1. Always be aware of our surroundings. (Watch for signs of danger, or potential danger.)
2. Never open the door to a stranger.
3. Always report any crimes.
I have always tried to be careful to assess my surroundings to make sure that I'm as safe as possible. If I am walking down the street and pass a van, I walk to the other side of the street if possible. I don't want to give anyone the chance to grab me. If I am walking past bushes, I walk as far as possible from them in case someone is hiding in them. I always try to look in the back seat of my car before getting in my car. I once found a drunk in my back seat, so I keep this practice. It's a good habit to always scan our environment to look for possible danger.
The second thing on his list is something I am determined to change. I have always opened the door to anyone who knocked. Maybe having large dogs with me always made me feel confident. But now I realize that I don't have to open the door to anyone I don't know. If it is a salesman, he can go elsewhere. The teacher tonight stressed that I should still call through the door and ask them what they want so that they know someone is home. If it is a burglar, and I don't answer, they might think this is their chance to break in. And I don't need to worry about their feelings; I can tell them to go away. I am going to teach my children this principle too.
The third thing on his list is to report all crimes. This is because the police keep track of crimes, and they might find a connection with a crime that happened miles away. There might be similarities that will help them catch the criminal.
As I left the meeting tonight, I found myself doing something that friend of mine used to do. She was a single girl, and lived in an apartment by herself. Every night when she came home, she would walk in the door and say, "I'm home! Everybody out!" Then she would proceed to pick up a fireplace poker, and would poke it in every closet, and under her bed. Once she was convinced that she was alone, she would settle down. As I got in my car tonight, I realized that I didn't look in my back seat before getting in my car. I called out, "Okay, everybody out now!" As I started driving away I looked down and said to myself, "Oh, I"m almost out of gas." Then as an after thought I said out loud, "I'm almost out of gas, so if you were planning on kidnapping me, you are out of luck." Hmmm...maybe that class made me a little paranoid!