If someone close to you lives with Alzheimer’s or autism, preparing your family for a missing person scenario could increase their location success from 6% to 80%. Due to curiosity, fear, or disorientation, these individuals sometimes wander from our sight, unable to find their way back. The possibility is frightening — but that’s why preparation is essential. Follow these tips to turn your family into an effective missing person response team.

These 3 Steps Can Bring Your Loved One Home

1. Create an Emergency Kit

Gather everything you’d need in an emergency scenario into a box and keep it somewhere secure. Yours may include:

  • AMissing Personction checklist with instructions to search for 15 minutes, call 911, and then start using additional resources.
  • Phone numbers for important autism or Alzheimer’s care resources, including the Autism Response Team, the Alzheimer’s Association, and trusted neighbors
  • Locations to which they’ve wandered in the past or upon which they fixate, including past workplaces, religious buildings, or favorite restaurants
  • A recent photo and up-to-date medical information

When you feel your children are ready, introduce them to the emergency kit.

2. Designate Roles

No one should waste time wondering what to do during a crisis. Make a list of roles and assign a chain of command — you can include this information in your action checklist. If you and your loved one are out of the house and your children tell you that your mother has gone missing, they’ll need to organize into leading and supporting roles to execute an effective response.

For example, you could designate your eldest to call the police, neighbors, and help resources while giving commands to their younger siblings, while the youngest can gather materials the police will need.

3. Keep a Scent Preservation Kit

Bloodhounds are law enforcement’s strongest tool in a missing person scenario. When they lock onto a properly-preserved scent, they can track it for miles, even days after the trail was laid. Unlike a GPS, one’s scent can’t be removed, run out of batteries, or lose service. Scent preservation kits have helped law enforcement locate a missing person in as little as 15 minutes — add one to your emergency kit and know that your loved one is never far away.

Lt. Robert Siemer of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office put it best:

“Law enforcement agrees with the effectiveness of this new technology. Scent Preservation Kits save lives and saves money.”


Developed by a former FBI Forensics Canine Operations Specialist, Scent Evidence K9 pioneers scent preservation technology, helping police locate missing loved ones as quickly as possible. The five minute it takes to preserve a scent may make all the difference. Call Scent Evidence K9 at (850) 272-6950 today or visit their website to learn more.