More Holiday Safety Tips from well-known author Grant Cunningham:
· Many of us will be going to concerts, tree lightings, and sales at the mall. Crowds are common in these venues, and it can be a chore to keep the family safe. First, have a plan in case you’re separated; agree to meet at a specific place or that you’ll all head for the same exit in case of trouble. If you’re indoors and something occurs, think first about getting you and your family together and out of the building if you can do so safely. Think about exits in the back of stores or restaurants. Virtually all establishments have them and heading out the back is often the safest way to avoid danger.
· If you can’t get away safely, barricade yourself in a position that makes it difficult for someone to reach you.
· While it’s important to enjoy your time out, it’s also important to spend some of your limited attention on things that might be a danger to you. Look around occasionally -- is anything out of place? Has anything changed? Look at the people. Are there any whose body language and/or facial expressions suggest they’re not there for the same reasons you are? Trust your gut -- if you feel something is out of place or that you might be at risk, leave. If it’s something you’ve decided is an actual emerging threat, call 9-1-1 as you move quickly away.
· Make sure everyone carries a good, high-intensity flashlight. If the lights go out or you’re in a venue that is naturally darkened to show off the lighting displays, being able to see where you’re going is a big advantage whether you’re escaping a fire or gunfire.
· Finally, if you’re in a position where defending yourself becomes a necessity, act decisively. Make the decision ahead of time that you will do whatever is necessary to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, then do it. If you recognize that you have a lethal threat, deal with it in an appropriate manner. Once someone has decided that he or she will harm or kill others, the time for the compassion of the season is over.
BE SAFE • BE EFFECTIVE • BE READY