Survey location and weather resources
Spending time outdoors in public spaces brings with it special safety concerns. Here are some suggestions and resources to help you stay safe.
Don't go it alone. It is safer to have someone else with you to help you with unforeseen circumstances such as injuries or car problems. You can use our private Facebook group, open only to volunteers and staff, to find a survey partner. If you do plan on going out on your own, make sure that someone knows where you are going and make plans to check in when you are done. If you need someone from the Atlas to be that person, please let us know. Be aware that not all survey locations will have cell service.
Be prepared for medical problems. Stash a mini-medical kit in your field bag, with a more complete one in your car.
Prevent problems. Protect yourself from disease-bearing animals and poisonous plants, especially wild parsnip. Prevent dehydration and heat-stroke. For more safety tips, review this list of field safety resources from the UMN Department of Environmental Health & Safety.
Roadside safety. If you are surveying along a roadside, be careful to park in a designated parking area, or if parking on the shoulder of a road, leave your 4-way flashers on. We also recommend wearing a safety vest while surveying in roadsides.
BIPOC and LGBTQ people can face more hassasment than straight, white people in outdoor spaces. We suggest that everyone place a copy of the Atlas sign on your dashboard while you survey, and carry one with you on your clipboard, but it may be more important for our BIPOC and LGBTQ volunteers to be able to show this proof of their reason for being in outdoor spaces.