Long Island Search and Rescue
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Treat every missing persons incident as an emergency!
Things you can do
- Immediately contact your nearest law enforcement agency and follow their instructions.
- Time is critical and you must be prepared to work quickly. Given the rate that a person can walk, the search area will expand exponentially with each passing hour. Consider just how many square miles of terrain will have to be searched if the subject is moving at 2 or 3 miles per hour. The direction of travel is unknown, and the area of the circle is expressed as A=3.14*r2. In a very short time, searches will find themselves having to work a search area of many square miles. Also, consider that a person in wet clothing can succumb to hypothermia within a few short hours in 50 or 60 degree weather.
- Refrain from handling the lost person's personal articles, such as clothing or bedding, which may be needed to provide scent articles to our canine teams.
- Try to refrain from contaminating the lost person's scent trail, or from destroying footprints or other clues to the person's direction of travel.
- You can probably expect the first officials on the scene to do a hasty search. They will look for initial clues and a direction of travel, and quickly cover high probability area.
- Additional resources will be called in if necessary, including search dog teams if requested.
- Remember that car exhaust will quickly destroy human scent. Please ask that all motor vehicles be turned off.
- Be prepared to respond to your investigator's questions about the lost person's medical history and personal habits, including their level of experience in the outdoors. They will need your assistance in preparing a Lost Person Questionnaire that will give searchers the information they need to do their job.