In 2011 I created Prepare To Act and began teaching original personal safety classes that I wrote from the letter “A.” I have been a Police Officer since 1997, and basically practicing to be one since I idealized my father as went off to protect and serve when I was six years old. I’ve spent my life seeing the world in a different way than most, realistically keeping a suspicious eye out for bad people, bad situations, etc. I’m such a creature of safe habits that no matter where I go to eat, no matter who I’m with, I never sit with my back to the wall. All of that said, you are here to learn ways to keep yourself safe and this post is dedicated specifically to parking lot safety.
Parking Lot Safety
Follow These Rules And Create The Foundation Of Safety In Any Situation
-Always Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
-Trust Your Instincts
-Practice seeing people as criminals
-Always Have A Plan
-Always Stay Mentally Present
Cop Tip– Start to think like a criminal, but don’t act on it! Lol Think about what you would do if you wanted to stalk someone in a parking lot and victimize them. What would you look for? Who would you look to attack? And How would you do it?
–Pay Attention – When you exit your car or leaving the store and walking to your car, walk with your head up, eyes alert and mentally aware of where you are and what surrounds you. Before leaving the store, if you parked in a large parking lot, find your car through the window first, then walk straight to it.
–Walk With Confidence And With A Purpose – Try not to look lost or confused, this puts off an air of potential victim possibility to a criminal looking for easy prey.
Remember – Start to think like a criminal, but don’t act on it! Lol Think about what you would do if you wanted to stalk someone in a parking lot and victimize them. What would you look for? Who would you look to attack? And How would you do it?
–Park In Well Lit Areas – This falls in line with having a plan, if you are out shopping at night as you enter the
parking lot, look for a space in an area that’s well lit. But, remember, this is only a piece of the safety puzzle, you must continue to be aware of everything.
Security Warning – Be cautious using a remote “Key Fob” to unlock and lock your vehicle. There is technology out there that can “steal” your signal from the “Key Fob” as you use it. Once they steal your signal, they can then lock and unlock your vehicle. By having this capability, it makes access easy, they can then steal your car, steal your belongings inside the car, or lay in wait in the back seat for you to finish your shopping.
Have A Plan -As you get ready to walk to your car, run scenarios through your head. What if I am attacked? What will I do? How Will I protect myself? Have I prepared for this?
-As I mentioned above, before exiting the store, find your car in the parking lot and walk directly to it
-As you walk to the car, hold your keys in your hand, with one key protruding through your fist. This can be used as a weapon if necessary.
Remember Have A Plan – If you see a crowd or small group hanging around your car that you think may pose a threat, walk back through the store and take your time. Wait for the group to disperse, or ask the store manager that for a possible escort. If the escort is not a possibility and/or if you are under a tight time frame, grab your cell phone and call a friend or family member. Let them know where you are and what your concern is. Just keep someone on the phone as you walk to your car, in case something does happen. If you don’t have someone to call, pretend to be talking to someone….Don’t Forget To Shut Your Ringer Off First!
-Is there someone walking near you or behind you? Is someone hiding underneath your car or the car next you? Is someone sitting in the car next to your waiting for you to come back? As you approach your car stay alert, take a wide angle as you approach you car so that you can get a full picture of the immediate area.
Cop Tip – Distance is our friend, the farther away you can get from any potentially dangerous situation the better off you are. There’s a term that Police use as we enter a room that could pose a threat, it’s called “Slicing The Pie.” Basically, this is a tactic that officers take a wide, circling approach to a doorway as they approach and enter a room. The wide approach allows officers to see more of the room quicker while still maintaining a tactical advantage.
Security Warning– Be cautious using a remote “Key Fob” to unlock and lock your vehicle. There is technology out there that can “steal” your signal from the “Key Fob” as you use it. Once they steal your signal, they can then lock and unlock your vehicle. By having this capability, it makes access easy, they can then steal your car, steal your belongings inside the car, or lay in wait in the back seat for you to finish your shopping.
-If your “sidewalk shopping,” as you walk to your car, if you feel that someone may be following you or walking too close to you, utilize the reflection in store windows as you pass to look behind you. Or quickly step into a store as you pass and see if that person follows you. If they don’t, as you exit the store, see if they are still outside on the sidewalk waiting for you.
Product Alert – Do some research and find a safety product that you can carry in your purse that you are comfortable with. I’ve spent some time reviewing some products like mace, the Tigerlady, and a few other products, you can check them out here: Product Reviews
I know this sounds like I want you to be paranoid, I don’t, I want you to be aware. I want you do understand that evil exists and there are people out there that are desperate and want what you have. And what you have can be anything from your personal belongings, cash, car or worse. The way you and I plan our day every morning to be good people, the bad guy plans there day in way as to how to victimize someone and get what they need to get through the day.
Be Prepared And Always Have A Plan – Plan For And Expect The Worse And Collectively Let’s Hope For The Best.