Howdy neighbors! Back again this month with a short column on safety in public places. I will also include a few ideas for planning should things go wrong. I have been considering an article on this topic for some time. Given the tragedy in Manchester, UK, now seems appropriate. I also had an up close and personal experience traveling through Ft. Lauderdale in January this year which makes the topic more personal.
When we go out in public and are amongst large numbers of people there are several things to think about and I will include those below:
- Be thoughtful of your surroundings. It is a good idea to identify an exit should you need to leave in a hurry.
- Be observant of the group so you can identify people who don’t fit into the crowd.
Stay aware. This means turning down the volume on your music/conversation or not engrossing yourself in electronics.
- Wear a good pair of shoes. I saw many people at the Ft. Lauderdale airport trying to run down the terminal wearing flip flops.
- Carry something to eat or drink. If you get stuck in a situation where you may be locked-down or not able to leave for an extended period this will be a lifesaver.
- Keep your cell phone charged. Charge before you go or have a quick-charge on your person. Again, if you get stuck in a situation where you are locked-down or unable to move around, communication with family/friends becomes essential not to mention you may need to arrange transportation or help. In this situation, electrical outlets will be in high demand.
- Carry small denominations of currency. Loss of electricity will mean credit and debit cards won’t work.
Certainly, the goal of this column is not to create paranoia but to create thought. The odds that most of us will experience a tragedy such as those mentioned are very slim BUT it is always good to be a little extra prepared. With that y’all have a good month and remember, be observant, vigilant and neighborly!