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01/14/18 03:11 PM 38 minutes of Fear by Teslinhiker

By now, most here have probably read, seen or heard about the false incoming ballistic missile alert yesterday in Hawaii. Reading through the various news stories, the common theme was the panic that set in for most people. Perhaps this badly misguided test will prompt some to be more prepared in the event that the next alert is actually real.





513 Views · 19 Comments
01/13/18 04:55 AM USCG Strobe lab & field test reports - 2012 & 2015 by rafowell

I spotted two 80ish page USCG test reports on strobe effectiveness tonight. I only skimmed them, but thought they looked interesting. Links and abstracts below.

Suitability of Potential Alternatives to Pyrotechnic Distress Signals (2012)

Abstract : Purpose: To determine the potential suitability of electronic alternatives to pyrotechnic visual distress signals through the evaluation of the effectiveness of presently-available LED (and other) devices as visual distress signal devices (VDSDs). Methods: Requirements workshop, market research, field testing to assess visibility at different ranges, paired comparison testing to assess attention-getting characteristics, and ergonomic testing. Results: Lab test results predicting device visual detection range based on effective intensity compared well with results obtained from field testing. Light-emitting diode (LED) devices tested consistently better than incandescent or flashtube devices. Color and flash pattern (rapid flash rate or S-O-S characteristic) improved the perceptive performance of the devices. Conclusions: LED devices have potential as an alternative to pyrotechnic VDSDs. Desirable VDSD characteristics identified in this report can be used to inform future VDSD performance requirements development. Intensity profiles (omni-directional versus narrow beam) must be considered when comparing predicted visual detection ranges. Detection ranges predicted from laboratory-measured Effective Intensity of white VDSDs compared favorably with ranges observed during field tests. This indicates that Effective Intensity can be used in lieu of field tests to predict the visual detection range of VDSDs under specified meteorological conditions.

Alternatives to Pyrotechnic Distress Signals; Laboratory and Field Studies (2015)

Abstract : This report documents a multi-year project effort to develop a specification for a light-emitting diode (LED) signal characteristic as an alternative to pyrotechnic, maritime distress signal flares as visual distress signals. The report includes the methodology used in evaluating color, flash pattern, and intensity for an LED distress signal, conspicuous against certain lighting conditions, at six nautical miles, in 10 miles meteorological visibility. The effort included a literature review, measurement and quantifying different levels of background lighting to recreate their effect in a vision laboratory, a series of laboratory tests to determine signal conspicuity in a controlled environment, and a field test in the marine environment. The human-subject laboratory experiments determined relative LED signal conspicuity, based on subjects' accurate identification of a signal and the response time to make that identification. The lab results (conspicuous signal characteristics) were the basis for field testing. In addition to LED signals, the human-subject field test included two, commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) signal devices and a handheld pyrotechnic flare in the signal evaluation. In four nights of testing, the experimenters produced a signal characteristic that was significantly more conspicuous than the flare and the two COTS devices.

393 Views · 10 Comments
01/12/18 06:08 PM Improvisation, especially First Aid by hikermor

No matter how large or well supplied your FAK may be, if the emergency is great enough (just consider the current Montecito mess just up the road here in SoCal!). At some point you will need to depart from protocols to some degree, make something up on the spot, and take measures to deal with the situation.

An example from my experience: We were on a pleasure climb, a long time SAR colleague, myself, and a friend of his. We ran into a guy who had been hit in the head by rockfall, with obvious cranial trauma. At that our companion was an MD, with three years experience in the local ER. Treating our victim, we realized that we needed a cervical collar, given the high probability of occult neck trauma. We shortened my 3/8" blue foam sleeping pad by 5 or 6 inches,folded it over, tastefully allied duct tape, and voila! a C-collar.

At least it worked well enough in the subsequent evacuation.

Splints, especially, are often improvised. What would you recommend for improvised, reasonably adequate, measures to deal with situations?

427 Views · 9 Comments
01/09/18 01:19 AM Going with the Flow by hikermor

I just received an emergency alert, suggesting voluntary evacuation from my area due to heavy rains (2 to 4 inches) in the Thomas Fire burn area. Normally this amount of rain would be just another welcome winter soaker, but the absence of vegetation and the hardening of the ground surface means that this rain will almost immediately run off. Our local geography is favorable, our drainage channels are clear, and I think we will sit this one out at home.

The fun doesn't stop just because the fires are fairly quiet - the Thomas Fire is still burning in the back country at last report...

422 Views · 5 Comments
01/07/18 05:17 AM People evacuating plane try to grab luggage by AKSAR

Flames and screams after two jetliners collide at Toronto airport

When will people get it through their heads that trying to grab your luggage when evacuating a burning plane is a really stupid idea?

“Grab your jacket, guys,” a man said in the video.
But even then, several passengers reported that the aisles were blocked by people searching for their overhead bags.
“It was ridiculous,” Alagheband told CBC News. “I was literally yelling, ‘Get the F off the plane.’ ”
Everyone made it off. They slid out of the plane into subfreezing weather, onto an airfield that reeked of burned fumes.

468 Views · 6 Comments
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