We at Strategic Awareness Solutions want you to be Aware of the hidden dangers and stay safe in all that you do during this busy holiday season. Be prepared and see it before it happens! This article covers from now through New Year's Eve. Practice these tips as you go out and you'll be assured to be more aware and most of all, you'll come home safely. Practice makes perfect! Don't be vulnerable, always be aware everywhere you go! Here are some more tips adding from our Black Friday shopping article. Active Shooters and Bombers can strike anywhere at any time. Always be aware of what's going on. Be able to get yourself and others to safety as soon as possible. You must move to cover once it starts to occur. Look up, the danger could come from a second or third story!
1. Always pay attention to people around you. It only takes a glance in any direction to see who is out of place and if there could be danger lurking ahead. Keep your head on a swivel. You can have your purse, phone or other items snatched anywhere and at any time! Always look up, dangers can lurk above you.
2. When at the mall: (grocery store , Wal Mart, Target or any place where you park and have to walk into a building), stay off your phone and glance around as you walk from the car into the building. If you are on the phone, you may not see who is coming up behind you or beside you. Don't walk into a convenience store as it's being robbed! Duh! Bad day there! If you weren't paying attention, how would you know? At night, you may want to be on the phone with someone. If this is the case, call someone before exiting your locked car and ask them to stay on the phone until you get inside. Keep the phone down at your side while walking in. This allows you to look around. Please, if you have small children, pay attention to them and whoever may be lurking around as you walk in or out of the buildings. Do the reverse for going back to your car. Check out our quick video of this scenario on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU8Ox_v6cqc9YRexUYNBbQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
3. Fueling vehicles: Pay attention to who is around you when you are fueling your vehicle. If you don't lock your car, thieves can pull up next to you, slide out low, enter the other side of your vehicle and steal your purse or belongings. Now, they have your CC's and possibly just stole your identity. Trust me, insurance pays you back the losses at first and you keep paying for years after! Just not worth it. Check out our quick video of this scenario on our YouTube playlist: Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU8Ox_v6cqc9YRexUYNBbQ/playlists?view_as=subscriber.
4. Removing and putting your children into car seats before and after going into the malls or whatever parking lot you find yourself in at the time: Stay off cell phones while you perform this duty! Keys in hand or accessible in purse around shoulder. Always look around before attempting to open their door and take them out / put them in the car seat. If at any time you notice someone and you don't feel safe, immediately shut the door and run away from the danger while locking the doors and hitting the panic button. Call 911 if possible. The loud noise from your siren will draw attention to you and they should run away. Your children will be safe, locked in the car. Check out our quick video of this scenario on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZU8Ox_v6cqc9YRexUYNBbQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
5. Taking initial purchases to the car and returning back into the stores: It is perfectly fine to do this activity, but only as follows; Look around for dangerous people before attempting to put bags in the cars. Drop all of your purchases inside the trunk or back of the SUV. Get into your car, lock doors and drive to the other side of the mall, around the block away from view and return to find a new place to park. No one will be the wiser and this is better for you with less risk than just dropping bags and going back into the stores. Thieves will do everything to get your belongings. They sit and watch all day with males and females breaking into the cars for the spotters. Don't let them see you go back in after dropping bags. This makes you an easy target.
1. Travel and Hotels
Many people travel during the holidays. The most important tip we can give you is: Don't drink and drive, it's just not worth it.
A). When using Uber, Lyft or taxis, be aware where you are going. Pay attention to the driver and see if they are acting out of the ordinary. Be ready to call 911 and give your location if need be.
When staying in hotels:
B). Always know where your exits are located.
C). If you charge anything to your room and need to sign for it, don't say your room # out loud, don't let anyone see you write it down and don't walk off and leave the bill on the table / counter. Hand it to the waiter / waitress.
D). Be aware of the people you see and where you see them. They could be following you and marking you as a target.
E). If someone follows you onto the elevator and it makes you uneasy, choose a different floor than they do. Exit and take the stairs down or up and get away. Yelling and screaming will bring unwanted attention. Don't be afraid to do that!
F). Don't accept rides from anyone who is not authorized by hotel staff. Have the front desk arrange transportation. In foreign countries they may work together with the bad people, so always be aware.
G). Rest areas and travel stops; Always be aware of your surroundings. People target travelers in these locals, especially rest areas. Park close and in well lit areas. Look around when you go into rest rooms, if it feels dangerous, leave. Have your phone in case you need to call 911. Remember, response times may be 10-20 minutes and you may be on your own. Yell and scream if need be. Lay on the horn to draw attention! Take precautions!
2. Christmas Parties, out with friends at bars and New Years Eve Parties:
A). Always have a designated person to watch out for the group. Not just a driver anymore! That person should stay sober and watch out for the group as you travel around to different places. Keeping everyone safe is the goal here. Take turns if need be.
B). NEVER LEAVE ANYONE ALONE! NEVER LET ANYONE LEAVE ALONE! Everyone wants to have a good time. If someone gets too drunk and doesn't want to leave with the group, either stay with them or remind them that this is the time when they become the most vulnerable for sexual assault, rape, targeting for money, being murdered, kidnapped or left for dead in an alley!
C). Never leave drinks unattended. If you must, ask the bartender to cover your drinks and watch them while you are away.
D). Ask your bartender for the safe / code word and make sure everyone knows it. It could be a certain drink order or just a code word. Most bars across the USA have now implemented a program with safe words or code words that females can use if they feel they are in danger. When they hear this code word and depending on the situation they will do one or all of these things; remove you and safely get you away and out the back door, call 911 for you, sit with you until Police arrive or just remove the person making you feel uneasy. Use this service, it could save your life.
E). Binge drinking, drunkorexia and pill parties! Be smart, just don't do it! The risk versus reward is just not there. Everyone wants to have a good time. Drink responsibly and socially but always stay aware of those around you and everything that is happening. NO ONE WANTS TO WAKE UP THE NEXT MORNING TO DISCOVER THEY HAVE BEEN RAPED! Also, you could possibly never make it home alive, so drink responsibly and watch out for each other. Be the person that every victim wishes they had with them the night before their tragedy struck!
F). Watch for signs of domestic violence. During the holidays we see a spike in the terrible treatment of family members that could turn lethal. If you are having any problems or issues, visit our site for a listing of those that can help you at https://www.strategic-as.com/resources or for immediate assistance contact the NCADV here: http://www.thehotline.org/about-us/contact/. At SAS our goal is simple, to save and protect lives!
Have a great Christmas and New Year's Eve! Be aware and be safe! These are only a few tips. There are so many more to be aware of as you go out each and every day. If you would like more information, or need someone to talk with contact us at Strategic Awareness Solutions. www.strategic-as.com.