Approximately 70 people go missing in the woods and along our coastlines each year. Ground Search and Rescue volunteers dedicate countless hours of their time searching for missing persons. Before heading to the woods there are a few simple things you can do to keep from becoming lost:
- Tell someone where you are going and when you intend to return.
- Learn how to use a map and compass - and take them along.
- Always carry a cell phone with you.
- Wear brightly colored clothing so you'll be seen more easily.
- If you require medication regularly, take along an extra supply. If you wear contacts or prescription eyeglasses, take an extra pair with you.
- Never travel alone. It is best to travel in threes. That way if one person is injured another can stay with him/her while the third hikes out for help.
- When you hike, look back periodically to identify landmarks for the return trip. Also be on alert for possible shelters and escape routes.
- When hiking, stay on a trail because it's the safest way to travel through an area.
- Be sure your children use a "buddy system" while outdoors.
- Teach your children how to build a temporary shelter, how to signal for help, and other essential survival skills.