Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I forget to check-in?
At the point of time when you become overdue you will receive a series of SMS text reminders and automated phone calls. You can use the app, SMS response or automated phone response to check in at that point. You have 15 minutes leeway before your emergency contacts are contacted. The SMS and phone communications also provide the option of extending for another hour or raising the alert immediately.
How are my emergency contacts contacted when I become overdue?
Initially your primary contact will be sent a text / email saying you are overdue, asking them if they are able to help. If they do not respond affirmatively within 30 minutes the remaining emergency contacts will be contacted in the same way. The emergency contact who responds “yes” first will be then sent a link to your full trip plan. They can use the trip plan information to help them check if you are safe, and forward to emergency services if they think that is necessary. As soon as one emergency contact has confirmed “yes”, all other contacts are told that no further action is required from them. This is also the case if you check in after the alert is raised.
Do I need to notify my emergency contacts that they are on my emergency contact list?
Yes. Emergency contacts that have not had prior notification will not be alerted if you become overdue. Un-notified contacts are marked with a warning triangle. It is very important that your emergency contacts have prior knowledge that you are using them in your list on OVERDUE, so they are confident the request for assistance is real when it comes.
Can I still use in-app purchased maps if my OVERDUE subscription expires?
Yes, any in-app purchased maps (and base layers) can be viewed in the map window (bottom menu) even if your app subscription has expired. Other “add-on maps” will not be viewable if your subscription has expired. Maps enabled using the code on the back of purchased paper maps will also be viewable regardless of subscription status.
Can I share my trip plan before I go out?
Yes. The normal operation is such that emergency contacts are not bothered with texts and emails unless you are actually overdue. If you do however want to share your trip plan with specific people you can manually share as you register your trip plan or using View/Share after registering. Options for sharing include SMS, email and social media. You can also preselect certain contacts to receive your trip plan every time you go out (activated in contacts settings). The publicly shared version of your trip plan will not contain your personal details (for privacy). The trip plan can be viewed online and changes dynamically if you change your plan “on the fly”. It also contains breadcrumbs of your route (tracking) so your friends and family can track your progress in real time if you give them access (*internet connection dependent).
Will alerts work if my phone stops working?
Yes. The main premise of the OVERDUE app is to make sure help is contacted in an emergency when communication (your cell phone or personal locator beacon PLB) has failed. Our server takes care of all the messaging and associated protocol as long as your trip is registered. There are many reasons why you may not be able to communicate an emergency to emergency services yourself, including cell phone/PLB failure, battery failure (especially at low temperatures), phone out of range/satellite reception loss, and personal incapacitation.
Will my trip breadcrumbs continue to track if I don’t have cell coverage?
Tracking will continue locally on the phone for all the time the phone is switched on and the OVERDUE app is active. Tracking points (breadcrumbs) are updated to the cloud-based trip plan whenever your phone has a data connection. If data connection is intermittent then breadcrumb updates are done during the times you have cell coverage.
Should I run the OVERDUE app on my trip or save my phone battery?
Having the app on during your trip will allow you to be tracked (if you have data connection) and use the maps for navigation assistance. However, we advise that you turn your phone completely off as soon as the battery level goes below 30%. This will ensure your phone will be usable in an emergency and allow for quick position checks if you become lost. A paper map and compass should always be considered mandatory for navigation as phone/GPS technology can fail. Best practice is to primarily use a paper map for navigation, periodically verifying position using a phone/GPS (turning the phone off in-between to save battery life).
How do I decide on an appropriate “Alert Time”?
It is important that you leave yourself enough time for your trip, so your emergency contacts are not unnecessarily contacted. When estimating how long your trip will take ensure that you include plenty of contingency time. There are many things that may slow you down, including mild injury, fatigue, tricky conditions, lack of fitness or companion lack of fitness. Try to factor these in when deciding how long your trip will take. As a rule of thumb, add 30% to your carefully calculated time and then add on another couple of hours. Also factor in the time it will take to get back to a place that has cell phone reception where you can check-in.
Can I change my trip plan mid-trip?
If you have data coverage, your trip plan can be changed at any time. You may for example want to extend your time or amend your route if you’re travelling slower than expected.
Do you keep details of my activities?
No, use of OVERDUE does not require any account to be set up, and we do not permanently store any personal details on our server. Trips on the server are eventually erased after check-in. Contact information, personal details and a history of previous trips (for reuse in the future) are all stored locally on your phone. Email addresses are retained, but only for the purpose of communicating important details (updates etc.) about the OVERDUE product.
Can I reuse a previous trip to save entering all the trip details again?
Yes, when you select “New Trip” you can select from a list of previous trips. This will populate your trip plan as it was for that original trip, with the exception of the timeline and title. Those can then be edited/tweaked. Additionally, routes can be imported from previously acquired GPS tracks, saving lots of time in the route sketch process.
What are the pre-trip questions in the equipment planner (checklists)?
In addition to the standard “10 essential” items that should always be taken with you, there are other essential items that should be taken in some circumstances. These questions help determine what additional items you should take. For example, a likelihood of encountering winter conditions would require additional safety equipment.
Can I still use the app if my emergency contacts are in another country?
Yes, the messaging and telephony work across international boundaries. This allows you to keep your emergency contacts from home if you are travelling overseas.
What types of activity is OVERDUE suitable for?
OVERDUE can be used for any activity that involves recreation in the outdoors! (the list is almost endless). It can also be used for road trips, overseas travelling or any other type of excursion where loved ones may want to check to see you are safe.
Are messages guaranteed to be sent out to my emergency contacts if I am overdue?
100% reliability is unfortunately impossible to guarantee. For instance, SMS messages and emails sometimes fail to deliver. However, the OVERDUE app and the back-end server has been engineered with reliability as a top priority. There are also various layers of redundancy inherent in the OVERDUE system (multiple contacts, pre-sharing, SMS/email duplication, scalable and geographically distributed server architecture) therefore ensuring this “safety net” is as reliable as it possibly can be.