Pre-plan your outdoor activities

Like just about everything else in life, a little advance planning before venturing into the great outdoors can pay off big when what was supposed to be a hike turns into an adventure.

I retrieved the information below from an Oregon Emergency Management item. A good tip for those who want to get home on time and in one piece:

“Spring – and spring break – has officially arrived in Oregon. While spring in our state offers beautiful scenery to explore, it can also be dangerous. Camping, hiking, boating and other recreational adventures can involve search and rescue operations to find and assist those who are lost or injured.

“On average, more than 1,000 SAR missions are conducted each year in our state. A staggering fact is that 99% of people in need of SAR assistance lived outside the county where they were rescued. Lack of preparation is often the common denominator. People should know their physical limitations and plan activities that will not exceed their experience.

“Our office is currently running a ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign on Facebook and Twitter encouraging spring breakers and outdoor enthusiasts to keep themselves and their loved ones safe through advanced planning and preparation. We hope you will amplify our messages, which include the following tips:

  • Research the destination and familiarize yourself with the area.
  • Check the weather conditions.
  • Download maps to a cell phone or print them out in case there is no cell service.
  • Check com or call 511 for road conditions.
  • Enable Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on cell phones.
  • Check the State of Oregon Recreation Map before traveling to confirm the destination is open.
  • Bring layers of clothing and footwear suitable for the weather and terrain.
  • Pack appropriate gear and extra food, water, and supplies.
  • Have an emergency kit and cell phone charger in the vehicle.
  • Travel with a companion.
  • Share your travel plans with someone, including destination and estimated return.
Eric Holdman

Eric Holdeman is a contributing editor to Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Washington, Office of Emergency Management.

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