Aug 4, 2017
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Florence, SC
Distress Signals:
If you're in distress in the wilderness during the day, signal with sounds (gun, whistle, tin pans) in a series of threes, each followed by a brief silence. Continue until someone responds.

In areas where a sound's effect might be limited (a valley or heavily wooded area), use visuals. Build a fire with fuel that will burn slowly and send up a thick, steady, column of white smoke; use hardwood, leaves, moss, and ferns. Before lighting the pile, clear the ground around it. Stack the pile high so that the signal will have a long life. When rescue comes, extinguish the fire completely.

If there are aircraft in the area, flash a mirror, shiny metal object, or glass. Draw attention to yourself by spreading bright colored clothing on the ground.

If you are on a large expanse of snow, tramp out the word "HELP" or "SOS" 30 feet high with a 10 foot space between each letter.

At night, use a flashlight to signal SOS (3 short flashes, 3 long flashes, 3 short flashes) to an airplane. Knowing international Morse code will enable you to relay and receive detailed messages. Carry a copy of it with you.

On the water, maritime distress signals include red flares, an orange smoke signal, a signal mirror, an upside-down national flag, and continuous foghorn blasts. Announce "Mayday" on radiotelephone channel 16 (156.8 MHz), the VHF-FM distress, safety, and calling frequency.

On the highway, tie a white cloth to your car's antenna or door handle and raise the hood. In any situation, stay calm and conserve your energy while you await help.
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