By R. Maxine Lundquist
Good emergency signal mirrors come with aiming devices already built in. But if you’re lost in the wilderness and don’t have one, you can still create a signal mirror, either from a standard hand mirror, anything flat wrapped in aluminum foil, a folded survival blanket or anything with a reflective surface:
- Hold your mirror in one hand and extend the other, palm up, facing target (plane, helicopter, what have you).
- Create a “V” between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure target is sighted between thumb and forefinger “V”.
- Angle the mirror so sunlight is reflected at the base of the “V”, then angle up to the sighted target.
It’s a good idea to practice sighting with your signal device before hand, so that when an aircraft appears you are reasonably certain of aiming correctly and quickly. If you have been sighted, raise both hands to signal that you need help. If you are in an open area and need medical help, lie down with both arms stretched above your head.