I love my job working with victims of natural disasters and have worked in the insurance industry for over a decade. After a natural disaster many of the common infrastructure systems that we take for granted are no longer viable or functioning. Usually governments take pro-active measures to ensure that the lives and property of the people in the area are safe but sometimes there can be an atmosphere of lawlessness or a greater possibility of being in an unsafe situation.
Being in this situation many times has prompted me to enact many safety measures that I use to this day whether I am working or not. Some may say that I have a touch of paranoia or are being overly cautious. Unfortunately we live in a society that is unpredictable and I have found that it is best to be prepared so that you can easily remove yourself from a situation quickly and easily if needed; or better yet, know what to look out for to avoid being placed in an unsafe situation.
Here are 5 suggestions towards implementing your own Dynamic Safety plan:
1. Keep your cell phone charged at all times. This seems obvious but with all the other things we have to do during our busy days sometimes we don’t charge our phones until the battery is almost dead. If a situation happened you may need that cell phone charged!
2. If you are going to an unfamiliar city have your GPS or map available. Call ahead to the person you are visiting (or hotel) and find out the best routes to take and the routes NOT to take. Many times the information you need most is where NOT to go!
3. Establish a code text message or call code – something that means: “I’m in trouble and need help NOW!” In the event of an emergency, text or place a quick call and leave the code on voice mail.
You may be thinking “yea but I have ‘OnStar’ “. It’s true that ‘OnStar’ can assist in many instances. But what if a situation happens and you are not in or by your vehicle to press the button? A code you could quickly text would come in handy.
This is a good one to teach your kids if they are of an age to carry cell phones. Obviously it would only be used in an emergency and the definition of emergency should be firmly established.
4. Tell someone where you are going. This seems like common sense but many people go about their day and are not aware of how situations could impact their lives. This is especially important for elderly people or kids. If you have an elderly person in your life, have them check in each day so that you are aware of their schedule. If they go to the store and were gone too long and got sick, or something of that nature, you would be able to know where to start looking if need be.
5. When arriving and parking somewhere, take notice of your surroundings and be vigilant. Walk confidently with your head up and even stride. If you carry a purse make sure it’s closed and carry it securely rather than dangling it.
Obviously, there are many more things you could do and plans you could enact, self-defense courses and the like. These are 5 simple things that are easy to implement without disrupting your entire routine and could keep you safe without you even knowing otherwise.
Above all, go with your gut feeling because 9 times out of 10 if something doesn’t seem right, it isn’t. These simple safety precautions are common sense but all of the things we pack into our days, we get busy and just plain forget until something arises. If you get used to being prepared chances are better that you will remain calm and focused in the unlikely event something does happen.
Crystal’s Comments: I took self-defense classes right before college and a few of these were mentioned (paying attention to your environment was a big one). I also remember the leader of thr group mentioning to use your keys as weapons unless they want the car – then throw them as far away from you as possible and run in the opposite direction. Can you think of any other tips to improve your general safety?