2. Safety Protocols: Tutorial 2 covers the importance of pre-survey safety checks, gear to bring with you in the field, and beach hazards to be aware of.
Safety Protocols Transcript
• This Safety Protocols presentation is the second of six brief tutorials to guide you through everything you need to know about the MDMAP before getting started.
• The health and safety of survey personnel is the number one priority during any field activity. Always use caution before, during, and after field surveys to prevent injury to yourself, other beach goers, or the environment.
• Before leaving your home or office for any survey activity, make sure you’ve considered how you will get help if needed. First and foremost, use the buddy system. You should have at least one other person with you in the field at all times. Second, make sure you have a way to communicate with others, whether that’s a cell phone, radio, or emergency responder. And lastly, make sure someone you trust knows where you are going to be and when you expect to return.
• Check the weather and tidal conditions before scheduling your survey. NOAA weather forecasts can be found at www.weather.gov. Never conduct field operations in severe weather. Always bring proper gear and multiple layers of clothing for the range of possible weather conditions. In addition to being prepared for inclement weather, it’s important to recognize and understand the symptoms of heat stress. These can include headache, nausea, weakness, thirst, and heavy sweating or red, hot, dry skin. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop your survey immediately to rest and hydrate, and call 911 if your symptoms are severe. Ocean conditions can change rapidly. Check the tides at your survey site at tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov. The MDMAP protocols explain that surveys should be conducted at low tide. Going out at low tide is also a good safety precaution, especially in areas that may be flooded or inaccessible at high tide.
• Make sure you pack everything you might need in the field. Always wear and have sunscreen with you, even if it’s cloudy. In addition, bring a first aid kit, plenty of water, and a snack. Make sure that you are wearing appropriate clothing, especially close-toed shoes and gloves if you’re handling debris items.
• Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards. If you come across any potentially hazardous materials, such as oil or chemical drums or propane tanks, alert local personnel or land managers, such as a park ranger. In some cases, you may need to dial 9-1-1 and the national response center at 1-800-424-8802. Do not attempt to move or pick up any item that looks like it may be dangerous or pose any kind of hazard.
• As mentioned before, the health and safety of survey personnel is the number one priority during any field activity. Review these safety tips on a regular basis and make sure any new survey personnel or volunteers are properly trained and prepared.