Personal Safety: For the Holidays


      For some people the few weeks preceding the Christmas holiday are spent running around doing last minute shopping.  Your mind is racing twenty different directions at once, what to get for this person, did I get a gift for that person, and did I forget anyone or anything. Probably the last thing on your mind is your own personal safety.  The mind tends to ignore familiar images anyway and with the stress of the holidays, common sense rules of personal safety can be overlooked and forgotten.

      During the holidays thieves know that people are out buying more than usual which means that (1) there are more people to target for theft, (2) people are carrying more money,  credit cards, or checks to make purchases with, (3) a lot of people have nice expensive gifts in hand and (4) with all the hustle and bustle people aren't paying as much attention as usual.  Everyone from ordinary pickpockets to the more violent criminals usually have a hey day during the holidays.  Also, with so many people out and about, rapists use the confusion of the holidays to make their assaults easier on unsuspecting victims.

      Here are some reminders to simple things that you can do to make your holidays happy and safe.  (1) Keep your house locked even when your home.  (2) Keep your car doors locked even when in the car.  (3) Shop with friends and stay in a group.  (4) In a parking lot, be wary of who might be hiding behind a car or other structure.  (5) Check under your car and cars next to your car as you approach.  (6) Check inside your car and the car next to you before getting in.  (7) If you think someone is following you go to a store clerk or security right away.  Don't go outside!  (8) Always be alert!  Be aware of your surroundings at all times!  An attacker is less likely to attack someone who is alert and confident looking.  (9) Try to shop during the day.  However, even during the day don't let your guard down.  (10) Keep your kids close to you.  Child abductors are out there, too!  (11) Consider taking some classes on self-defense.  It may save your life!

      This is only a partial list.  Use it as a guideline for a safe holiday season.