The first step to being prepared for an emergency is preplanning. Make sure you leave your travel plans with someone back at home. In this way in case of an emergency where you are left stranded, you can be guaranteed that someone will notice that you have not returned and will know where to send help. Having a cell phone, satellite phone or personal emergency beacon is your surest way of alerting someone of your need for help once on the trip. Be sure to know the local emergency contact numbers prior to heading out on the water.