Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lessons Learned: Technology Isn't Perfect and Be Prepared

This article was making the rounds on the web the last couple of days. Lessons learned from this article:
#1--Technology isn't perfect (and its corollary, use your common sense). In this article, the couple followed their GPS device which led them down a snowy forest service road where they got stuck in the snow for a few days before being rescued. My GPS has a couple of glitches as well, mainly it doesn't know brand new roads so when I was driving down a small highway in an area I was unfamiliar with not too long ago, my unit said to "turn right here" which would have caused me to drive off the side of the freeway overpass to the other freeway 30 feet below. The freeway had been redesigned and apparently changed from a stop light to an overpass. Common sense told me not to turn where there isn't a road. The bottom line is that technology is good but you still need to pay attention to where you are going and if you are following your GPS, you may also want to either have a general idea about where you are going or at least stay on the main (plowed) freeways instead of taking small side roads to get to where you are going. Note that this rule applies to all forms of technology. Computers die so be sure to back up your documents, cell phone service isn't available everywhere so if you think you can call for help if you get into a dicey situation, you better have a back-up plan for accessing assistance. MapQuest and Google Maps are great, usually. If where you are going doesn't look like what the map is saying, consider calling for directions.
#2--Be prepared. I'm glad the article put so much emphasis on the fact that these people were able to survive their ordeal because they were prepared. Food, water, warm clothes, and emergency supplies are what helped them survive which is a good lesson for everyone no matter what kind of situation you find yourself in. You may make mistakes, you may inadvertently find yourself in a dangerous situation, but if you are prepared to take care of yourself no matter the situation for a few days, you will have a much better chance of survival. Always be prepared whether it is carrying basic survival necessities in your Go Bag, having a well stocked car, having a BOB at the ready in case of evacuation, or just having enough food, water, and preps for emergency heating available at home should you end up snowed in or otherwise sheltered in place.

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