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Emergency Info Planner Card

Stay Safe Climbing


Emergency Info Planner Card

Before you scramble down a Utah slot canyon, make sure you left an Emergency Info Planner card behind so you don't spend 127 hours trapped under a boulder.

Photograph © Spencer Swanger

When you climb in the mountains, your plans can easily go awry. Bad weather can delay you. Accidents and injuries can happen. The hike to and from the cliff and the route can take longer than you planned. Before you go climbing it is essential that you make a few preparations for both you and your loved one’s peace of mind as well as for your safety.

Leave Emergency Info Before Leaving

It is important to make an Emergency Info Planner card that you can leave with a spouse, parent, or friend. The card details your itinerary, your time of departure, and expected time of return. It also provides other important information that would aid rescuers who might have to search for you in case you get lost or injured. While you can use a Spot or other personal locator beacon, an emergency card is a quick and low-tech way to get your plan out.

Print Info on an Index Card

Create the Emergency Info Planner card on your computer or simply write it on an index card. Fill out the card, print multiple copies, and post one next to a home phone. You can leave cards at home, with a friend, and on your vehicle’s front seat. You can also email or text the pertinent information to someone.

What to Include on the Card

Include the following information on the card:

  • Where I am going:
  • Trail/Climb/Area name:
  • My destination is:
  • Who I am with (names and phone numbers):
  • When I’ll be home (date and time):
  • Vehicle info (make, model, year, license number)
  • Emergency medical info (medications, medical conditions):

Call Home When You're Safe

Figure out the latest possible time when you may return home so that search-and-rescue services are not unnecessarily called. Also let your home emergency contact know that you will call or text as soon as you have cell phone service to let them know that you are safe so they don’t have to worry and wonder about where you are and if they need to call rescue.

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