Staying Safe at Theatres and Other Public Places (Part I)

Sitting in the back allows you to have a clear view of everyone and the movie.

You don’t like to believe it will happen where you reside. Yet, it can happen anywhere. It only takes one unhinged individual to create tragedy and havoc.

Below are some tips for staying safe in the theater and other public places:

Sit in the back row, possibly on one side or the other. This not only offers you a clear view of everything and everyone in the theater, but it also provides you with easy access to the door. While you don’t want to be paranoid, it’s good to be prepared in case something does occur.

Stay alert. No need to check out everyone up close and personal but being mindful of the possibilities is not a bad thing. Keep your eyes open, but still, enjoy the movie at the same time.

Use the buddy system. Sometimes you have to or want to go to the movies alone. For the casual moviegoer, you’ll most likely go with a friend. That’s a good idea since more eyes mean more alertness of the room and folks. Additionally, it’s a better time to see a movie with a BFF.

Go to the movies early in the day. There’s no telling when a bad person may open fire in a theatre, but safe to say it’s a bigger chance it will occur at a midnight screening than an early morning matinee. Also, being out and about in the daylight may make you feel better and reduce some anxiety.

Keep your cell phone handy. It’s good manners to stay off your cell phone during a movie. No one enjoys seeing that flash of a blue screen in a dark theater. However, keep your phone on and handy, in case you have to make an emergency call. Just keep the volume down so an incoming call doesn’t disrupt moviegoers.

Safe and Secure on a Cruise Ship (Part II)


Onboard your ship 

Don’t miss the mandatory muster drill and pay attention to it:
A muster drill is a required safety exercise that typically takes place before passengers leave their port of embarkation. Don’t miss it. It’s critical. 

If you miss it, you could be ordered to leave the ship before the cruise starts. The drill is to familiarize all guests with their muster station where they gather and procedures in case of emergency. They also review how to correctly put on life vests.

Beware of crime while enjoying your time on your cruise.

Cruise ships are like little towns and cities where crime occasionally occurs:
While crime is rare on cruise ships, it happens. Cruise lines usually point out how safe their ships are. In 2017, for instance, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were over 100 crime incidents of different types among more than 14 million cruise passengers.

Travel in groups/pairs:
Use this practice to help keep yourself safe from crime.

Never go to crew quarters:
You don’t recognize who the crew members are. Stay safe and you don’t have to be sorry.

Drink responsibly:
When you’re drunk, you don’t have your ability to be aware of your surroundings. Never take a drink from a stranger, nor go back to their cabin or yours with someone you don’t know.

Put valuables in the cabin safe:
Never leave valuables lying around. You don’t need cash when aboard the ship, so put it and your wallet in the safe.

Select port excursions with care:
Check the safety record of any business you contract with for an excursion in a port of call on your cruise, to the extent possible, especially plane and helicopter excursions, or third-party bus tour company journeys.

While these tips aren’t foolproof, pay attention to them and your common sense will go far in aiding you to stay safe while on your cruise.


Safe and Secure on a Cruise Ship (Part I)

Going on a cruise is exciting, however, there are still safety concerns even while on vacation.

Cruise safety tips have to be linked with commonsense

Cruising is one of the safest forms of travel. Most cruise travelers have fabulous journeys without incident. Though cruise ships are fairly safe, just like on any other way of traveling, cruise ships have to take some responsibility for their own safety.

Before you leave for your cruise

Research your ports of call:
Regardless of if the ports you’ll travel to are international or domestic, you have to learn about safety, crime, and health. For international travel, use the U.S. Department of State Country Information. 

For health information and recommendations, use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Travelers’ Health Destinations information. Study international travel plans with your doctor too. Being healthy is part of your cruise safety tips.

U.S. citizens should use STEP for international travel:
STEP is the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program of the U.S. Department of State. When you enroll and provide your trip information, you’ll get notices from the State Department about your destination countries to aid you in making informed decisions. It will allow local U.S. embassies to call you in an emergency. If an incident happens, they will help loved ones get in touch with you.

When you pack 

  • Pack a rubber door wedge:
    When in your room, put the door wedge in the door bottom to make it harder for anyone to break in.
  • Have a small flashlight:
    In case of a power failure, have a small but powerful LED flashlight to see in your room and aid with an evacuation.
  • Pack your breakables, medications, and valuables in your carry-on:
    While it’s rare, sometimes suitcases and other luggage fall into the water during their transfer from the pier to your cruise ship. To prevent their loss, store them in your carry-on and take them aboard yourself.


Safety Tips to Survive a Blizzard (Part II)

Use alternative heat sources.
  • Walk cautiously on icy, snowy sidewalks
  • Drive only if necessary. If you must drive in the day, don’t drive alone. Keep others abreast of your schedule. Stay on main roads and don’t take back roads or shortcuts.
  • Reserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your home cooler than normal. Briefly shut off heat to less-used rooms.
  • When using alternative heat from a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, use fire safeguards and accurately ventilate.
  • If using kerosene heaters, sustain ventilation to halt the buildup of toxic fumes. Keep heaters around three feet from flammable objects. Refuel kerosene heaters outside.

If You Must Travel by Car in A Storm:

  • Keep emergency supplies in the trunk. This includes a flashlight with extra batteries, blankets/sleeping bags, extra set of dry clothing and boots, shovel, tire chains, jumper cables, sand, high-calorie non-perishable food, windshield scraper, first aid kit, road maps, compass, and a brightly colored cloth to tie to the antenna.
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Tell someone your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.

If You Do Get Stuck:

  • Stay in your car. Don’t attempt to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (possibly red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Lift the hood signaling trouble after snow stops falling.
  • Start the car and use the heater for around 15 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes don’t back up into the car.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is going so that you can be seen.
  • As you sit, keep moving your legs, arms, fingers, and toes to keep blood circulating and to stay warm.
  • Keep one window away from the blowing wind marginally open to let in the fresh air.


Safety Tips to Survive a Blizzard (Part I)

If you find yourself in a winter storm keep a flashlight close by in case the power goes out.

Winter storms and blizzards can create a loss of heat, electricity, and telephone service and can have you in your home for a couple of days. Have ready:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Make sure every household member has a hat, a warm coat, gloves or mittens, and water-resistant boots
  • Extra blankets
  • Battery-powered portable radio 
  • First aid kit
  • Healing fuel – fuel carriers might not get to you for a couple of days after a bad winter storm
  • Back up heating source (space heater, fireplace, wood stove)
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
  • Sand to enhance traction
  • Canned food and nonelectric can opener
  • Bottled water
  • Extra medicine and baby items
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during the winter. Move animals to sheltered areas with plenty of clean water.
  • Create a family communication plan. Your family might not be together when the storm hits, so it is vital to know how you will contact each other and how you will get back together.

During the Winter Storm:

  • Remain indoors
  • If you have to go outside, many layers of clothing will keep you warmer than a heavy coat. Mittens or gloves and a hat will stop the loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to safeguard your lungs.
  • Keep dry. Remove wet clothing often to stop body heat from escaping.
  • look for signs of frostbite. This includes loss of feeling and pale or white appearance in extremities like toes, fingers, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are spotted get medical help ASAP.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia. This includes uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, drowsiness, slurred speech, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms are perceived, get the victim to a warm area, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give non-alcoholic, warm beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as quickly as possible.


Tsunami Safety Tips (Part II)

If you find yourself in a Tsunami get to higher ground fast. 

Stay There

Tsunamis typically don’t strike once. There are usually many cycles of a tsunami that are spaced out over time. Some can go on for a few days. 

If you go down by accident, you could get caught up in a second or third wave. This is why it’s vital to keep dry and high for a specific period. But when making your judgment of when to go back down, it’s also imperative to be really cautious with warnings and warning systems. It has been reported that the death toll for the 2004 Sumatra tsunami was due to a bad tsunami warning system. Folks just weren’t ready for the onslaught.

In recent years, developing nations dealing with tsunamis have suffered from the effects of thieves and vandals tampering with and destroying systems that will alert authorities about an upcoming tsunami.

Kirk says that in some cases, authorities have provided radio broadcasts giving an all-clear for folks to descend from the hill, only to be hit by a second, third or fourth wave. Again, the mantra here is to be very cautious when making a decision about when to descend. Pay attention to alerts but be cautious with the “all-clear.”

Know the topography of your destination

It’s vital to know not only the tsunami history of the place you are traveling to but the topography as well. Villages located at low sea level will get damaged by a tsunami, whereas villages located in deeper water areas aren’t as affected. This information can be crucial to your action plan if a tsunami appears.

Know the locals and authorities

It’s important to make an attempt, even over language barriers, to speak to locals of the area you are residing in, about what systems and infrastructure is put in place to deal with a tsunami.

Thankfully, there are a host of things you can do to be safe during a tsunami. By preparing, being aware, and relocating to a safe location during the occurrence, you’ll be way more likely to survive a tsunami.


Tsunami Safety Tips (Part I)

Tsunami’s move quick so you need to be prepared.

What are the best things to do when a tsunami hits? How can you get ready for a tsunami? This article takes a look at tsunami safety and gives you helpful tips to aid you to prepare and survive.

Tsunamis are deadly natural disasters that usually happen after some type of huge geological event in or near a major body of water. The real danger of tsunamis is that they can move rapidly and overwhelm popular areas without any notice.

Be Prepared for a Tsunami

If you are going to places that are known to be tsunami hotspots, it’s critical to be ready. Inside your travel pack, be sure you keep an emergency kit in case you have to make a run in the middle of the night.

Stock water, food, climate-appropriate clothing, and if possible, a first aid kit.  Keep it filled with plenty of essentials for a couple of days. Though, try your best to keep it light so you can carry it and run in an instant. You may need it if you have to.

Run up the Hill

If the feeling is that a tsunami is about to hit your area, it’s better to be safe than sorry or underwater. That’s why it is important to be ready and to have the things that will help you survive.

The three crucial signs you can use to detect an impending tsunami are:

  • Feeling tremors and shakes underfoot
  • The water begins to recede
  • If you hear a huge roar from the ocean

Also, be alert to any warnings made by local authorities.

Tsunamis can hit really, really fast after an earthquake. The higher you can get up a hill, the better. If you possess a light emergency pack, you will travel quicker. You don’t want to be hampered down with a big suitcase.


Earthquake Safety (Part II)

If you live in an area that has frequent earthquakes then you need to have an emergency kit.

Make a family emergency communications plan that has an out-of-state contact. Come up with a plan where to meet if you get split up.

Create a supply kit that has plenty of water and food for about three days, also putting in the kit a fire extinguisher, flashlight, and a whistle. Consider every person’s particular needs, such as medication. Have extra charging devices for phones, batteries, and other vital equipment. Remember the needs of pets and service animals.

Consider getting an earthquake insurance policy. A regular homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover earthquake damage.

Consider making remodels to your building to repair structural problems that can cause your building to fall during an earthquake.

Keep Yourself Safe After an Earthquake

If an earthquake has just occurred, there can be severe hazards like leaking gas and water lines, damage to the building, or downed power lines. You will have aftershocks right after the mainshock of an earthquake.

Inspect yourself to see if you are hurt and help others if you have knowledge. Learn how to be the help until help comes.

If you are in an injured building, go outside and swiftly move away from the building. Do not enter ravaged buildings. If you are trapped, shield your nose, mouth, and eyes from dust. Bang on a pipe or wall, send a text or use a whistle instead of screaming to help rescuers find you.

If you are in a place that might experience tsunamis, go inland or to higher ground quickly after the shaking stops. Text messages might be more dependable than phone calls. Save phone calls for emergencies.

Once you are secure and safe, listen to local news reports for instructions and emergency information via social media, radio, TV, or from cell phone text alerts. 

Be cautious during post-disaster cleanup of buildings and around debris. Do not try to eliminate heavy debris by yourself. Wear protective clothing (long pants, long-sleeved shirt, work gloves, and durable, thick-soled shoes) during cleanup.

Earthquake Safety (Part I)

Earthquakes are unpredictable so knowing how to stay safe during one is essential. 

Unlike other sorts of natural disasters, earthquakes can occur at any time, without any warning. Being ready for an earthquake will be all the difference in being able to safeguard yourself, your family or your residence in case of an earthquake. Keep reading to find out how to prepare your home and loved ones for an earthquake, as well as what to do during and after an earthquake to be safe.

  • If an earthquake occurs, safeguard yourself right away. 
  • If you are in a car, stop it and put the car in park.
  • If you are in bed, turn face down and protect your neck and head with a pillow.
  • Do not go outside.
  • Do not be in a doorway.

Drop: Drop wherever you are onto your knees and hands. If you’re using a walker or wheelchair, be sure your wheels are locked and stay seated until the shaking stops.

Cover: Cover your neck and head with your arms. If a durable desk or table is nearby, get beneath it for shelter. If no shelter is close by, crawl next to an interior wall away from windows. Crawl only if you can get to better cover without going through a spot with more debris. Remain on your knees or bent over to safeguard vital organs.

Hold on: If you are under a desk or table, hold on with one hand and be prepared to move with it if it moves. If you can’t find a desk or table, cover your neck and head with both hands and arms. If seated and you can’t drop to the floor, bend forward, cover your head with your arms, and cover your neck with both hands.

Prepare Before an Earthquake

The best time to prepare for any disaster is before it happens.

Secure heavy things in your house such as TVs, bookcases, refrigerators, and things that hang on walls. Store breakable and heavy objects on low shelves.


Safest Countries for U.S. Travelers (Part III)


The ‘Benelux’ Countries

As with Scandinavia, you get many countries for one score: the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The good Global Peace Index ratings for the Netherlands and Belgium are because of the low rates of violent crime, homicides, high levels of political stability, and low rates of political violence and terrorism, although petty theft can be distress in major cities. 

The State Department puts Belgium and the Netherlands at level two, mainly because of social tensions due to a vaguely elevated risk of potential terrorism. Luxembourg is too little to get a level.

Where to stay: Brussels’ FunKey Hotel is as great as it sounds. With vibrant decor and board game-themed rooms, visitors won’t ever be bored.

The UK has some beautiful sights to see and has low crime rates.

The United Kingdom

Also with a good ranking, the United Kingdom has a great Global Peace Index based on high political stability, low violent crime, and low political violence. It gets dropped a copy of notches due to the high level of militarization and threats of terrorism. This is why the State Department gives it to level two.

Where to stay: At Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London, travelers get postcard-worthy views and fabulous amenities. The hotel is located just minutes from Big Ben and the London Eye.

The Bahamas

An outlier, the Bahamas has a high score for being a safe place but doesn’t have a high score when it comes to the Global Peace Index, even though the country has truly been peaceful for decades. The high ranking by Berkshire seems to be offset by level two State Department rating because of crime. Berkshire puts the Bahamas low on the list, despite the fact that its safest places rating outscores a number of other destinations.

Where to stay: Lodge at the pastel-colored villa at Nassau’s Sandyport Beach Resort. Remember to take pics of the resort’s historic Georgian Colonial architecture.