Wednesday, July 6, 2011

hints for personal safety

Personal safety----you can be your own worst enemy. So says the voice of experience.

I love in the country, I walk almost daily. I take precautions before I walk. I have security items that I carry with me, or I don't walk. I know the normal sounds of the woods and I listen carefully as I walk. I told my husband once that if I can hear a granddaddy spider walking across leaves, then I could hear a person stumbling around out there. Woods are not generally raked. The same holds true no matter where you are or what you are doing. If you are in a suburban or city area, know the sounds around you. Listen for those footsteps, listen for traffic, listen for what ever is out of place. Pay attention.

I watch where I put my feet and I watch the area around me. Here in the woods my main worries are snakes, insects and possibly rabid or hungry animals. I am aware of what is going on around me. That is what one must do in any situation, be aware of what is going on around you. Watch the snake slipping along in the shadows, the coyote that is tracking you along the aisles in that store. Be aware of the insects in the bus, booth seat behind you.

My family know the route that I take when I walk. They know about how long it should take me when I walk. When I take too long they are calling me, asking where I am. No matter what I'm doing at the time--climbing a hill, climbing down out of my brother's tree stand, trying to photograph something special..I answer the phone.

The most important thing here is knowing that staying safe is our own personal responsibility. Pay attention...know where you are. Know who and what is around you. Do not allow yourself to become so distracted that you do not see danger. If you are walking keep your eyes open. If you are driving, keep your eyes on the road, no cell phones or texting. If you are using public transportation, know your surroundings, know who is around and their actions. Are they lost in their own surroundings and life or are they too attentive to yours?

You must be able to hear what is going on around you. If you are walking, listen and listen closely for sounds that should not be there. Listen for footsteps. Listen for other odd noises, listen for someone trying to break into your home. Listen for the neighbors dogs barking--or yours. If you are driving, listen for trains, listen for rescue vehicles, listen for police cruisers. Listen for firetrucks. Do not play that radio or other personal music player that you do not hear the sirens.

Pay attenton to what you are doing. Are you working? Follow all safety precautions. Take care with machinery, electricity, fire etc..Recreational activities, follow safety precautions. If you are in a boat, know how to operate it, have and wear floatation devices. Fireworks are best left to the trained professionals. Off roading? Know the landscape, use common sense in what you are attempting to do. Bicycling or out for a ride on a dirt bike or motorcycle? Have the right license, have the right training, know the rules and regulations. Use common sense..maybe that does take away a bit of the fun, but it means it is more likely that you will go home safely.

Use common sense. Do not put yourself in a position of danger. Do not go out alone on long walks or runs that puts you in a position where there is any possibility of problems. The villain takes advantage of any opportunity presented to them. While we should be able to go out at any time of day or night that we wish to, reality is, we can't. Evil thrives in the dark. Evil waits and takes advantage of the opportunities that we present to it. A person walking along a darkened highway in the middle of the night is a wonderful target. A person alone in a bar is a wonderful target. A person leaving a store, distracted by their cell phone, distracted by making notes in a checkbook, not paying attention to their surroundings is a wonderful target.

Do not live in a state of-It won't happen to me-because it can. It can happen even if you are doing everything within your power to be safe.. but it is much less likely to happen when we pay attention. It is much less likely to happen when we take precautions. Because in the end, safety, personal safety, is up to us and our actions.


  1. Beautiful blog!

    I live near the SF Bay--almost on it in fact so I don't have to worry about snakes so much, but I am careful. I don't walk when it's either too early in the morning or late into the evening and I try to stay aware of what is around me. You have to these days...

  2. that is so true- even here in this protected area I realize there are threats..especially since all the housing developments have been built so close to us..