Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lost without a Signal: Far More Common than You Realize

Protect yourself and your loved ones by buying our products from our Indiegogo campaign.

It's surprisingly difficult to find good statistics on the number of people who get lost or stranded without a mobile phone signal.  It's even more difficult to find the number of people who die in these accidents.  Whether searching for global, American, or even local information, the fragmented nature of search and rescue and the fact that many of the victims are never even known to be lost makes quantifying this sort of event a daunting prospect.  We're obviously interested in solving this problem - that's what our Indiegogo campaign is all about.

So how big of a problem is this?  Thanks to at article by Richard Cockle in The Oregonian, we now have more of an answer - in short, it's much worse than we realized.  Oregon state emergency management official Georges Kleinbaum revealed that:
  • Last year 1036 search and rescue missions were conducted in Oregon alone.
  • 89 percent of the people sought in these missions are recovered alive.
  • 8 percent of these victims die.
  • 2 percent are never found.
  • Since 1997, 240 men and women been listed as missing in Oregon's wilderness and never found.
If we do a little arithmetic we see that last year roughly 104 people died or were never found after being lost in Oregon, and this is just one state!  With a little more arithmetic based on the numbers since 1997, we can estimate from these numbers that roughly 1200 people during that span have lost their lives in the state's wilderness.

So how do we nationalize or globalize these numbers?  Again, this is difficult.  Oregon has a lot of wilderness, but it also has a relatively low population.  It's unclear how this would compare to the number of events in other locations.  Think of all the factors affecting this sort of event in Alaska.  Now consider New York.  As a rough estimate of national accident rates perhaps the best approach is to simply multiply by 50, giving us over 5000 annual deaths in the United States alone.  And then even if we optimistically assume that the global rate per person is as low as it is in the United States, we estimate about 100000 annual deaths occur globally when victims get lost in the wilderness.

If the search and rescue success rate is the same as it is in Oregon, that means a million people are lost or stranded in the wilderness each year.  Using the average cost of a mission given by Mr. Cockle, the immediate cost to governments is a billion dollars a year and that neglects the much larger personal and financial costs of failed missions.

So what does this mean for DOTS911?  The Signal Enhancer and Signal Finder App were specifically designed to prevent this sort of accident.  As Mr. Kleinbaum pointed out, it typically takes only a mile in the wilderness for victims to be lost.  The DOTS911 App makes it almost impossible for users to get lost, even in areas with no mobile phone signal.  The Signal Enhancer enables calls deep in the wilderness where normally there's no usable mobile phone service.  Simply put, DOTS911 users won't be lost in the wilderness, and when they need help they'll not only know where they are, but they'll know where they can go to make a phone call for help.

When you contribute to DOTS911 on Our Indiegogo Campaign you'll get a Signal Enhancer and phone app for yourself.  You'll also be doing a lot to reduce the huge number of people  - on the order of a hundred thousand - who die each year while stranded in the wilderness.  And at the same time you'll give yourself better mobile phone reception and data transfer rates at home, all for a ridiculously low cost.  Please help us reach our goal, save thousands and thousands of lives, and make yourself safer.
Link to Our Our Indiegogo Campaign

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