Vacation time is here whether you are staying at home, planning a road trip or camping, or going up up and away!
As you make your plans, discuss Situational Awareness with your family. Remember, criminals hide in plain sight. Police response is normally 7-11 minutes if you are home. If you are away, it can take longer. Consider having a non-lethal safety tool for that 'just in case' moment.
It is a good idea to not post vacation plans on social media including your family and friends. Criminals absolutely LOVE to rob you while you are gone, and social media is one way they find out that you are not home. Most smartphones and many digital cameras automatically attach the exact location where a photo was taken - and when you share it online, the geotag can give away your address and let criminals know that you are on vacation, which could make your home an easy target.
Staying at home to celebrate summer is a great way to relax and have family time - enjoying a picnic at the park or going to the beach. Be mindful of who is around you; picnic areas, playgrounds, walking/bike paths and bathrooms. All eyes on board is good practice. If your child needs to use the bathroom, go with them. Sex offenders hang out near and in public bathrooms looking for children whether they are girls or boys - and women too.
If your children have their own summer plans, have a 'safe word' that you agree on and keep it private between you. Should a stranger approach them and they ask what the safe word is, and the person does not know it, run and get help!
You might be going on a road trip or camping. While traveling be cautious at rest stops. Practice safety in numbers going to the restroom if possible. Check out the other cars; i.e. someone sitting there just watching, especially if you are in an isolated area, or someone approaches you that makes you feel those red flags of potential danger. Criminals have an abundance of tricks up their sleeve; car breakdown, out of gas, out of money, asking for a ride. It is important to let your family and friends know where you are and check in frequently. Pack an auto emergency and first aid kit, flashlight, wind-up radio, food and plenty of water. Also consider packing an additional backpack in case you have an emergency in an unpopulated area and need to find help. Is your spare tire pumped up and ready in case of a flat?
Up up and away? When traveling we are easily distracted enjoying the experience. This is what criminals are looking for. Again, they hide in plain sight. Keep your personal effects that you carry to the bare necessities. Keep your jewelry at home.
Damsel in Defense has non-lethal safety tools for you no matter where your summer travels take you. Consider what you might include to keep you and those you love safe as you make your plans and start packing.
Think about that 'what if' situation and consider your 'just in case' safety tool.
Better to have it and not need it right??
The Safety Advocate