JRS VOLUME #16; ISSUE #32
Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 16, Issue #32
August 11, 2012
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
+ SENDING AND RECEIVING EMERGENCY MESSAGES: FAQ
+ GET SHOWERED WITH... WHAT?!? EWWWW, GROSS.
+ YOU'RE SICK OR HURT AT BURNING MAN, NOW WHAT?
+ DON'T GET TAKEN FOR A (HELICOPTER) RIDE
+ RANTING AND RAILING ABOUT STRUCTURAL SAFETY
+ BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL AT THE MAN BURN: GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT
+ WHY IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO CARRY YOUR ID ON THE PLAYA
+ NOW TWEET THIS
+ THE *KEY* PART OF PREPARING YOUR VEHICLE FOR THE PLAYA
+ DR LASER LOVE
+ STRANDED AT A RENO HOSPITAL WITH NOTHING BUT A BACKLESS GOWN?
+ LOOKING FOR SOMEONE MISSING ON PLAYA?
+ ADOPT-AN-INTERSECTION IN BLACK ROCK CITY
+ FREQUENCY COORDINATION: ARE YOU USING TWO-WAY RADIOS ON THE PLAYA?
+ "911" SERVICE IN BLACK ROCK CITY
+ WHAT? IT RAINS ON THE PLAYA?
+ MORE SAFETY OR EMERGENCY QUESTIONS?
+ BLACK ROCK RANGERS
+ WHAT'S THAT YOU SAY? FUN?
CONNECT WITH BURNING MAN:
+ Burning Man on your favorite social networks
The Man burns in 21 days!
SENDING AND RECEIVING EMERGENCY MESSAGES: FAQ
Q: Where should I go to check for emergency messages that might be waiting for me?
A: The only place on-playa that serves as a central collection point for emergency messages is Playa Info in Center Camp.
Q: What if friends or family at home need to reach me for an emergency?
A: Unfortunately, given the nature of the event, finding a participant on the playa is usually quite challenging. Cell phones really don't work, most of you don't carry satellite phones, and there is limited Internet access. Now add to that the fact that addresses on the playa are inexact even if you *do* know where you're camping ahead of time, and finding a person's camp can become very difficult.
Q: How can friends or family send me a message?
A: Emergency messages should be sent via the new emergency contact web form found here: http://911.burningman.com/ . The message will be passed to the Black Rock Rangers who, if they have the extra resources, will attempt to deliver it. We will also make the message available at Playa Info in Center Camp, so if you're awaiting bad news or anticipating emergency messages, you might plan to check in there each day.
Q: What details should be included in an emergency message?
A: The new emergency contact web form will prompt users for details to help find you. Important details include first and last name as well as any known nickname that you might go by around camp. It should also include the name of your theme camp or other affiliation (volunteer team, etc.), and its location if known, along with your vehicle make/license plate and any other unique features that will help with the search (such as, "camp has a 20 foot inflatable bee," etc.).
Q: What can prevent me from getting the message?
A: Just a few of the variables that can get in the way: your camp relocates, or nobody's ever in camp when we come to find you; your camp spot is obscured from view by other camps; the 20 foot inflatable bee deflates due to a leak; there are three camps with 20-foot inflatable bees, and none of the neighbors know anyone named "Emily" because you have been introducing yourself all week as "Lady Buzzyay, Queen of the Bees!" You get the picture.
In other words, you're heading to the middle of the desert, and there is no guarantee that we'll be able to deliver a message in an emergency; it's important to weigh that before you leave home. If you are awaiting news, you can actively check in at Playa Info, and in truly dire circumstances, you can take the bus into Gerlach to use a pay phone, cellular phone, or take advantage of the free wifi coverage there.
GET SHOWERED WITH... WHAT?!? EWWWW, GROSS.
It's nice to shower others with affection, but the non-potable water (that means it's not safe for drinking) in the water trucks isn't a safe alternative to a shower since it can contain all sorts of icky things that can make you sick. Think twice before you run after the trucks watering the road. Better yet, bring a solar camping shower instead.
While we're talking about bathing, keep in mind that public showers, baths, and pools are PROHIBITED at the event site since there is no way to make them safe, or for the authorities to approve them. Showers that are set up for you and your camp mates are fine, just as long as they're not open to the public.
YOU'RE SICK OR HURT AT BURNING MAN, NOW WHAT?
Q: What do I do if I get hurt or sick on the playa?
A: We hope, of course, that you won't get sick or hurt...but being radically self-reliant also means remembering to bring a first aid kit (http://bit.ly/Afd8M) and treating yourself or your campmates for minor first aid needs. Should your illness or injury be more severe than you can manage without help, there are Emergency Services Department (ESD) medical stations on the 3:00 and 9:00 plazas and the Rampart clinic at 5:10 and Esplanade. Look for the red LED cross on top of the stations at 3:00 and 9:00.
Q: What if they can't manage my problem?
A: If the on-site medical providers feel that you have a medical emergency that requires a higher level of care than can be provided on the playa, you may need to visit a hospital in Reno. Depending on the seriousness of your condition, that can be accomplished by either getting a ride from a friend or being transported by an ambulance or helicopter. Remember to bring your ID, insurance card, cell phone and wallet when you go. Also note that if you get transported by ambulance or helicopter you'll need to arrange for a friend to pick you up after your hospital visit. There are no shuttles from the hospitals back to the playa. However, if you are stranded, Humboldt General Hospital (HGH) EMS will assist you the next time they come to Reno. HGH is in touch with hospitals to coordinate that effort. Seriously though, your friends should pick you up so you can buy ice cream and snacks for your camp. While HGH will help you out if you're stranded, they certainly will not stop for you to go shopping.
Q: Is there a clinic in Gerlach?
A: THE CLINIC THAT USED TO BE IN GERLACH IS NOW CLOSED. Your closest point of care for those coming or going East (depending on which route you take) is Pershing General Hospital in Lovelock, Nevada http://pershinghospital.org/ Westbound your choices are more plentiful with several hospitals in Reno.
Q: Where can I get a prescription filled?
A: It's best to bring adequate supplies that you need to the playa. Should you need to get a prescription refilled, the closest pharmacies are in Fernley or Reno.
DON'T GET TAKEN FOR A (HELICOPTER) RIDE
The most expensive ride on the playa is the one you never want to take: an emergency medical helicopter transport to one of the Reno hospitals. Even if you have insurance it still might leave you with a bill for several thousand dollars that your insurance won't cover. Of course it is considerably worse if you have no insurance at all since medically-necessary air transport may cost $25,000!
Every year, it seems, we hear a story or two of a Burner who gets airlifted off playa only to practically need to be resuscitated when they receive their bill. Given that only an unlucky few get airlifted every year, chances are good you'll never need it, but if you have a complicated pre-existing condition or want to have some extra coverage "just in case," it's worth considering the Flight Plan Membership that Care Flight offers. Their program covers your entire family for $55/year and also applies to other air medical services in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. Non-Nevada residents are eligible for this program. See their website for all the details and fine print:
RANTING AND RAILING ABOUT STRUCTURAL SAFETY
Since *you* assume all liability for the safety of any structure you construct, here are some important questions you should ask yourself when designing and building a structure at Burning Man:
• Building a platform?
- What's the load capacity?
- How many people can it hold and how will you police it?
• Railings are required to be well-designed and built; how will you accomplish that?
• Have you factored in the high winds environment of the Black Rock Desert for your design?
If you have not fully considered all aspects of your plan from a structural engineering perspective, you have more research to do.
For more details see: http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/securing.html
BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL AT THE MAN BURN: GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT
Burn night can be chaotic (to say the least) when everyone crowds around the Man. Big crowds can be so much fun, but way less so when you need help and can't seem to find it. To take the guesswork out of finding help, ESD has created safety contact points outside the Burn circle. One is located on the 3 o'clock side of the Man and the other is located on the 9 o'clock side of the Man. Both of them are along the promenade just on the edge of the crowd. Each contact point is marked by a bright blue rotating emergency beacon and both tend to be easily visible from the edge of the crowd.
Each rally point has a host of resources dedicated to it in case there is a need, including Black Rock Rangers, Law Enforcement, ESD Medical, ESD Fire and HGH EMS. Just walk up and ask, and the right resource will follow you back to where you need help - finding a specific location in the mass of people is very difficult when it's solely based on a verbal report.
WHY IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO CARRY YOUR ID ON THE PLAYA
Reasons? We gots three of them!
1. If you get hurt on playa and transported while unconscious we can identify you.
2. In case you get arrested and have to prove your identity to law enforcement.
3. If you're lucky enough to look under 21 and want a drink in any camp that serves alcohol.
NOW TWEET THIS!
In addition to Burning Man's Twitter account and Facebook page, ESD has its own that it uses pre-event and on playa to communicate more specific information about health and safety. Check 'em out:
THE *KEY* PART OF PREPARING YOUR VEHICLE FOR THE PLAYA
Every year, Burners lock their keys in their car or lose their keys -- big bummer, right? Doesn't need to be. One simple step will save you tons of time, hassle and money:
MAKE AN EXTRA KEY and store it someplace secure. Hassle avoided!
DR LASER LOVE
...or how I learned to play with lasers safely.
Yes, we all love us some lasers on the playa, but before you fire up your light show, please do some basic homework to ensure your project is safe. Lasers are by no means toys. They can cause blindness, fires and other problems if set up improperly or if the incorrect equipment is used. Remember to install lasers in such a way that they point above eye level, as the beam can temporarily or permanently blind people.
If you are going to have a laser set up on playa and no one in your camp is a laser professional consider these tips:
* Use the lowest power laser that will effectively work for your needs and use it at the lowest power settings to accomplish your effect.
* Treat laser operations as a serious safety matter.
* Ensure all operators are sober.
* Designate a laser safety officer to make sure your lasers are being operated safely.
* If your laser operates automatically or without an operator, having a laser safety officer monitoring the system is just as important to ensure nothing goes wrong.
STRANDED AT A RENO HOSPITAL WITH NOTHING BUT A BACKLESS GOWN?
So you wake up and realize you are in a hospital bed. Then you remember that you didn't put any money or your mobile phone in the pockets of the fun fur outfit you wore out to the party by the trash fence. Worse yet, now you are being told you are going to be discharged in 24 hours. How do you get back to the playa?
Your friends on the playa of course! In the vast majority of circumstances your friends already know you're in the hospital and are on their way to pick you up. But what to do if you get stranded? Luckily, our friends at Humboldt General Hospital (HGH) EMS will coordinate with Reno hospitals to get you back to Black Rock City when one of their ambulances return. While this resource is available it's important to note that HGH EMS is NOT a shuttle service. HGH EMS is generously offering this as a last resort to those who are truly stranded at the hospital. We very much appreciate their help for the few people each year who get stranded by offering this last resort means to get you back to Burning Man.
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE MISSING ON PLAYA?
The only place on playa that serves as a central collection point for emergency messages is Playa Info. While the Rangers, ESD, HGH or Law Enforcement *may* have the relevant information, only Playa Info serves as the clearinghouse for all such messages.
ADOPT-AN-INTERSECTION IN BLACK ROCK CITY
Unfortunately some people like to steal the street signs from BRC on their way out of the event. While this may be a cool souvenir for some it causes havoc for the medical crews, fire trucks, Black Rock Rangers and other resources by making it difficult to find the location of those who need help in an emergency.
We implore everyone to leave the street signs where they are on your way out of the city. Obviously most people are not guilty of stealing street signs, but there will always be those that persist... so we are asking some of you wonderful and awesome Burners to help by adopting an intersection.
A simple way to help everyone...
The idea was inspired a few years ago when participants spontaneously improvised street signs to make it possible to navigate the city in absence of the originals. If you find a sign that's missing, try using some cardboard, a marker, and some duct tape to make a legible replacement with just a little effort. It will not only help your friends find your camp, it will help all of the emergency responders and will be of great help to your fellow citizens of Black Rock City. It's a small act that makes a big difference.
FREQUENCY COORDINATION: ARE YOU USING TWO-WAY RADIOS ON THE PLAYA?
Are you planning on using two-way radio for any reason (greater than 5 watts) on the playa? The Emergency Services Department coordinates spectrum and systems to avoid interference between various projects on-playa and the Burning Man two way radio infrastructure.
Please note that in general, we do not coordinate AM or FM broadcast radio, WiFi, HAM, FRS (aka Talkabouts), GMRS, CB, or RC bands. However if you are planning a high power radio application in any of these bands please let us know so we can isolate the signal in case of interference.
Please contact ESD Communications at http://911.burningman.com/ if you have questions or to register your frequency request.
"911" SERVICE IN BLACK ROCK CITY
By now most know that there is very limited cell phone service in the area surrounding Gerlach. If you're lucky enough to have a signal in Black Rock City please do not call 911 for problems within the event site. The dispatch center you would eventually reach doesn't manage the available resources on playa. It's far faster to flag down a Ranger or send someone to fetch help at a Ranger Outpost or ESD Station. That said, there is a way to directly call for help since ESD's on site emergency dispatch monitors a designated emergency channel on the license-free MURS (Multi User Radio Service) radio band.
MURS is a service similar to FRS (Family Radio Service, the frequencies that Motorola Talkabouts and similar radios use). FRS is extremely overcrowded and it's used by thousands of participants during the event. FRS radios are not powerful enough to effectively communicate throughout Black Rock City. MURS, in contrast, is currently not in common usage and legally can operate at a higher power so it can communicate across the entire playa.
By reserving this "911" channel while MURS use is less common at Burning Man, we hope this channel will be maintained for emergency use only.
You will need to purchase your own MURS radio to contact ESD 911, but the other four MURS channels can also be just like FRS radios for other purposes. Large camps or villages might also choose to make one part of their group planning efforts and store it in a public place for emergency use.
Why do I want one of these when my FRS radio works just fine?
* If you're part of a large theme camp it could be a good investment to have a MURS radio around to call ESD emergency dispatch for your group, especially if you have members who have known health issues or the risk of injury is of special concern.
* Large art projects working out on the open playa will be able to get help faster.
* Camps that are on the outer-rings of the city are far from a Emergency Services station don't have to send runners for help when an emergency arises.
* The other 4 channels on MURS can be a great alternative to the overcrowded FRS channels, especially if your camp has an art-car or event-wide project they want to coordinate.
* Emergency Services Dispatch cannot be reached on an FRS radio.
Calling 911 on a MURS radio:
Set your MURS radio to channel 5 (154.600 MHz, CTCSS/PL 97.4) to reach the Black Rock City Emergency Services Dispatch. Each brand has its own labeling system so please refer to your user manual to see how CTCSS/PL 97.4 is labeled. Using any other "privacy codes" on channel 5 will interfere with 911. Instead limit your personal use to channels 1-4.
FOR ALL MURS USERS: we ask that all Burning Man participants respect that channel 5 will be used as a emergency channel only. While the other channels are fine for use as an alternative to FRS we want to stress that channel 5 on MURS please be kept open for emergencies and not used for any other purpose.
An example of a compatible radio:
Dakota Alert MURS portable (operational controls just like common FRS radios, with selectable channel and code on the display) http://bit.ly/bmgDqI
Or if you don't want to buy a radio for this purpose you can contact your local two way radio rental service in your area and inquire about renting a VHF radio for this purpose (and they would program it for you as part of the rental, making configuring the radio hassle free if you're not radio tech savvy).
If you have further questions or need help in finding a source for radios, please contact us for more information at:
WHAT? IT RAINS ON THE PLAYA?
Rain storms, while much less common than dust storms, do sometimes happen. In the event of such an unlikely event, here are some tips to consider:
* Listen to BMIR for updates and information.
* Cover and secure anything electrical.
* Like with dust storms, check the structures and the art in your camp to be sure it will be safe in the wind and rain.
* Don’t drive on wet playa, you're vehicle is likely to get stuck.
MORE SAFETY OR EMERGENCY QUESTIONS?
Check out the Burning Man website more information on health and safety related issues. There are all kinds of topics covered, including pregnancy, rebar safety, first-aid kits and fuel storage: http://bit.ly/12cFVE
Or contact the Emergency Services Department if you have any questions that are not answered here or on our website:http://911.burningman.com/
BLACK ROCK RANGERS
In addition to the Emergency Services Department, the Black Rock Rangers play an important role in our community safety.
Black Rock Rangers
The Black Rock Rangers are a volunteer organization dedicated to the safety of the citizens of Black Rock City and its environs. The Rangers are a broad cross-section of the Burning Man community who volunteer some of their time in a role of non-confrontational community mediators. They are empowered by the community and the Burning Man board to address safety concerns, mediate disputes, and resolve conflicts when they cannot be resolved by the persons involved.
Rangers are available to any Black Rock citizen who needs their help and can be found patrolling the city, in the area around the base of the Man, at Ranger HQ near Center Camp, and at the Ranger Outposts located in the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock plazas, directly across from the ESD stations. Rangers can be identified by their khaki-colored costumes with a Black Rock Ranger logo on the back.
Rangers rely on the Burning Man community to help them do their jobs; there's a lot more participants than there are Rangers and you, too, are the eyes and ears of safety in Black Rock City. Here's a few FAQs on accessing the Rangers as a resource (and ways that you can help):
Q: What should you do if you lose your child in Black Rock City?
A: Parents who have become separated from their child should find a Ranger (either at a Ranger Outpost, Ranger HQ, or a pair patrolling the city), who will report the child as missing. That information then goes out to all the Rangers patrolling Black Rock City.
Q: What should you do if you find a child who can't find their parents?
A: Ask the child to come with you and a friend to a Ranger Outpost or Ranger HQ, and once you get there, the Rangers will relay the information about the child and the parents to all the Rangers patrolling Black Rock City (and probably offer to give you a big hug for helping out!).
Q: What if I'm having a dispute with a neighbor or a campmate that I can't resolve?
A: The Rangers are happy to listen to everyone involved in a difficult situation and will work to help you come to a solution that you can live with for a week in the desert. A solution doesn't always mean everyone involved is going to get exactly what they wanted when they started looking for a solution, but Rangers will work to help prevent a conflict to prevent it from escalating and find a workable solution.
WHAT'S THAT YOU SAY? FUN?
The Black Rock Rangers are launching a new program for families this year... and they're calling it FUN! The Family Unification Network. In instances of a lost child or separation, FUN helps to reunite children with parents faster.
Here's how it works: parents and children register together at Ranger Headquarters in Center Camp. After providing simple identifying information, children will receive a unique wristband with a serial number, which will identify the child, parent or guardian, and camp location. And that's it! Simple!
Should your child become separated from you, he or she just needs to find a Ranger. The wristband will facilitate a speedy reunion.
Registration is open daily at Ranger Headquarters before noon and after 2pm.
****Staff and volunteers with families are strongly encouraged to register their children in support of this program.****
The Burning Man Regional Network - connect with Burners in your
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Soundtrack for this JRS: Pretty Lights, Crystal Castles, Cansei de Ser Sexy