Learn from my mistakes #115 Holiday travel, and safety.
As millions (over 55 million) people plan to travel over Thanksgiving, don’t forget to pack some of these safety tips and suggestions for keeping what’s yours – your! Specially those precious gifts for loved ones.
As you know, crime ramps up during the holiday season and criminals are looking to take full advantage of the “giving season”. We hope these tips and suggestions will help you be in control of who gets your gifts. The criminals, after all, are already busy planning to commandeer any easy packages.
A few basic common-sense things:
- Burglars are window shoppers! Don’t place gifts where they can be seen from outside.
- Do not leave any gifts or valuables (or your gun) in your vehicle, even if it is in your driveway. And for Pete’s Sake – Lock the doors!
- Do not expose your valuable products by leaving their boxes, with identifying marks for anyone to see on trash day. Break down boxes and put inside trash cans or bags. You don’t want everyone to know you have that coveted large screen TV.
- Another option to deal with packaging, boxes, etc. is to take them to your local recycling center yourself.
If you’ll be traveling:
- Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you are away. Get a neighborhood watch group going if you don’t have one already.
- Have a neighbor collect your mail or you can have your mail held by going to https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/.
- Use timers to turn internal (or external) lights on at hours that closely resemble your routine and schedule.
- Additionally, you can request for the police to zone patrol your home while you are away. Check your local police departments website for information and forms.
- Video doorbells and cameras to keep an eye on things 😊
If you’re staying home:
- When ordering gifts online or from a catalog, either have them shipped to your place of business or try to schedule the package delivery for when you will be home. If this isn’t an option for you, have them shipped to a family member or neighbor.
Relying on someone else to watch for a delivery in your absence, may not be the best plan. Porch Pirates will be on the lookout for any packages left on doorsteps. Here again, criminal are looking for an ‘opportunity’.
- If you can squeeze it in, with all the preparations you’re probably doing, it’s a good time to update your home inventory list. Add the serial numbers of any new items that will be under the tree this Christmas. While your at it, check with your insurance agent and review your policy to make sure your covered.
- Keep all your receipts (of these gifts) and store in one place. This will help should you need to file a claim for replacement of any item(s).
- Take Photographs of valued property, include items without serial numbers. This tip applies to items of both monetary value and sentimental value. Photographs assist in identifying your property which helps increase the chance of recovery in the unfortunate event they are stolen.
If you’re out shopping:
- Never leave purchases (or valuable items) visible in your vehicle.
- Be observant when you leave the mall or place of business. If there is someone suspicious near your vehicle, do not approach them; go back inside. Trust your gut. Don’t be afraid to call 911.
- Ladies, use a purse or satchel that allows you to have free hands. It is safer for you to be able to defend yourself if you are not fumbling with your purse. Another reason it’s best to carry a weapon on your body and not in a purse. If you carry in a purse, please get a purse designed for concealed carry. This means a special compartment ONLY for your firearm.
- Find a friend! Shopping alone may be quicker, but it is safer to shop in pairs. A party of two is a lot less likely to become victims than someone out shopping alone.
- Don’t think you’re safe at the grocery store. Don’t place personal items in the cart! Criminals are not always in the parking lot. Snatch and grab thefts can occur any time. Keep your hand on your purse straps if in the cart. Keep your purse CLOSED!
- If you’re shopping without a purse, keep your wallet, cell phone, and other items of value on you & in your possession at all times.
- Shopping with a child can be challenging – at times. Talk with your child, and remind them of the importance of staying with you while shopping.
This happened to me…. during the holidays and as a single parent. The most scared I’d been. Trying to hold it together and call for my children without fear in my voice. Fortunately, they were close by and it was a time when kidnapping, sex trafficking wasn’t as apparent.
It is very important to never let your child out of your sight. Toys are everywhere during this time of year, and children tend to wander away to play.
It’s been said many times before that a firearm is the great equalizer and is a #womensright. I believe this to be true. Men ARE stronger than women. A firearm, or pepper spray, gives a woman a fighting chance to get away!