The very FIRST thing you’ll need to dos is get all your paperwork in order before you plan out your investigation. By getting legal permission (in writing), from the owner to conduct the investigation you will be protecting your team from any unforeseen problems. If it is a public place, make certain you find out and follow the rules and regulations, as well as obtain legal permits and permission from the proper authorities, when applicable. If you can’t get the legal permission to investigate on private or public property, DON’T GO. It’s as simple as that. Getting thrown in jail or fighting legal battles in court, is not worth it! Once you’ve obtained the proper permission for access to the property, set up an acceptable time and date, and duration with your client. Then and only then should you begin putting together a team and determine the proper equipment you’ll be needing. Be sure to be on time, and finish on time. If you’re planning for the the usual night-time investigation, you will need to familiarize your team with information you gathered during the In-Person interview (floor plan and hazards notes). Being sure to go over the layout of the premises, including any hazard spots noted that could potentially injure a member as they stumble around in the dark. Especially things such as broken stairs or floorboards, hanging fixtures or wires, loose stones, low hanging branches, soft ground, holes, or any other danger that may present itself. Also it’s important to note all entrances and exits to and from the property as well as discuss a evacuation route and central meeting location for your team, should an evacuation need arise. This is when you’ll be determining what investigating equipment you’ll be needing as well. Remember, for every surveillance or video camera, you setup, you and your team will have to review frame-by-frame (because evidence is often captured between frames and goes unnoticed when viewing the video). Figuring that each minute of video usually has 30 frames per second, it means that in just one hour of video, you’ll have 108,000 still-frames to review. Multiply that times several hours and several cameras...well you get the picture (no pun intended) can get very time consuming  So be frugal with your video or surveillance equipment and use them only when and where there is a likelihood is high of capturing something on film. Your plan does not have to be as elaborate as you those you may have seen on your favorite SciFi Channel paranormal programs, just efficient. The simple equipment you would normally take should be sufficient. And make sure to test all of your equipment beforehand and recharge any nicad batteries. Planning the Investigation After the Interview, Before the Investigation The Lead Investigator assigned will create a plan outlining what course of action will be followed, including the assignment of paired teams, their responsibilities and tasks, and the duration and location of each vigil. Special consideration should be given to the size of property as to how many team members will be required. Remember sometimes there are special situations that may require special planning. Such as conducting an investigation both indoors and out, and how cold or hot it may be internally or externally, as temperatures can tire the team if it’s too hot, or cause them to loose concentration when they’re freezing and shivering in the cold. A typical assignment is usually with no more than 4-6 members on small case locations, and never more than 10-12 members for larger ones. Most formal investigations with the In the Shadows Paranormal project last between 2-4 hours. And under special situations have lasted the whole night (and rarely more than 8 hours). Duration would best be determined on a case by case basis. The best logical time of course to schedule an investigation would during the periods of most purported paranormal activity that have been reported by your client. The main responsibility of the Lead Investigator assigned the case, would be to ensure that the team’s adopted policies, procedures and methodologies are followed. Thus ensuring that team conducts the investigation in a professional and efficient manner. Any questions or concerns regarding investigation processes would be directed to the lead investigator assigned to the case at all times during the investigation. The Plan Paranormal Teamwork A Step by Step Methodology
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