Improve Your Safety

Three Basic Rules

1. Trust your instincts

-If something looks wrong or dangerous, change your course of action.

2. Use common sense

-Let someone know where you are going and when you will return

-Never carry a lot of cash, keep your wallet or purse close to you

-Don't resist if someone wants your belongings, especially if that person has a weapon

-Avoid dark streets or lightly traveled areas

3. Work with the Police

-Get to know the police

-Ask police about unfamiliar neighborhoods before traveling there

-Report suspicious activity

-Ask for assistance if you expect trouble or suspect danger

-Personal Safety

-Personal Appearance

-Wear clothes that will allow you to move easily

-Carry only what you need: less is better

-Keep your wallet or money separate from your purse

-Hold your handbag in front of you and not around your neck


-Remember there is safety in numbers

-Walk with confidence, be direct and alert

-Use areas that are well traveled and well lighted at night

-Avoid short cuts, vary your route

In a car

-Don't ride with strangers or pick them up

-In traffic, keep doors locked and windows up

-Park and lock your car and remove the keys

-Park in areas that are well lighted

-When you return to your car, check in and around it, and have your keys in your hand and ready to use

-If you are followed, don't go home, go to a public place or police station

-Keep valuables in trunk or hidden in the car and do not keep registration papers or valuables in the glove box

-BE COURTEOUS!  Confrontations often occur when drivers become frustrated about how others drive

If you have car trouble

-Raise the hood, use emergency flashers, tie something white around your antenna or mirror.

-Carry a 'HELP' sign and keep a can of tire inflator in trunk.

-Stay inside the car, lock the doors and if help is offered, ask for the police

-Remember to regularly check your car's oil, gas, water and tires. Service your car regularly.

If you are followed

-Act suspicious; turn and look at the person

-Let the follower know you won't be surprised

-Change direction; cross the street

-Go into a public place, such as a store or gas station

-Carry a whistle or personal alarm and know how to use it

-If attacked, act quickly - you can yell at the attacker, scream for help, run or fight back by giving a quick blow to vital areas such as the throat, nose, eyes, knees or groin.

-You could also vomit or urinate and yell that you have a disease to scare off the attacker.

-The most important goal is to simply SURVIVE any attack!

Beware of Suspicious Activity

-Person who behaves strangely or whose movements are unusual

-Vehicle that makes frequent passes around the block, drives at night with no lights on, or driving recklessly

-Person carrying, concealing or attempting to conceal weapons

-Person stopping others on the street or approaching kids

-Gangs or groups gathering to cause trouble

-People who sell things out of their cars

Self Defense

-Martial Arts are good for mental and physical fitness, but it takes time to become skilled. Some techniques take years of practice to master.

-Defensive Tools: may be taken from you and used against you. Be sure the tool you use is in good working order.

-Noise- whistles, alarms etc. Have them ready and working

-Sprays- tear gas, mace and pepper spray. Be sure the spray is in your hand. Sprays may be illegal in some states

-Fire Extinguisher can be sprayed into the attacker's face or used as a club

-Stun Guns can be used if opponent is close, since it must be applied to skin

-Lethal Weapons- knives, guns, razors etc. You must be properly trained and in some cases licensed.

-Household Items -- kitchen utensils, ashtray, flashlight, aerosol can spray.

-Personal Items -- brush, comb, pen, pencil, nail file, keys.

Protecting Your Car

-Always lock all doors and roll up the windows

-Install tapered interior door lock buttons

-Park in heavily traveled areas

-Engrave an identifying number on a hidden place on the car and on any valuable components to help the police identify recovered property

-Don't leave any valuables in sight or hide spare keys

-Have alarms or fuel shut-off switches installed

Business Travel

-While at the airport stay alert and watch your bags

-Watch out for staged mishaps, like someone bumping into you or spilling a drink. Often such an 'accident' is a ploy to divert your attention

-Keep a record of the contents of your luggage and anything valuable in your carry-on

-Avoid displaying expensive cameras, jewelry, etc. that might draw attention

-If driving, become familiar with your travel route before you start and make sure your rental car is in good operating condition

-At a hotel, never leave your luggage unattended, keep all hotel doors and windows locked

-Learn the locations of fire exits, elevators and public phones in case of emergency

-Ask hotel staff about the safety of the neighborhood and what areas to avoid

-Always verify who is at your door. If an unexpected visitor claims to be hotel staff, call the front desk to make sure