Test Your "Street Smarts" IQ: Do you...
- Jog or walk by yourself early in the morning or late at night when the streets
are quiet and deserted?
- Stuff your purse with cash, keys, and credit cards, check book - and then
leave it wide open on a counter, your desk, the floor?
- Put your wallet in a jacket, which you then hang up or throw over a chair?
- Let your mind wander - thinking about your job, or all the things you have
to do - when walking or driving?
- Think it's a waste of time to lock your car when you'll be back in a few
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you need to change
a few habits. Even if you answered "no" and made a perfect score,
read on. Spend a few minutes now to prevent trouble later.
Basic Street Sense
- Wherever you are - on the street, in an office building or shopping mall,
driving, waiting for a bus or subway - stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
- Send the message that you're calm, confident, and know where you're going.
- Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the
person or leave.
- Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Check out the locations
of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, and restaurants,
or stores that are open late.
- Stick to well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking
lots, or alleys.
- Don't flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like expensive
jewelry or clothing.
- Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet
in an inside coat or front pants pocket, not a back pocket.
- Try to use automated teller machines in the daytime. Have your card in hand
and don't approach the machine if you're uneasy about people nearby.
- Don't wear shoes or clothing that restrict your movements?
- Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
- If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street.
Walk toward an open store, restaurant, or lighted house. If you're scared,
yell for help.
- Have to work late? Make sure there are others in the building, and ask someone
- a colleague or security guard - to walk you to your car or transit stop.
- Keep your car in good running condition. Make sure there's enough gas to
get where you're going and back.
- Always roll up the windows and lock car doors, even if you're coming right
back. Check inside and out before getting in.
- Avoid parking in isolated areas. Be especially alert in lots and underground
- If you think someone is following you, don't head home. Drive to the nearest
police or fire station, gas station, or other open business to get help.
- Don't pick up hitchhikers. Don't hitchhike.
On Buses and Subways
- Use well-lighted, busy stops.
- Stay alert! Don't doze or daydream.
- If someone harasses you, don't be embarrassed. Loudly say "Leave me
alone!" If that doesn't work, hit the emergency device.
- Watch who get off with you. If you feel uneasy, walk directly to a place
where there are other people.
If Someone Tries To Rob You
- Don't resist. Give up your property; don't give up your life.
- Buy a personnel protection device like pepper spray. If you are ever attacked
you will be happy you have that $10 pepper spray can. Buy a can for all family
members and teach them how to use it.
- Report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately.
Your actions can help prevent others from becoming victims.