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Self Protection

Below are general tips for staying safe in a variety of situations, including walking, jogging, shopping, or riding elevators: · Stay alert at all times and tuned in to your surroundings, wherever you are. Wearing headphones while walking or jogging can reduce your level of alertness. · Plan your route in advance, and vary your routes whenever possible. · Get to know the neighborhoods and neighbors where you live and work. Find out what stores and restaurants are open late and where police and fire stations are located. · When walking or jogging use busy streets and avoid shortcuts through deserted parks, vacant lots, and unlit passages. · At night, walk or jog only on streets with plenty of light and traffic. Avoid walking alone if possible. · Walk on the part of the sidewalk close to the street and away from shrubbery, trees, or doorways. On less busy streets at night it is sometimes safer to walk in the street rather than on the sidewalk. · Stand tall and walk confidently. Don't make it obvious if you are in unfamiliar territory. · Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave right away and get help if necessary. · Don't carry large sums of cash. If you do carry cash, do not display it in public. · If possible, carry only identification, phone numbers, and the credit cards you will need. Keep a list at home of credit cards and other important material you would need to replace in case of loss. · Separate your house keys from your car keys. Women should keep their keys in places other than their purses. That way, if your purse is snatched you will still have your keys. · Keep names and phone numbers of relatives or friends on your person in the event of an accident or emergency. · Consider carrying a whistle or other noisemaker and sound it loudly if you are accosted or feel threatened. · Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas. Thieves often work in pairs. One may bump you or cut you off while the other is picking your pocket. · A good purse is one with a flap that folds over the opening and fastens at the bottom and often has an interior zipper. · The easiest purse for you to open is also the easiest for a pickpocket to steal from. · Purses should be carried close to the body under an exterior garment and slung across the body. Flaps should be secured and turned toward the body at all times. · Wallets should be carried in an inside coat pocket and cash in a front pants pocket. A rubber band tied several times around a wallet can increase friction and make it easier for you to notice if you are being pick pocketed. · Don't discuss personal information with strangers. · Before entering an elevator, look at the persons already in the car. If you are uneasy wait for the next elevator. · If a suspicious person enters an elevator and you are uneasy then get off right away. · If you notice a person in an elevator has not pushed a floor indicator button do not get off at your floor. Go back to the lobby and report the suspicious activity. · Stand near the control buttons. If threatened or attacked sound the alarm and push several floor buttons if possible. · Avoid wearing excessive jewelry. In particular, keep necklaces and bracelets inside your clothing.