Scenarios Help Indigenous Guardians Prepare for Eventualities and Reduce Risks 

You’ve just returned from being out on patrol when a community member approaches you to say there is a fisherman in trouble around the point. You know how quickly the weather turns because you just battled strong winds all the way home. The Coast Guard has been called but you know that by the time they reach the scene, the boat could be on the bottom of the ocean. Without thinking, you turn your boat around and head out to help.  

How do you make the call about whether to go out and help the fisherman? Did you notify others in the community? Does everyone on board have adequate training and skills to respond to this emergency? When was the last time you checked to make sure your safety gear is in place? Under what conditions would you not go out to help?    

Running through scenarios is a good way to prepare for real life situations that could come up. Most experienced Indigenous guardians have had a ‘wake-up call’, a situation or moment that made them realize how easily a situation can go bad if they aren’t prepared.    

A little risk management planning goes a long way to prepare your crew for unforeseen eventualities. Then, spending time at the beginning of each field season to assess and take action to reduce risks can save lives and the credibility of your program.