You never plan an accident, but you can be prepared for one -- especially when you head out on one of the many trails in Limestone County Alabama. It’s commonly taught to dial 911 in an emergency but recent events with connections issues between mobile carriers and 911 reminds us to be prepared to direct dial. Take time and add these numbers to your telephone before you hit the trail. Limestone County Sheriff’s Office Non-Emergency 256-232-0111 Athens City Police Department Non-Emergency 256-233-8700 Ardmore AL/TN Police Department Non-Emergency Number 256-423-2146 Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Office256-353-2634 To Report Game/Hunting Violations800-272-4263 Things to keep in mind while on the trail...
Be prepared to provide details to your location - as the “digital handshake or last tower of connection may be miles away from your actual location or encompass a large area that responders would have to search for you in.
Know the name of the trail you are on. Some trails have multiple names -- try to know as many as possible.
Know your trailhead name or landmark. Some trails only have two trails while others may have multiple trailheads -- know where you started and which direction you headed in to help responders find you.
Know or be able to estimate how far you walked from the trailhead. Noting a landmark you passed - for example a memorial marker, the second bridge, a double-back curve - could help speed your responders in finding you.
Here are a few tips before you hit the trail...
Provide someone with your plans and estimated return for your trip. If no one knows you’ve taken the trail and when you plan to be back -- there is no one to know there is a problem and you may need help.
Think about supplies - even the shortest walk on the trail needs supplies. Water, freshly charged cell, snacks, band aids, sunscreen, flashlight, non-emergency numbers are just a few things to consider.
Check the weather before heading out -- it may be sunny when you start but is there a storm forecast? A temperature drop coming?
The right gear for the right terrain. Choose apparel, shoes, and gear to meet the needs of your walk or hike.