Top 10 Stay Safe Tips
By: Nicole Gunter
With Pensacola State College kicking off Campus Safety Month March 1st, we compiled a list of Top 10 Safety Tips to keeping yourself safe.
If you are being threatened with a gun or knife, the attacker doesn’t expect you to disarm him/her. “Everyone can be a victim,” said Carrie Banton, co-owner of Core Martial Arts. She offers up some tips for staying safe.
“Something is better than nothing,” said Banton, on learning some techniques to ward off an attack. Basic reactions, like a knee to the groin, will usually just tick off the offender, possibly irritating them and making matters worse. Scott Farley, co-owner of Core Martial Arts, said, “Don’t be an easy target, to begin with. Be cognizant. Don’t let the attack get to another location.”
- CHOICES! Make good choices with regard to your personal safety. Park as close to the storefront as possible when it’s dark. Look around to see what vehicles or people may be in your immediate proximity. When it comes to making bad choices, like accepting drinks at a bar from a stranger, no amount of self-defense training will help you.
- YOUR GUT! Banton says to use your gut instinct because it is the “most powerful weapon we have and people go against it all the time,” said, Banton. If there is a suspicious vehicle parked next to you, you should enter it from the other side.
- BE AWARE, be very, very aware! Be aware of your surroundings, time of day/night, vehicles parked close to your vehicle, and the people around you. If someone is watching you, following you, talking to you, asking you for money, just be aware.
- WEAPONS! Self-defense weapons, like guns, knives, pepper sprays or any variation of the above, isn’t always the best option. “These can be used against you,” according to Banton. Your pepper spray can be taken from you, used against you, leaving you helpless and vulnerable. “If you have a weapon, you’ve just brought that to the assault,” said Banton. Banton suggests that proper training is imperative to considering any “weapon” used for self-defense on a regular basis.
- YOUR HANDS! “They are your best weapons,” said Scott Farley, co-owner of Core Martial Arts, “you can take them anywhere. No need for a special permit.”
- GET A BUDDY! If at all possible, use the buddy system. Don’t walk to your car by yourself, if possible everyone should hop in one car and drive each other to get their respective vehicles.
- CLOSE IT UP! When shopping, keep your wallet in your front pocket, and your purses zipped and closed. Put shopping bags in the trunk as well as any valuables that can easily be seen from the windows of your vehicle.
- LOCK IT UP!!! “My mom always told me to lock the doors as soon as you get into your car,“ said, Tybee Reiff, International Relations major at Pensacola State College. This sound advice from her mom served her well one day as she left the Walmart in Navarre. Reiff was not aware anyone was following her, still, she got in her car and immediately locked the doors. That’s when a man attempted to open her car door. When the assailant realized the doors were locked, he ran off.
Don’t linger, when possible. Quickly unlock your vehicle when you’re close enough to jump right in, then lock the doors. When a quick entry isn’t possible, stay vigilant. Quickly put your shopping away, get in your vehicle and immediately lock the doors. Consider unlocking the doors just to open the trunk or door to deposit bags and locking the rest of the doors while you put your bags away. If you step away to put the cart up, lock your doors. Someone could enter the back seat while you are putting bags or the cart away.
- CHILDREN! Tell your children about “tricky people” not just strangers. A story trending on FB reveals a startling and scary scenario, in which predatory adults ask children for help, as a way to lure them. A story on www.foreverymom.com tells about a mom whose children had such an encounter with these “tricky people.” Luckily, her children were aware and spared harm. Read full story here: http://foreverymom.com/mom-gold/tricky-people-concept-jodie-norton/
- TAKE A CLASS! Take a self-defense seminar if you don’t have time for regular training. However, incorporating regular training into your schedule will result in muscle memory recall., so that if you’re in a precarious situation where your automatic defense mechanism is to fight or fly, your muscle memory will kick in and potentially save your life.