Features of movement and organization of life in deserts in an emergency or extreme situation.

Extreme situations in the deserts accident of a vehicle, motorcycle or car, emergency or emergency landing of a helicopter, plane, balloon, a group of tourists, geologists, oil workers got lost among the dunes or on a large takir (salt marsh) and lost direction. 

Features of movement and organization of life in deserts in an emergency or extreme situation.

At the very beginning, each of these situations may not be extreme. Rather, it is emergency with catastrophic elements. But subsequent developments may lead to an extreme situation.

Extreme emergency factors.

Injuries during the accident and the inability to provide qualified assistance. There is no person who can provide this help, or lack of necessary medications.
Inability to transport victims.
Lack of orientation and inability to navigate without a map and compass in an unfamiliar area.
Difficult weather conditions: sandstorm or frost and wind in winter in the temperate deserts.
Lack of water source, lack of knowledge of where and how to look for it, no water supply, or it is very limited.
The absence of a single leader (leader), which entails the emergence of conflict situations and the adoption of incorrect decisions on further actions.

Therefore, in the event of an accident or catastrophe of the vehicle, it is strictly forbidden to leave the scene of the accident. This is due to the fact that.

Near even a destroyed vehicle (if it did not explode) it is always easier to hide from the weather, extreme heat and predatory animals.
The vehicle is easier to see for rescuers (both from the air and from the ground). Since you will definitely be searched.
In the vehicle there is always a first aid kit, some supply of water and food, necessary tools.

Practice has shown that all accident victims in the deserts died of thirst due to the fact that they left the vehicle in a direction unknown to rescuers. But if nevertheless a decision has been made to go out to people on their own, then the following must be remembered.

1. Desert Roads. This is a complex interweaving of wide and narrow paths and paths trodden by nomads caravans for centuries. These paths are sometimes lost among the dunes, constantly blowing winds sweep them with sand, but nevertheless they are clearly visible from the plane and even guessed from a high dune. They can also be found from the land by camel droppings, which accumulate in depressions between sand dunes. Another thing is takyrs and salt marshes. Here, any track or camel trail lasts several years. But each driver of a car, unlike a horse or a camel, chooses his own path. And therefore, such roads represent an ingenious interweaving of tracks. It happens that the width of such a road can reach up to 2 km.

2. Both in the deserts of North Africa and in the deserts of Asia, road junction points are indicated by some signs. In Algerian Sahara, these are wooden poles indicating the distances from one oasis to another. In the Asian deserts, these are large trunks of saxaul or sand acacia stuck in sand or takyr with bright pieces of matter tied to them. In rocky deserts, for example in the Gobi, these are piles of stones in the form of a pyramid 2-3 meters high with a stick in the upper part. Such pyramids are arranged in elevated areas of the desert so that they can be seen from afar.

3. As a rule, all trails and roads in the desert are connected by wells, oases, settlements of shepherds. However, the distances between the wells are different 25-65 km on large caravan routes and up to 150 km in the dry deserts of Africa, Asia and South America. Such as Rub al-Khali, Libyan, Namib, Takla-Makan, Atakama.

4. Desert crossing. In the daytime it is extremely difficult due to the high temperature, leading to high physical exertion and, consequently, to dehydration. In addition, high solar radiation poses a risk of rapid overheating of the body and can lead to heat or sunstroke. Therefore, desert traffic in summer is best done early in the morning or late in the evening. You need to go out with the morning dawn and move until 10 o’clock in the morning, then rest in an impromptu shelter until about 6 o’clock in the evening until the heat of the day subsides. If necessary, you can move at night, guided by the stars.

It should be noted that the decision to move in search of water and a settlement (oasis) is possible only when.

There is absolute confidence in the possibility of such a transition, the route is well thought out.
There is a map, a compass and the terrain is a little familiar.
Familiar desert orientations.
Day crossing does not exceed 10-20 km, and this distance a group or one person is able to cover in 4-6 hours.
The water supply is the norm based on at least 8 liters per person per day.
Clothing, especially headgear and shoes, is appropriate.

The headpiece can be made from a white piece of cloth. For example, T-shirts or shirts. This headgear resembles a Bedouin burnus. Eyes must be protected with dark glasses or pieces of cloth with narrow slits. It is best to tie a mouth and nose with a scarf, and on boots or sneakers to build shoe covers from any dense fabric. This is necessary so that sand does not get inside the shoe. Never try to sunbathe in the desert, roll up your shirt sleeves, go in shorts. Solar radiation is so great that a burn of the skin of the body occurs within 10-20 minutes.

When navigating sandy deserts, it is best to adhere to inter-barren depressions. There is more dense sand and, if necessary, it is easier to get water. But to navigate in such conditions is quite difficult, since there is no way to maintain the desired direction of movement and there are absolutely no guidelines. Such movement is only possible with a compass. One of the serious dangers during the passage through the sand desert is the possibility of being caught by a sand storm.

In various deserts, it has its own names, but the most familiar for all is sumum. A harbinger of a sandstorm in any desert in the world, ringing silence in your ears. There is no wind at all, there is a feeling of incredible stuffiness, lack of oxygen. A dark, almost black, cloud appears on the horizon, which is rapidly approaching and soon covers the whole sky. Suddenly a strange ringing metal ringing occurs. This is the beginning of a sandstorm. The sand suddenly hoists up in a giant rotating column and begins to rush through the desert, rising to a height of several kilometers.

The gusts of wind that arose at the same time reach a speed of 50-80 m / s. Hot sand burns the face, clogs the mouth, eyes, ears, penetrates the clothes, turns the glass of watches and glasses into an opaque matte surface. At the slightest hint of the approach of a sandstorm in the deserts, you should immediately lie down from the leeward side of any shelter or at least lower it, put a flask of water next to it and, if possible, wrap yourself tightly with your head in any fabric or jacket. Be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief. Sandstorms can last several days, but more often they are short-lived.

Clay and rocky deserts are no less difficult to walk than sandy. And although the terrain is quite flat and sometimes viewed over a long distance, there is a real opportunity to deviate from the intended route due to the lack of clear guidelines. In addition, movement on a flat as solid as concrete takyr negatively affects the feet, and a transition through the salt or salt marsh desert quickly renders shoes unusable due to the sharp edges of the salt crusts that you have to constantly walk on. Quite often in the deserts there are mirages, which is also a problem for exhausted people. How great is the bitterness of disappointment that a lake, a city, palm trees that appeared on the horizon turned out to be just a ghost and melted as quickly as they appeared.

Major hazards to life and health in deserts.

The most basic thing a person encounters in the desert is.

1. Exposure to high temperatures, which leads to:
skin burn (when exposed to the sun without clothes, even for several minutes).
thermal shock.
dehydration or dehydration.
salt exhaustion.

2. Gastrointestinal disorders due to the use of raw water taken from suspicious sources and poorly cooked foods.
3. The possibility of infectious diseases (typhoid, paratyphoid, hepatitis). Also associated with the use of water from stagnant water bodies and poorly boiled.
4. A sharp decrease in vision when staying for a long time in the sun without goggles or improvised devices. There is a phenomenon similar to snow blindness in the mountains..

5. Bites of poisonous animals.
6. Mental disorders associated with:
complete loss of orientation.
panic state due to inability to make the right decision.
find a way out of this situation.
inability to resolve a conflict.
death of comrades during a vehicle accident or during a desert crossing.

Based on materials from the book Encyclopedia of Survival.
Chernysh I. V.

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