Emergency boxes / by Jerry

One of my jobs this season is to ensure that all the emergency supplies are up to date and in good condition. The biggest risk to station would be a fire or tsunami (there's a bit of geological activity in the South Sandwich islands so it's a threat, however remote). We have several systems in place to warn us about this and a good fire-suppression system, but good planning means we have to take into account the worst case scenario.

In this photo Lucy is sorting through the emergency medical box, ensuring all our supplies are in date, well sealed and we know how to use them. There are further boxes containing cooking equipment, water purification, warm clothing and shelters.

One of the other key features in an emergency would be communication so I have also been checking batteries for and testing our iridium field phones and working out ways we could charge them if we lost all power. We do have a small back-up generator offsite but having recently read The Martian I keep thinking of how we could adapt the solar chargers used to power some of the science equipment.

Of course this is all something we hope is never used, but thinking it through and putting precautions in place is very useful and really interesting.