Are you paranoid? I am. To a fault. I stress and worry. I always think of worst case scenarios. Especially after watching a thriller or suspense movie. Then I don't sleep. For days.
The sad truth of the matter is... in this day in age, you need to be a little paranoid. And you have to be prepared. You don't have to take it to my extremes by any means. #nothealthy.
But here are a few things you can do that may just save your life someday. I've borrowed these from a compilation of FWD's over the years from my Grandma, posts on Facebook and Pinterest, and word of mouth.
1.) This one makes total sense, and I wish I'd thought of it myself. Most cars nowadays have a key fob. That key fob has a panic button. You may not have an alarm on your home, but if you keep your keys on your nightstand at night, you can hit that panic button when in need and certainly will draw attention to your home. Whether it be break in, medical emergency, etc. You may never need it, but it provides a nice little piece of mind.
2.) This one I can vouch for from personal experience. While driving, ALWAYS lock your doors. In 2008, I was driving just a couple blocks from my home when I came to a red light. I was turning right. At the intersection a man who appeared to be homeless / a transient knocked on my window. I was alone, with my purse on the passenger seat, I just shook my head no and hoped the light would turn green soon. He then started to try to open my door and proceeded to kick the side of my car repeatedly. When the light turned green I sped away. Pulled into a parking lot a mile or so away and called the police. They and the several cars behind me at the light did nothing. I was scared beyond belief. I may never know the man's intensions and I hope they were not sinister. But chances are, if someone is trying to force their way into your vehicle, their motives are not pure.
3.) When walking outside alone in daylight or night. Stay off your phone and be aware of your surroundings. Even if just from the grocery store to your car. Don't allow yourself to be distracted. No more walking with your head down texting. You hear me ladies?
4.) Trust your instincts. This is a crazy world we live in. You know the saying "Better safe, than sorry"? Well, in this case, better paranoid, than dead. Some of the most notorious serial killers, i.e. Ted Bundy, were clean cut, decent looking, and seemed educated. If approached by a stranger look them in the eye, let them know you've seen their face, and keep your personal bubble. Try to avoid stair wells when alone if possible.
5.) This sounds like common sense, but regardless of where you live, keep your doors on your home locked while away and while at home. My husband always tells me, if someone wants in badly enough they will break out a window, etc. True, but that window breaking will give you an advantage of warning and many criminals are looking for an easy target!
6.) Don't ever get into the mentality that something bad could never / will never happen to you. Better to have a plan that is never put to use, than none at all. Keep your cell phone charged. Have a strategy in place for family evacuation in case of fire, break in, or some other threat. Where will you meet up? Do you have a disaster kit prepped? Natural disasters and unforseen circumstances can crop up. Having a rubbermaid tote filled with some basic supplies doesn't make you a nut case. It makes you prepared.
7.) Have an exit strategy. It's sad that we have to think about these things, but when in a restaurant, theater, school, place of work. Always try to be aware of the nearest emergency exit. Teach your kids to do so as well.
8.) Coming from a blogger, this one might sound hypocritical... But keep your personal details private. The internet can be a scary place too. When you open yourself up online, you are not just letting your friends know about you, but potential predators as well. Be sure to check your privacy settings on Facebook and other social networking sites often to make sure any of their "updates" haven't exposed your account to any sharing you aren't wanting. For example, when you add a new profile pic on Facebook it will become public automatically UNLESS you choose friends only or otherwise.
9.) As a financial professional, this one has always been encouraged amongst employees. Vary your routine. Do you run alone in your neighborhood every afternoon on the same route? Do you take the same drive to work every day at the same time, parking in the same spot? If someone is watching you they will pick up on this.
10.) Prepare for combat. Carry pepper spray, a whistle, etc. It's ok to take some self defense classes. In fact, I highly recommend it. I have seen some recommendations of having small key chain weapons, like Kubatons. It is an offensive weapon that will be able to deter someone more than just your hands and fists. Simply put, there are defensive and offensive items at your disposal to carry if you desire. Research them. They may give you some peace of mind.
Do you have any additional personal safety or self defense tips you'd like to share? Please comment and let me know. I'd love to work on a follow up post. Knowledge is power my friends!
Please share with anyone you think could use these reminders! Sharing may also save someone else's life as well.