Research Outline

Natural Disaster Preparedness and Response Market


To determine spending on search and rescue and who pays. In addition, a general overview of the number or composition of search and rescue in the US.

Early Findings

  • The US Government, under the Department of Homeland Security, created a search and rescue task force.
  • Lost N Missing of New Hampshire has compiled a list of some search and rescue organizations in the US.
  • Outside online states, "SAR operations in the United States are a patchwork." They continue by explaining a rescue may be a matter of hours or days and a myriad of organizations may come to the rescue, from volunteers to government support.
  • There are many types of search and rescue teams in the US. "Though there are a few professional search and rescue organizations, most of these teams are volunteer", reports Sky Above Us. They also explain that volunteers sometimes cover their costs for gear and training.
  • Globally, the International Maritime Rescue organization lists some programs and provides a wealth of information on the subject for further research.
  • A Canadian database provides a searchable listing of search and rescue operations located across the globe.


  • In Colorado, "the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue card, known as CORSAR – a program that allows people to purchase a card that goes into a fund that the state of Colorado uses to reimburse teams for costs incurred in search and rescue missions."
  • Mother Nature Network reports in addition to the SAR cards, "several U.S. companies even offer rescue insurance for those that partake in outdoor activities."
  • When in an emergency situation in a national park, the government typically pays the bill for search and rescue. As well, the Coast Guard pays for sea based missions.
  • Many state operations are funded through license registration fees, the common shortfall leaving departments to make up the rest through general funds.
  • The Manual states, "In at least six states, climbers, hikers, and pretty much anyone who requires rescue in the outdoors could be forced to foot the bill if they need to be saved."
  • This source details the funding for the Coast Guard, National Parks Service, and Sheriff's offices.