Dangers of Traveling
Week Part 2: Prepare Yourself
of Time - 5 Basic Survival
- Car Kits
weeks ago, my brother-in-law decided to
take a short cut home after a hard days'
work. He had just cashed his paycheck and
was headed down a familiar road known to
area residents as "the old river road" between
Hanford and Laton. It's a narrow winding
road and of course, pitch black at night.
As he was driving down the road
he noticed someone flagging him down.
man might need some help, my brother-in-law
stopped the car and rolled down the window
just a little to hear what the man was
saying. In that short instant, the man
reached through the opening and punched
him in the head and face several times.
As my brother-in-law tried to leave, the
man reached in and grabbed his keys so
that he could not escape. It was then that
several other men showed up and they drug
my brother-in-law out of the car and continually
beat and kick him to the ground. They took
some tools and a few other items out of
the car along with all the cash my brother-in-law
had just acquired. Rent, monthly bills
and grocery money was all gone.
San Francisco man died trying to get help
for his family after they were stranded for
a week in the snow. James
Kim, his wife,
Kati and two daughters, Penelope age 4 and
Sabine 7 months, were traveling in their
station wagon. They had just spent the holidays
with friends in Seattle, Washington, and
were headed back to San Francisco. They began
their journey for home on November 25, 2006
when they missed their turnoff. Instead of
returning to the exit, they consulted a highway
map and picked a secondary route that skirted
the Wild Rogue Wilderness, which is a remote
area of southwestern Oregon. After encountering
heavy snow at high elevation, they turned,
by mistake, onto one of hundreds of unpaved
logging roads loosely supervised. Early the
next morning the family stopped due to fatigue
and bad weather. While they were stopped,
more snow fell immobilizing their station
wagon. At first they kept warm by running
the engine. When the vehicle ran out of gas,
they made a campfire of dried wood and magazines.
They eventually burned the cars' tires in
the hopes of signaling rescuers. No one came.
Search efforts did not begin for
the family until James' co-workers filed
a missing persons
report with the San Francisco Police Department.
After studying a map, James believed the
nearest town to be only four miles away,
and that he could go for help. He promised
his wife that he would turn back the same
day if he failed to find anyone. So, on December
2, James left on foot to go get help for
his family. He carried with him only a backpack
which contained his identification documents
and other miscellaneous items. He was wearing
tennis shoes, a jacket and light clothing.
James never returned to his family. His body
was found on December 6. He had died due
to hypothermia. He had walked about 16.2
miles from the car to where his body was
found, and was only a mile from the nearest
words come to mind…safety conscious!
while you were reading the two stories, did
you come up with ideas on how you would have
done it differently if you were put into
Let's look at the first story.
your first thought should have been "Well
I wouldn't be driving at night alone on a
back road where I cannot be seen!" For
men, well, let me say that no matter how
physically strong you are, unless you can
morph into an action hero like Spiderman,
Superman or the Hulk, one unarmed man cannot
fight off several and win. Another thought
to keep in mind, if someone is going to do
you harm, most likely they will be armed
and will be no match for you.
As for the
second story of the man trying to get help
for his family.
One would think that they
were prepared enough with having water, food,
even directions from both online mapping
and a paper road map of the areas they were
traveling. They were equipped to start and
keep a fire going as long as they could and
knew how to shelter in their car. They did
have a cell phone with them, but their remote
location in the mountains was out of range
of the cellular network, making it impossible
to make or receive calls. What they weren't
prepared for were the outdoor elements.
My first thought after missing an exit has
always been to go back to your original plan
of exit. Never assume there is always an
alternative route just as safe up ahead.
If you are not familiar with the territory,
why take the chance? I'd rather take more
time and be safe, than risk my safety and
those who are depending on me. Contrary to
what they say, all roads do not necessarily
lead to your destination. Even though the
Kim family seemed to have had all the basics
covered, unexpected circumstances still happened.
Can we ever be totally prepared for any and
everything? I don't think so. Just as we
cannot predict the future, we will never
be able to predict how an emergency situation
will unfold entirely. Just as earthquakes
are as individual as a set of fingerprints
(no two are alike), so will disasters be;
no matter how big or small. Even so, we must
continue our efforts to educate our self
and others on safety and preparedness.
for information about James
Kim from Wikipedia
ideas while driving alone:
you leave on a trip, phone or text someone
at your destination of your leave time
so they can keep an eye on the time for
your arrival. I also like to inform a
family member who will not be traveling
with me of the time I am leaving. When
I arrive at my destination, I give that
person a call to let them know I arrived
safely. This way everyone at both ends
is aware of your travels.
for any reason you have to take a detour,
there is a delay on the road, make
sure you phone or text the people you
No need to worry them needlessly.
your doors locked at all times
your valuables out of sight
mace or pepper spray
not stop to help people on the side
know you may feel bad, but unfortunately
society has forced us to
about coming to someone's
Instead, call the police or a
towing company. Safety first!
your windows rolled all the way up
when your car is parked.
be aware of your surroundings.
on the task at hand - your destination.
Think ahead of where you are
and what the conditions/ surroundings
will be like.
what ever happened to the
Mrs. Kim and her two daughters survived what
will undoubtedly be the most traumatic experience
of their lives. Little did they know that,
despite being unusable for voice calls, their
cell phone would play a key role in their
Engineers discovered that on November 26, at around 1:30 a.m., the Kim's cell
phone made a
brief automatic connection to a cell site near Glendale, Oregon, and retrieved
Through the data logs, the engineers determined
that the cell phone was in a specific area
west of the cellular tower. They then used
a computer program to determine which areas
in the mountains were within a line-of-sight
to the cellular tower. This narrowed the
search area tremendously, and finally focused
rescue efforts on the road near where they
stopped the car. Mrs. Kim and her daughters
were rescued by helicopter thanks to the
cell phone connection data retrieved.
As for my brother-in-law, he was taken to the emergency room that evening
where doctors said there was some internal inflammation, but nothing broken
or seriously damaged. He was lucky.