5.25.2015

Couple Missing for 2 Weeks Found in California Wilderness: Just one example of why you must have a get-home bag or other emergency bag in your car

This morning I've been trying to stay away from any political news as I just don't need to deal with that yet today!  Instead, I stumbled upon this story;   Couple missing for 2 weeks found in California wilderness and to be honest, I looked at the date, wondering why they were running this story again as it seems like I just read this story about 6 weeks ago.  Nope.  It was yet another one.  Another couple tries to find a shortcut and ends up lost in a remote area... and unfortunately, the husband did pass away.

WARNER SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) -- A couple missing for two weeks were found Sunday in a remote part of San Diego County with the elderly husband dead and his wife severely dehydrated, after surviving on just rain water and some food, authorities said.

Cecil Knutson, 79, Dianna Bedwell, 68, were found near a Boy Scouts camp on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation near Warner Springs, sheriff's Lt. Ken Nelson said.

Knutson's body was near a white car and Bedwell was inside the vehicle, he said.

They were last seen leaving the Valley View Casino in Valley Center, about 25 miles west of the wilderness camp, on May 10. Authorities said the two were planning on going to their son's home in the Palm Springs area for a Mother's Day dinner but they didn't show up there or return to their home in Orange County.

Bedwell, who was airlifted to a hospital in serious condition, told investigators they were looking for a shortcut when they got lost and stuck on a rugged road, Nelson said.

Their disappearance led to several ground and aerial searches of the back country. On Sunday afternoon, several people in off-road vehicles found the couple.

Bedwell said she survived on rain water and some food that was in the car. Nelson said investigators had a "very limited" conversation with Bedwell, and weren't able to ask how or when Knutson died.

The two were apparently diabetic, he said.

"It would be difficult for someone in good health to survive being in the wild for that long, let alone someone like her," Nelson said. "It's close to a miracle that she survived."


I imagined myself as the family waiting for their parents to show up for Mother's Day (when the family realized their parents were missing).  What heartbreak!!!  And although an emergency pack in the trunk with extra food, water, medicine and first aid may not have helped, then again, it may have.  It was just a couple weeks ago that two women survived on a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies they had purchased from a family member and had in their car as they made a short car trip but ended up lost and stuck as well.  

I lived in Southern California - moving there when I was just 18 years old.  I knew nothing about emergency kits, 72 hour kits or anything of the like.  I also lived right smack dab in the middle of suburbia - Riverside and Moreno Valley, while my husband and I commuted to LA and later, Corona.  Even though I was young, I instinctively made us both "emergency kits" for our trunks.  I had no internet or anyone to get information from; it's just something I felt we needed to have.

I built our first 'kits' out of a metal coffee can.

My purpose was mostly centered on the long commutes and the chance of being stuck in traffic after an earthquake.
My little 18 year old brain already knew I needed to plan for being stuck for hours so in that empty coffee can I managed to put granola bars, nuts, Capri Suns, alcohol wipes, a roll of toilet paper, a pencil and paper, a deck of cards, a cheap rain poncho and a book of matches.

Our 'get home' kits are vastly different now (and geared to whatever location/state we happen to live in and the disasters prone to that area) - AND when our kids started driving and going off to college, I made sure they each had an emergency bag for their vehicles.  Their bags are geared not only to being stuck in traffic, but the ability to leave their vehicle and hike across the state to get to their Grandparents or their Uncles if need be - primitive camping on the way if they have to.

In the cases of people getting lost, stuck or running out of gas on back roads in the wilderness, are hurt or elderly or just don't have any idea of where they are; Emergency rescue can more easily see a large VEHICLE than they can a tiny little body.  Staying with the vehicle is almost always a good idea and help comes.  However, if you have no water or medicine, help has to arrive within mere days.

Water
Shelter
Food
Medicine

Start with some basics and personalize as your situation, interests, family dynamics & locations warrant.




Related products;

Ready America 70385 Deluxe Emergency Kit 4 Person Backpack
Ready America 70280 Emergency Kit, 2-Person, 3-Day Backpack
Echo-sigma Get Home Bag Premium Emergency Kit