Antarctica New Zealand and United States Antarctica Program (USAP) maintain a number of permanent Refuge Huts and emergency caches located in the Ross Dependency. As well as these facilities, whenever a party is deployed into the field from Scott Base, careful pre-planning goes into risk assessment and where possible, risk avoidance. However, as with any outdoor activity, accidents do happen and protocols have been put in place in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of injury or death.
All parties take extra rations and fuel as well as emergency equipment that is stored at each camp. This emergency gear is solely for emergency purposes. For day work, each individual in a field party was a trained Workplace First Aider and the team had to take a minimum of emergency equipment including a VHF radio, extra clothing and food, and a first aid kit including Panadol and materials to care for cuts and broken bones, such as bandages, swabs, Band Aids, and scissors. They also took gear to shelter from the wind, such as a Bothy Bag (a large nylon bag with air vents that can be sat in to shelter from the wind).
Survival bags are carried by all helicopters and can be placed at sub camps or strategic places in the valleys when field work takes team members far from camp. These bags contain a range of equipment to aid survival when stuck away from camp, and can include a small tent and sleeping kit, food and cooking equipment, first aid equipment and spare warm clothing. Such equipment can make all the difference when isolated in the harsh Antarctic environment as rescue can be severely hampered by weather.