Walk safely, part 3 – possessions and props

Here are more good ideas (see my two previous posts) for safety while walking. Get used to these ideas, remember them, practice them, now and always. It really is true that “you can’t be too safe.”

Possessions

  • Don’t carry large sums of money.
  • Don’t wear flashy jewelry in bad neighborhoods, whether on the street, on public transportation or even in your own vehicle:
    • Turn rings around so the gemstones are concealed underneath;
    • Tuck fine jewelry into your shirt and expensive watches and bracelets under long sleeves. Or if you’re not wearing long sleeves, leave off your nicer pieces while commuting and put them on once you reach your destination.
  •  How to carry your purse or man satchel:
    • Don’t dangle your purse by the straps.
    • Clutch it like you’re carrying a football: On your front side, close to body, hold onto the straps too,
    • fastened tight so no one can reach in from behind;
    • with the clasp on the inside;
    • hold your bag on the inside (toward buildings, especially when approaching a subway entrance) rather on the street side to make it hard for someone to snatch and run,
    • and possibly even under your coat;
    • You may think your bag is more secure if you wear it crosswise across your body, but bear in mind if someone does try to grab it and run, you could be choked this way.
    • And “don’t put it down, not even for a moment!” (Ralph E. Clarke, Jr., “Be Safe Girl,” p. 14) This includes when you’re out dancing. Trust me on this: Stupid me, I learned this the hard way.
  • Be alert to anyone following you after you leave a bank, ATM, or currency exchange.
  • If at all possible, don’t use an ATM in a remote location. And look it over first to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with; it might contain spyware.
  • Do not walk out of a store or step out of a cab with your money or wallet still in hand. Put it away before hitting the street. Someone could grab it out of your hand so easily.
  • Be guarded and low-key when paying for something.
  • Do not spread your belongings out on the store countertop.
  • Do not give personal information aloud, like your phone number, if asked by a store clerk, especially within earshot of others.
  • Make sure you get your change and credit cards back and stashed safely before walking away.
  • If approached by someone asking for money, decline politely and walk on rapidly; check to make sure they’re not following. (Ralph E. Clarke, Jr., “Be Safe Girl,” p. 12)

Props

  • You are an easier target to a thief if you are on your cell phone because you’re distracted and cannot hear as well what’s happening around you.
  • Avoid wearing headphones, or if you must, leave one ear plugged in but not the other so you can still hear what’s going on around you.
  • Always carry a flashlight; never leave home without it! This can be invaluable to see in the dark, shine in the eyes of a pest, or even use as a weapon.
  • In a dangerous locale, hold an alarm device in-hand or a police whistle up to your lips and ready to use if needed. Being able to scream is always good, but have you ever been too scared to scream? Or what if you have a sore throat or laryngitis? That’s why safety gadgets that will work infallibly to make a loud noise to ward off an attacker and draw attention to your situation are important.
  • In a questionable neighborhood or anywhere after dark, walk with your cell phone in hand and 9-1-1 already dialed so that all you would have to do is push the button to reach the police — and know your exact location, nearest street names and nearby buildings or landmarks, at all times.

By remembering the tips from this post and my two previous posts in this series on personal security, you stand less chance of becoming a victim of crime. Pass these posts along to those you care about, especially the young people in your life  — like your offspring who may be away at college, especially if they’re in a big city — who may not know any better, so they won’t have to learn the hard way. Because having your stuff stolen hurts.

Stop by my blog again for more insider information on staying safe on the streets…Follow my blog to get this information even quicker. Here’s to your safety and that of your loved ones!

School Girl
Photo credit: Jim Goodpasture

 

 

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Author: MetroMermaid

Welcome to my blog about the great city of Chicago and various other life-enhancing topics. My name is Christine. I've been reporting on Chicago in an online column for six years. Here I’ll be re-posting some of those articles plus adding new material. What qualifies me to write about Chicago? I live right in the heart of downtown Chicago and I love it. I'm like a tourist in my own city, because there's so much to see and do and always something new. Plus it's simply a stunning, gorgeous, exciting place to live or visit. Come explore with me the depths of all this city has to offer.

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