Parking lot safety
As the days become shorter, and the clock fall’s back, we need to become aware of what is going on around us. Kellie began our series on safety and I want to dig into how to be safe in a parking lot.
Throughout the day, we park our cars in many different parking lots. As a mother, one of my most highly sought after job descriptions is that of a taxi driver. This means I am in and out of the car multiple times during the course of a day! How do we remain safe? Aware? Skilled enough to take care of ourselves and call for help if need be?
#1- AWARENESS: Driving your vehicle into a parking lot, you should instantly become aware of where you are parking. What isle? How far down? What direction is your car is facing? Know your location, this way when you are finished shopping you can quickly access your vehicle without strolling around the parking lot looking for your vehicle. If the parking lot has overhead lights, or cameras, which most major market retail stores have, such as: Target and Walmart, park near them. PAY ATTENTION!!! After you are done shopping, go directly to your car, and pay attention to your surroundings.
#2- LOCK YOUR CAR: It seams like a simple task, however this is one that in the heat of a busy moment and rushing to get errands done, does occurr. Make sure your car is locked and windows are rolled up. This makes the difference when prosecuting a criminal if it is categorized as a petty theft or a burglary. If the vehicle was left open, intentional or not, it would be considered a petty theft vs. a burglary, carrying a higher penalty rate.
#3-HIDE YOUR VALUABLES: If you have a GPS, cell phone, purse, computer, Ipad, DVD player, make sure you place them in the trunk, the glove compartment, or under the seat. “Out of sight out of mind.” You do not need to leave your valuables lying around, just waiting to get stolen. A criminal is going to select a car with the easily assessable valuables, before he selects a car where he/she cannot see them.
#4 HAVE YOUR KEYS OUT AND READY TO GO: Before you exit the store dig your keys out from the bottom of your purse, this way you are prepared to get in your car immediately, instead of standing in the dark parking lot giving the criminals and opportunity. Simply be ready to go!
#5 CONFIDENCE: Walk with confidence to your car, a criminal is much less likely to mess with you if you exude confidence. Hold you head high, shoulders back, portraying an attitude of toughness.
#6 HAVE A PLAN: Mentally prepare yourself for the “what if”, what are you going to do if someone grabs you from behind? What are you going to do if you see someone breaking into a car? Where will you run? Have a plan!
Mental mindset makes a difference. In my personal opinion, if you see someone breaking into a car, become a good witness. No property is worth risking your life. You do not know if the criminal has a history of violence, a weapon on them, or other friends in the parking lot ready to back them up. Make a mental note of their clothing, hairstyle, tattoos, the get away vehicle, license plate number, etc. The more descriptive your information is, the higher the possibility of the police catching them.
* Stay tuned to our series, we will teach you a few moves you can use to protect yourself! *