Preparing for fires and weather events are usually the first items that come to mind when you implement a family safety plan. Determining the best exits out of the house during a fire or where to take cover during a tornado are essential steps in preparing for the safety of your family members during an emergency. State and Federal government also have plans for hurricanes, floods and disease outbreaks. But what happens when a member of your family goes missing? What would you do if your child, elderly parent or grandparent wandered away and became lost? For families looking to improve their safety plans, there are steps you can take to help protect and find your loved ones should they go missing.
Why Do I Need To Prepare A Family Safety Plan For A Missing Person Event?
A loved one going missing is something no one wants to think about or expects to happen. But it happens.
Over 4.5 Million people have gone missing in the past 20 years. The FBI National Crime Information Center reported that 651,226 people were reported missing in 2017. More than 70% of those reported missing were children.
When Scent Evidence K9 hosted kidnap victim and child safety advocate, Elizabeth Smart, during Florida’s 2018 Children’s Week event, we were reminded that the unthinkable can happen to people from every walk of life. Children with Autism and adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia are even more at risk to wander and go missing. The American Pediatrics Association states that children with autism have an almost 50% chance of going missing at least once before age 17 and studies have shown that 6 out of 10 of those with Alzheimer’s Disease will wander. Florida alone has over 500,000 residents diagnosed with Dementia with a projection of over 700,000 in 10 years.
3 Family Safety Plan Steps To Bring Your Loved One Home
1. Prepare an Emergency Kit
Collect items and information you’d need in an emergency scenario into a box and store it somewhere secure. Yours may include:
- A checklist with instructions to search for 15 minutes, call 911, and then start using additional resources.
- Phone numbers for important autism or Alzheimer’s care resources, including the Elder Affairs Agencies, Autism Response Resources, the Alzheimer’s Association, and trusted neighbors
- Locations to which the missing loved one has wandered in the past, including past places of employment, religious buildings, or favorite restaurants
- A recent photo and up-to-date medical information
When you feel your children are ready, introduce them to the emergency kit.
2. Designate Roles
No one should waste time wondering what to do during a crisis. Make a list of roles and assign a chain of command — you can include this information in your action checklist. If you and your loved one are out of the house and your children tell you that your mother has gone missing, they’ll need to organize into leading and supporting roles to execute an effective response.
For example, you could designate your eldest to call the police, neighbors, and help resources while giving commands to their younger siblings, while the youngest can gather materials the police will need.
3. Prepare a Scent Preservation Kit
Scent Discriminate Bloodhounds are law enforcement’s strongest tool in a missing person scenario. When they lock onto a properly-preserved scent, they can track it for miles, even days after the trail was laid. Unlike a GPS, one’s scent can’t be removed, run out of batteries, or lose service. Scent preservation kits have helped law enforcement locate a missing person in as little as 15 minutes. Collecting and storing scent is easy with the SEK9 Scent Preservation Kit® and only takes a few minutes to complete — add one to your emergency kit and know that your loved one is never far away.
Lt. Robert Siemer of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office put it best:
“Law enforcement agrees with the effectiveness of this new technology. Scent Preservation Kits save lives and saves money.” Read more…
Adding The Scent Preservation Kit® To Your Family Safety Plan
A Scent Preservation Kit® is an essential addition to your family safety plan and one of the most effective and affordable ways to take precautions before a missing person event occurs. Preserving one’s odor ahead of time gives responding K9 Units a head start by providing the trailing dogs with an uncontaminated scent article. When a person collects and stores their own scent, it isn’t touched by other family members, pets, or responders. This means that K9 Units do not have to go through the time-consuming dismissal process to determine who’s scent is actually on the article. In a missing persons case, time can be a matter of life and death. Scent preservation saves valuable time before the search begins and reduces the time it takes to find the lost and bring them home. A person can’t lose their scent. It’s like a fingerprint for scent discriminate K9’s. Studies show that our Scent Preservation Kit® can safely preserve a person’s scent for up to 10 years. And, the average cost of an individual kit is about $20. Learn More…
Preserving Scent Is Easy and Secure
Everything you need to collect and securely store the scent of each family member is right in the box. Simply swipe the included gauze pad under the arms or around the neck area and store the pad in our specially-treated jar. Add the Identification information to the label and seal the lid with the supplied tamper-proof tape. Store the scent in the privacy of your home in a place away from high temps or direct sunlight. If you ever need it, you’ll have the best possible location resource to present to K9 responders. Get Yours Today!