Search and rescue (SAR) is the art of finding lost people and bringing them to safety. Most search and rescue teams are made up of volunteers coordinated by the local sheriff's department or police agency. SAR mostly takes place in rural areas after people become lost or go down in plane crashes. If you are lost in a rural area and they know about it, SAR will come looking for you. Make their job easier by staying put (especially if you are near a vehicle!) and making signals that can be seen from the air or by ground searchers. To improve your chances of being found, make sure someone knows what your plans are and where you are going so that they can notify SAR if you fail to return.

The Coast Guard is responsible for maritime SAR in the United States. There is a specialization of SAR called urban search and rescue or USAR which focuses on heavy rescue of trapped and entombed people following earthquakes and other disasters.