The idea was conceived in early 2007 when Jeff Arndt, a Reno, Nev.-based, website developer, was skiing at a nearby resort and realized that if he fell or was lost, no one would know where he was. In short order, Arndt began work on a website that would allow individuals to be able to leave a record of when they are leaving and when they expect to return from an adventure, such as mountain biking, skiing, backpacking, hiking, skiing and running.
The idea, according to Arndt, is to ensure that someone will be looking for registered users if something happens. Launched in 2008, the site — www.safecheckin.com — allows members to create a profile detailing as much information as they wish to share, including physical appearance, emergency contacts and any medical conditions. The information is private and can only be shared with designated contacts or emergency personnel.
The site is member-driven, and membership runs $9 per month or $22 for a three-month package. Included in the membership price is 24/7 monitoring every day of the year and unlimited use of the site for checking in and out for activities. Arndt launched the site initially in the Truckee, Calif., and Reno areas, but expects the program to roll out nationally soon. In addition to outdoor adventures, the site can be used for anything from dates to road trips to evenings out — anytime a person leaves home for at least two hours.
If the member becomes overdue, website personnel will first attempt to notify the member and subsequently his or her emergency contacts. If deemed necessary, local authorities will be contacted for rescue missions or missing-person reports.