Over this past weekend, I had an event scared me. I live in a condo on a golf course in a quiet suburb in northeast Ohio. I really do not wish to identify the area any closer to that location. The town is really a great area. Fantastic school systems, pretty layout, taxes are a bit high, but the services are excellent. This area is still a bit rural and has built up over the years. Local government has stressed a slow growth and keeping ties with the country atmosphere of the town.
Some people want a more modern and vibrant city like atmosphere; others wish to go back to the rural farm community it once encompassed. All in all, a great place to start and build a family.
But his weekend, as I sat and watched a bit of TV after dinner, I could have sworn I heard gunshots. Too wet and dark and COLD for firecrackers, I thought, but ss I sat there, I thought, and these sounds were a bit different. They did sound like gunfire but not the rifles that you hear in hunting season.
I didn’t know what to do. Do I call the police, no, I thought, I would sound silly. Ask my neighbor, no, I thought I would look stupid. So I sat there, looked out all the windows, made sure all the doors were locked and shut. I went back to the TV.
The remainder of the evening stayed quiet, and I forgot about the incident. However, in the paper the next day, I discovered that there was an altercation at a home right across the area from me. Actually, on the next street over. Apparently, a drug deal went bad with three people shot!!
Not to sound upitty here, but I moved to this semirural area instead of the city because of the quiet surroundings and the very low crime rate. I had initially wanted to go to the city. I grew up in the city and liked the idea of city services and attractions again. Walk to a coffee shop, get local groceries, etc.
After this weekend, I am afraid some of my joy and pleasure in living out here in the sticks have been tarnished. I no longer feel as safe and secure as I once did.
I now have to face the reality that nowhere is truly safe and crime-free. But I think we all knew that deep in our hearts.
Tips for Safety over Holidays
So as we run about getting holiday gifts, decor, and foodstuff. Be alert. Watch out in parking lots. Go out in the evening in pairs or a group. Make frequent trips to the car and lock the trunk. Do not go out overburdened with boxes, you are asking for trouble. Try to keep your shopping to frequent small trips if you can. Keep your purse close and just carry necessities. Not all your credit cards, not a ton of cash. Keep your key in your hand to access the car quickly…locke it immediately once you are in the vehicle. Put your purse on the floor, not on the seat next to you.
Make sure you practice safe cyber techniques of shopping online. Be wary and alert when packages are delivered to your door.
If you are using your cell phone be careful where you are. Someone cal easily hack into your wifi, especially if you are using open wifi in the store. Careful who is watching your card info as you use it at the checkout. If you have children, agree to an arranged place to meet if anyone gets lost or separated.
Keep your doors locked when you are home and talk to the kids about answering the door. Make sure they look before opening the doors. Do not give personal info out on the phone to strangers or officials. Just ask for their IDs and phone numbers. Tell them you will call back and check them out before returning the call or when they call you back.
If you are going away, decorate the house a little bit outside to look as if you are home. A
doorbell with a camera is a great thing to use. I have Kuma system but there are a lot out now. Make sure all doors and windows are locked. Arrange for someone to plow a few times if snow is heavy, Ask neighbors to check on the house and get your mail. Keep a light on and use a timer. Have some noise on n the house: radio or TV.
It may sound like a lot of paranoia but it is better to be safe than sorry. I wish all of you a safe and happy shopping season. Enjoy
Take good care guys,