Don’t change your voicemail: Rescue teams warn of misleading social media posts

DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado search and rescue teams respond to a viral social media post they say perpetuates misleading information that could complicate their missions.

The post office, which has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, among other platforms, encourages people stranded or lost on a hike to change their voicemail message to include their location, time, date, and situation .

The Colorado Alpine Rescue Team responded to the post on its own Facebook page, highlighting a handful of issues with the information.

“The message that went viral was just not the best message to spread,” said Howard Paul, public information manager at Alpine Rescue Team. “If you find yourself in trouble somewhere in the backcountry, we don’t want you wasting battery power, we don’t want you wasting time calling your voicemail, calling a friend. or a parent. “

Paul added that lost hikers will likely be without a cell signal in the backcountry and will not be able to change their voicemail messages anyway.

What to do if you have problems in the backcountry

If someone is having trouble, Paul says they should only use their battery to call 911. He encourages people to use text messages when possible.

“You may very well receive a text message directly from the 911 center. You may receive a text from the search and rescue teamPaul said.

Charles Pitman of the Summit County Rescue Group agrees that wasting cell phone battery in the backcountry can be a costly mistake.

“I can’t tell you how many times I talk to the reporter and the very first words out of his mouth will be something like ‘I only have 3% on my cell phone battery so I have to talk quickly’,” Pitman mentioned.

This, of course, can make it much more difficult for rescue teams to locate a missing person.

Backcountry safety tips, as recommended by rescue groups

When venturing into the backcountry, lifeguards recommend the following safety tips:

  • Use SMS
  • Disable other apps
  • Keep your cell phone warm to save battery
  • Bring a satellite communication device that allows two-way messaging
  • Tell someone about your plans before heading out into the backcountry

“The most important thing is to let someone know where you are going and when you are going to be back,” said Paul.

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