Lost in Panama! Basic rules for Travel Safe Training.

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Stuff happens, but of all the stories the ones concerning tourist bother me the most. When people disappear on vacation or business it dredges up stories of kidnapping and ransom. Our hearts go out to all the victims of these terrible crimes.

Although this may not be the issue with the lost ladies in Panama, as they could be simply lost, a lot of the same rules we use for travel safe training can be applied to any adventure.

After having developed and written many “travel safe programs” we have Identified some basic rules which should never be violated,

1. Like on a dive (SCUBA), never travel alone. Always use the buddy system.

2. Always leave your intended route with at least TWO responsible individuals. One should be a family member and the other a friend which can collaborate the information to the authorities. Family members will say/do anything to get help, collaborating information will re-enforce the validity of the information.

3. In addition to the route leave a “drop dead” time for your return with the same people. Also make arrangements to call them when you are back. Make SURE YOU make the call!

4. If you are keeping your motel room leave a piece of well worn clothing behind. I know it sounds bad but even tracking dogs have their limits and need help. A strong sent and early deployment of the dog is the key.

5. If in trouble DON’T follow the “no trace” rule! The more “sign” you can leave for a tracker the better your chances. In addition you are leaving a stronger scent trail for the dogs.

6. Make sure you are carrying at least a personal survival kit which fits your surroundings and satisfies your basic needs.

7. SIGNAL often! You never know who is out there. Whistle and mirrors during the day and fire light at night.

8. If it is a captive situation remain calm, humanize yourself to the captors and attempt to get on TV if available. Most captors want something and will use you to get it.

9.Finally, Don’t Panic! Regardless of the situation panic makes it worse.


For more information and to follow this story click on the following linkhttp://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-27573329

USI Understands that Survival isn’t learned from books but real world experience. This is just one area which makes Universal Survival Innovations unique in the world of training and equipment.

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Author Ben Barr is a 30+ year SERE Specialist who has been a curriculum developer for the USAF Survival School, USAF Water Survival School, USAF Air Mobility Command, USMC and USN