- Stay Alert and Aware of Your Surroundings!
- Use the “Buddy System” – there is strength in numbers, especially at night. If you are alone, you can many times ask store security to accompany you to your vehicle.
- If you have to walk alone, maintain alertness and confidence.
- Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pant pocket.
- Avoid wearing valuable and visible jewelry that might attract a thief.
- Whether you’re a passenger or driver, keep car doors locked.
- At stoplights, give yourself at least one car length of open area between your car and the car in front of you so that you are not trapped if a thief approaches.
- Be particularly alert in parking lots and garages. If possible, park in well lighted area near the entrance.
- Carry only the money or credit cards that you will be using. Bring change for emergency phone calls. If possible, carry a cellular phone.
- If your car breaks down, raise the hood if possible and put on emergency flashers. Depending on the situation, it may be safest to return to your vehicle and await help. If you feel unsafe, remain in your locked vehicle and roll up windows and ask anyone who stops to contact law enforcement officials for help. Be careful not to stay in an enclosed car on hot days for too long.
- Think carefully before you decide to carry a firearm for personal protection. If you decide to carry a firearm, ensure you do it legally with a concealed weapons permit. Also ensure you train frequently with your firearm and secure it when not in use.
- A good alternative for personal protection is “Chemical Agents”. You might consider carrying a personal sized canister of protective gas sometimes referred to as pepper spray or MACE (although mace is one vendor of many that offers similar products). These products are available at many gun stores and retail stores. You may want to consider buying two so that you can practice with the 2nd one and be familiar with how it feels to actually spray it and how far and wide the spray goes should you ever need it. You may want to consider placing them in strategic locations throughout your home so that you can reach one if needed.
- If you think you are being followed, turn and look at the person. It shows them you won’t be taken by surprise. Change directions and vary your pace. You may be able to more safely return to the store, etc. and alert security of your concerns.
- Let family members or friends know where you are going and an approximate time you plan on returning so that in the event you do not return, you will be missed.
- Do not be deceived by appearances.
- Ask for proper identification from delivery persons.
- If a stranger wants to come in and use your telephone because they need help, offer instead to place the call for them yourself and maintain your safety behind a locked door. If you feel the visit is suspicious…contact 911 immediately and report a suspicious person at your residence.
- Consider having an unlisted phone number. If you decide to allow your name to be listed in the phone book, consider using your initial instead of your first name. Avoid listing your home address.
- If someone or something makes you uneasy, trust your instincts.
- If you become a victim of a crime or see anything suspicious, report it immediately by calling 911!
If You’re Attacked
Every situation is different and only you can decide what action is appropriate for the situation. Here are a few things to consider:
- Give up valuables—they are less important than your safety.
- Yelling “Help”, hitting or biting may stop the attack, but may in some cases lead to further harm.
- Consider running away.
- Consider carrying and using protective “pepper spray” to defend against attackers.
- Never allow someone to force you into a vehicle. Do everything within your power to escape from that situation.
- Try to remember details of attacker to include distinguishing characteristics, type of vehicle, tag number.
- Report incident immediately by calling 911.