Tag Archives: Safety tip

Hurricane Sandy Storm Safety

Hurricane SandyWith Hurricane Sandy barreling down on us, I thought I’d keep today’s post short and sweet. No one can say what havoc Sandy is going to bring, but in an effort to ride out this storm as safely and comfortably as possible, here a a few preparedness tips.

 

  • Have enough water for each person in the house for 3 days. Best estimate is one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Have a three day supply of non-perishable foods.
  • Have enough pet care supplies for three days
  • Have flashlights and batteries for them
  • Have a battery operated radio
  • Have  first aid kit
  • Have emergency blankets

During the storm:

  • Go to an interior room and stay away from windows and doors even if they’re covered
  • Don’t go outside including when the eye of the storm is passing.

For additional hurricane preparedness and safety tips or to prepare for any other type of storm, you can visit the American Red Cross’s Disaster and Safety Library.

Hang in there all. Sandy is going to give us a heck of a bumpy ride.  So stay safe and dry.

~Rayna

Play it Safe Online

In light of Monday’s post about video games, I thought I’d do a refresher on internet safety tips. Video games aren’t just contained to a single unit anymore not with the advent of things like XBox Live and MMORPGs (Massively Multiplay Online Role Playing Games), such as World of Warcraft.  As friendly as you may be with the people in your alliance or clan or whatever online social group you may be a part of you still need to protect yourself and your family.  Here are a few ways to do that.

  • Ask questions of your children before they start surfing. Know things such as what sites they are visiting, what they do while there and how much time they spend on the site.
  • Take advantage of the parental controls offered by your ISP, web browsers, and/or the websites your child visits.
  • Never share account login and password information.
  • Use generic screen names. Don’t include items such as birthday, hobbies, or hometowns as part of your screen name.
  • If you’re using social networking sites such as Facebook, change your privacy settings so as not to reveal private information such as personal contact information, your birthday and hometown.
  • Children should avoid opening emails from unknown senders. Adults should be cautious as well. Don’t open attachments unless you are expecting them.  The same is true of following weblinks included in an email.
  • When following a weblink to what you many think is a trusted website always check the URL in the address bar. Some identity thieves will create websites that look like reputable sites in order to gain your trust and thus harvest your personal info.
  • If you receive a threatening communication do not respond, however do keep a copy of the email or chat log. You want to make sure you have any incidents or altercations documented should something ever come of it.
  • Nothing on the web is ever truly private so always be careful what you write.
  • For kids – never make plans to meet an online friend in person. For adults – always have a communication plan in place if you are going to be meeting an online acquaintance. Make sure someone knows who, what, where, and when you’re meeting this individual. You may also want to set up check in times with a friend or family member.

The web can be an educational and entertaining place to visit. Play it safe and smart and you can have great time online.

So You Think You Know How To Party?

Back to school is a great time for partying with friends. It’s also a great time for a safety reminder. The following tips on How to Party Safely have been posted on this blog in April of 2010. These tips are for anyone at any age, and can’t be repeated enough.

When going out to a party, club or bar, make a plan and stick to it. If for some reason things change during the night, have a back up plan.

PLAN A: There is usually safety in numbers, so go with a group of friends you trust, stay together and leave together. Don’t leave or let your girlfriends leave with a stranger. Be sure you have a designated driver. If you decide to stay out later, leave earlier or realize your designated driver has been drinking, go to PLAN B: call someone you trust to come get you or call a taxi. Always take a charged cell phone with you and money for cab fare.

PLAN A: Don’t share personal information (phone numbers, business cards) with strangers. If you really like the guy and want to talk again, go to PLAN B: Get his number instead.

PLAN A: Stay with friends and make sure they stay with you. Don’t wander off alone even if you need to find a quiet place to make a phone call. Buddy up when going to the restroom. If you get separated from your friends and a stranger starts bothering you, go to PLAN B: find help from someone you trust or an employee at the bar. If you can’t get away or he refuses to stop harassing you, implement PLAN C:

DEFEND YOURSELF!

PLAN A: Know how much you’re going to drink before going out. If you are going through your drinks faster than you anticipated, try PLAN B: Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. No one needs to know your second and fourth vodka and tonics are only tonics. Or that you filled up your beer bottle with water.

PLAN A: Drink only from bottles or cans you have opened or have watched the bartender pour. Don’t accept drinks that are in punch bowls or other open containers. Never accept drinks from strangers or people you don’t absolutely trust with your life. If you didn’t see what went into your glass, assume anything can be in it. Your nonalcoholic drink could be spiked with alcohol. Your alcoholic drink could be laced with drugs. And consider this, even if it isn’t drugged, the guy buying you a drink may think you now owe him something in return.

PLAN B: Get help immediately from someone you trust with your life if…

  • Your drink tastes bitter, is unusually salty, has a strange color, odor or has foam or residue on the surface. Makers of Rohypnol (“roofies”) changed the formula so when dissolved in liquid, the pill produces a blueish-green dye. Clear drinks turn blue, beer turns green and dark drinks turn murky. BE AWARE however, that many date rape drugs are colorless, odorless, tasteless and can dissolve quickly in liquid.
  • You begin to feel usually drunk for the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed
  • You feel dizzy, nauseous, drowsy, “out of it,” or hallucinate
  • Your girlfriend acts in the above manner. (Remember you’ve already made a buddy plan to watch out for each other!)

You or she may have been drugged and may only be alert for a moment longer.

PLAN A: Don’t leave your drink unattended. If you leave to go to the restroom, the dance floor or to make a phone call, then (PLAN B) throw out that drink when you return. You can always buy yourself another one.

Party Smart and Stay Safe!

~KM Fawcett

Safety Tip of the Week: FIGHT BACK!

Tuesday night I gave a women’s self defense seminar at my dojo.  We practiced the techniques from the FLAG (Fight Like A Girl) program as well as some techniques from our dojo curriculum used to defend against the same attack.  So, naturally, the question arose.  “Which technique is the best?”

My answer: “Whichever works!”

Think about it.  You’re attacked.  You react.  Your reaction either stops your attacker or doesn’t.  If it stops your attacker – excellent!  But what if it doesn’t stop him?  What if it doesn’t work?  What now?  Do you coil into the fetal position and fall to the ground?  Hell, no!  You try another technique.  And another one.  And another one after that.  And you keep fighting until you’ve succeeded or until you’ve breathed your last breath.

The point is fighting back, no matter what techniques you use, will double your chances of him breaking off the attack.  Remember, every criminal fears two things – getting caught and getting hurt.

Of course, we all want a higher than 50% success rate against our attacker.  That’s why I recommend learning self-defense.  If you’ve never taken a self-defense class, please take one!  It could be the single most important thing you do.  If you have taken a self-defense class, take another one!  Repetition, repetition, repetition will help you fight back with confidence and effectiveness.

There’s more than one way to stop an attack.  The important thing is stopping it.

~KM Fawcett

Safety Tip Of The Week: Embrace Life

Last week I saw this great video on seat belt safety. Instead of the usual threatening campaigns like “click it or ticket” or commercials with images of car wrecks, this commercial was beautiful and artistic and actually made me cry. (shh, don’t tell anyone!)  Since this video struck a chord with me, I wanted to share it with you. But first, here are some statistics I found at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

Thousands of lives are saved every year because of child restraints and seat belts. among passenger vehicle occupants in 2006:

  • Child restraints saved an estimated 425 lives of children under the age of 5; if use of child restraints had been 100 percent, another 96 lives could have been saved.
  • Seat belts saved an estimated 15,383 lives for those over 4 years old.If all passenger vehicle occupants over age 4 had worn seat belts, 20,824 lives (that is, an additional 5,441) would have been saved in 2006.
  • Ejection from the vehicle is one of the most injurious events that can happen to a person in a crash. In 2006, 76 percent of people in fatal crashes who were completely ejected from a passenger vehicle were killed. Seat belts are effective in preventing total ejections: only 1 percent of people wearing seat belts were totally ejected from passenger vehicles, compared with 31 percent of unbelted people.

For more information visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and learn about The top 5 things you should know about buckling up as well as the Pregnant women’s guide to buckling up.

But for now enjoy this beautifully artistic video from the UK.  And remember to Embrace Life – Always wear your seat belt!

~KM Fawcett

Tip of The Week: Call Yourself

Today’s Tip of the Week comes from our guest blogger Linde Belt.

Call your home answering machine. If you are out just “running around” or doing errands or out traveling for your pleasure or job, call yourself every hour or so. Leave a message where you are as well as where you plan on going. What time you plan to be home would be another good piece of information. If your car breaks down somewhere that has no cell service (lots of places in the south are this way) or something happens to you, then someone will know where to start looking. I know that some have a GPS on their car, which will help but a lot of us do not. If you have a cell and it is a true emergency then the police can locate the last tower that your cell  call came from.  Just call.

Linde Belt is a 7th degree black belt in Isshinryu Karate, 4th degree black belt in ACE Escrima, 2nd degree black belt in KenShinKan Shorin Ryu, 1st degree black belt Matsumura Shorin Ryu.  She also practices Hindi Andi Gung Fu, Hapkido and American Combatives.

Safety Tip of the Week:Trust Your Instincts

We all have an internal alarm system that alerts us when a situation feels wrong. It can take the form of warning bells that go off in your head because of the guy at a club or party that’s being a bit too attentive for comfort. Or, maybe it’s  nervous knots that form in your belly at the empty, shadow-filled parking lot that you have to cross to get to your car.  Regardless of what form they come in, always pay attention to those signals.

When someone’s invading your personal space making you uncomfortable, listen to your instincts and regain that space. At a bar or party, arrange a signal with your friends for use when a guy makes you uncomfortable. Stay in the crowd. Don’t go off to the restroom or anywhere else alone.

If you feel uneasy about walking alone across a dark parking lot or a campus at night,  try to walk out with other people.  Ask the security guard to walk you to your car.  Don’t feel like your being a pain.  It’s his job to keep you safe.  If you have no choice other than to walk alone, be hyper-vigilant.  If it’s legal in your state, carry security spray, have it in your hand and know how to use it. Security spray is good because not only does it work like pepper spray, but it also carries a marker in it that is visible under black light and can help identify your assailant should the need arise.

Maybe you feel someone is watching you or following you. Try to mix in with a crowd and find help. If you’re in your car and being followed, drive to a police station or use your cell phone to call the police, but don’t drive to your house and by all means don’t stop the car.

According to safety expert Steve Kardian, “Studies have shown that most people that have been victimized had a feeling something wasn’t right just before they were attacked.”

Trusting your instincts doesn’t just apply to preventing an attack. It applies to anything that could put you in a potentially life threatening situation. I’m sure we’re all aware that you should never drink and drive, but be sure to pay attention to that internal warning system when it tells you not to get into a car if the driver has been drinking or using drugs.  It’s also not the safest of plans to be a passenger in a car driven by someone who just got devastating news and is emotionally overwrought. Their mind will be on their troubles and not the road.

Call it instincts, woman’s intuition, sixth sense, or even paranoia.  I don’t care what you call it as long as you listen to it!! Never feel stupid or silly about that and don’t second guess yourself.  The old saying is very true. It’s better to be safe then sorry.

Safety Tip of the Week: PLAN TO PARTY SAFE (Part 1)

When going out to a party, club or bar, make a plan and stick to it.  If for some reason things change during the night, have a back up plan.

PLAN A:  There is usually safety in numbers, so go with a group of friends you trust, stay together and leave together.  Don’t leave or let your girlfriends leave with a stranger.  Be sure you have a designated driver.  If you decide to stay out later, leave earlier or realize your designated driver has been drinking, go to PLAN B: call someone you trust to come get you or call a taxi.  Always take a charged cell phone with you and money for cab fare.

PLAN A: Don’t share personal information (phone numbers, business cards) with strangers.  If you really like the guy and want to talk again, go to PLAN B: Get his number instead.

PLAN A: Stay with friends and make sure they stay with you.  Don’t wander off alone even if you need to find a quiet place to make a phone call.  Buddy up when going to the restroom.  If you get separated from your friends and a stranger starts bothering you, go to PLAN B: find help from someone you trust or an employee at the bar.  If you can’t get away or he refuses to stop harassing you, implement PLAN C:

DEFEND YOURSELF!

~KM Fawcett

Safety Tip of the Week: PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL SPACE

Following up to last week’s tip, BE A HARD TARGET, this week’s safety tip involves setting personal boundaries.  Do you feel uncomfortable when someone invades your personal space?  Is it intimidating when someone stands too close?

YES, it is.  Predators sometimes invade a woman’s personal space to test how hard of a target she is.  So, PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL SPACE.  Don’t let him get so close.   Step away.  Tell him to back off.

Watch this short clip of women’s safety expert, Steve Kardian, as he demonstrates last week’s HARD TARGET tip and this week’s PERSONAL BOUNDARY tip, along with some other great thoughts on women’s safety.