Do you feel safe? You do not need to carry a weapon or know Kung Fu to take charge of your personal safety. There are some simple behaviors you can adopt that will increase how safe you actually are.
Justin Saucier of Denali Security recommends being constantly aware of your surroundings while you are walking to and from your car as one such opportunity to improve your personal safety.
This type of awareness is particularly important in Alaska where we have so many dark hours.
Avoid focusing only forward while walking to and from your car, give the area a 360 visual scan and keep the whole area around you in mind.
When returning to your parked car, be sure to observe the whole area as you approach. Check under the car or in the bed if you have a truck. Just a quick look is probably enough to ensure everything is as you left it and that you are alone.
Plan ahead and look for well lit open areas that will allow you to view all around when you return to your parking spot. While a parking spot may seem harmless by day, in the dark evening hours it may seem a bit more sinister.
It can be comforting to assume you are safe at all times, but unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Awareness of your surroundings is your best protection.
Sara Kennedy is a special education teacher in the Anchorage School District. She likes to swim, bike and run around Alaska, and camp and fish with her family. To reach Sara, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.