Residents taking advantage of longer days and warmer temperatures are being reminded to put safety first when out on the land.
NWT RCMP is urging residents to be cautious, prepared and aware of their surroundings when enjoying the outdoors.
“The wilderness can be dangerous if not adequately prepared to face an emergency,” stated a news release.
In the event of an emergency, police stress that a person’s location, depending on its remoteness, could mean longer response times for search and rescue teams.
“Outdoor enthusiasts need to be mindful of the vast areas and often difficult terrain within our territory that may render a (search and rescue) deployment very dangerous for rescuers, and in some instances a search may not be possible due to a variety of risk factors,” stated Sgt. Christina Wilkins, RCMP Search and Rescue coordinator.
Police offer the following safety tips:
- Leave a travel plan. Make sure a trusted family member or friend knows where you’re going and when you'll be back, in case of an emergency or delay (trips can be planned using the AdventureSmart Trip Plan app).
- Dress warmly and in layers. Suitable clothing and proper footwear are must. Pack extra clothes. Hypothermia presents a serious risk if you aren’t dressed for the weather.
- Bring the essentials: flashlights, spare batteries, emergency signaling devices, extra food and water, a GPS or compass, first aid kits and a pocket knife.
- To avoid unwanted encounters, familiarize yourself with the animals in the area, and learn what to do if you cross paths.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Drive sober and know your capabilities as a snowmobiler.
- Pack an emergency kit. Make sure you’re travelling with extra food, first aid supplies, and a tool kit complete with spark plugs and a belt. Carry extra gas.