for local warnings, advisories and bulletins.

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6 Emergency Enhancements to Technology

Evolving Educators

We are now going on two weeks since Hurricane Sandy slammed parts of the east coast and a day since Nor’easter Athena added insult to injury. The recovery from these two events will be weeks in some areas and years in others. As the recovery progresses it is also a time to assess and make recommendations for better technology preparedness. Here are 6 recommendations for emergency enhancements to technology for moving us all forward and better preparing for the next event:

For the smartphone manufacturers and software developers:
1. Increase battery life on the smartphones. There is absolutely no reason why a smartphone’s battery doesn’t last for more than 24 hours. If you can not increase the life of the battery go back to the old way of giving us the ability to buy extra batteries and a battery charger so we can remove the dead battery and put in…

View original post 481 more words

Goaty: Have tried to remain politically unbiased, but in this matter of coastguard closures, it is difficult. Taking this story at face value, it seems an incredible lack of forethought on the part of the current government. This is very worrying – lives will be lost!

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Related:

UK Government plan to close 50% of UK Coastguard Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres – Updated 21 Sept 2012 1840Z

Support flaring for Clyde Coastguard, Scotland – Published 03 Sept 2012 1440Z

Pride's Purge

(not satire unfortunately – it’s the coalition government!)

UPDATEThis government cock-up could cost Tory MP Oliver Letwin his West Dorset seat at the next election!

More than half of the voters in his constituency have signed a petition protesting against the scrapping of the Portland rescue helicopter as part of government plans to cut coastguard and rescue services. See here for more info.

the coalition government’s biggest cock-up yet?

A government ‘mix-up’ over dates means the UK coast will be left inadequately guarded. For up to 2 years.

We know the coalition government has made some huge mistakes in its mad rush to sacrifice public services at the altar of austerity, but this one might just beat them all.

It’s not being very well reported but as part of its austerity measures, the government has just started closing half of all the local Coastguard Maritime Rescue…

View original post 446 more words

Emergencies, Twitter & Twitcident

Very often folks learn about major accidents and other problems from Twitter first, but those that need to know don’t have the time to sort through this sea of data.

They need a web filter. Twitcident( http://twitcident.com/?kid=8W2W ) does that – once it knows of an incident or potentially dangerous situation developing, it starts monitoring tweets about that incident or situation, together with tweets from the public. However, it filters out much of the rubbish that clogs Twitter, such as @ replies. It zeros in on finding key information.
The general public will find it useful too.
One example, where Goaty’s News had some involvement, perhaps demonstrates the need for this sort of intervention….
During last year’s riots in London & other British cities, Twitter was ablaze. Both the good & bad in people surfaced. Misinformation can spread like wildfire. Some purposely mislead, whilst others were simply led astray & retweeted. There were even calls from certain quarters for Twitter & Facebook to be shut down, during periods of unrest & riot.
Luckily, there were trusted sources tweeting, the emergency services, journalists (notably, Paul Lewis & Neal Mann) & sources deemed reliable from previous incidents.
Although not perfect, Goaty’s News will always try to help dispell misinformation on social media, whenever possible & believes that inspired projects such as Twitcident, that work for the common good, are well overdue.

Here is more on Twitcident: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/04/twitcident-fights-fire-with-twitter/

From The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/15/2948447/twitcident-emergency-twitter-crowd-source-crisis-management?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

BBC World on Twitcident: “Bringing order out of chaos” http://blog.twitcident.com/bbc-world-service-interview-about-twitcident