Alaska Backcountry Emergencies
Alaska is a beautiful place, but it's also potentially dangerous. Many of our mountains are geologically "new", which means that the rock is often unstable and crumbling beneath your feet as you are climbing. Killer weather systems can move in overnight, trapping unprepared hikers in barren locations without shelter. The rivers are icy cold, and an unexpected capsizing is frequently a life-threatening situation. And the chances of a dangerous encounter with a bear lurks in the back of your mind.
ATTENTION: If you are currently dealing with a medical emergency or a situation which presents a clear and immediate danger to people, call the Alaska State Troopers immediately.
ALASKA STATE TROOPERS
Statewide Emergency Number: 1 (800) 478-9300
Nowhere is the old Boy Scout motto more appropriate than in Alaska. Especially for travelers into remote areas. When you pack for a trip, work off of a checklist so you don't forget critical items.
Hunters and fishermen should never leave camp without their pack, which should contain at least the following essentials:
- Fire starting materials
- Tarp or similar shelter
- Parachute cord for securing tarp
- Small amount of food
- Backpack stove and pan to heat water (optional)
- First aid kit
- Firearm / ammunition
- Warm clothing
- Rain gear
Emergency Contact Information
Remote rescues in Alaska are usually coordinated by the 11th Rescue Coordination Center (RCC), which uses assets from the Air National Guard, the Alaska State Troopers, the US Coast Guard, the Civil Air Patrol, the National Park Service, and various other public and private resources, depending on the situation. If a member of your group is missing or injured and in need of emergency evacuation, the RCC should be contacted IMMEDIATELY. Weather can prevent a timely rescue, so early notification is essential to their planning process. You should also note that in some cases a person must be missing for at least 24 hours before a rescue attempt will be mobilized. In any case, write the number of the Rescue Coordination Center and laminate it and keep it with your satellite phone.
11TH RESCUE COORDINATION CENTER, ALASKA
Emergency Long Distance: 1 (800) 420-7230
Local Anchorage Number (emergency and non-emergency) 1 (907) 551-7230