For many of us, walking alone is an unavoidable everyday occurrence. In an ideal world, we would not need to worry about walking down the street becoming dangerous, but unfortunately in our current society this simple act can sometimes lead to unsafe situations, as is evident from the headlines we are seeing in the news lately.
Because this is our reality, it’s good to be prepared and to know what measures you can take to keep yourself safe. Here are a few tips everyone can use when walking alone to ensure their safety:
Have your Keys Ready
Even if it’s just a fast trip from your front door to your car, it’s a good idea to have your keys on hand. Keep them hidden in your pocket. Then, when you reach your car or front door, pull them out holding the proper key in position. This will keep you from fumbling about in your purse or pockets outside, which could distract you from your surroundings.
Call a Friend or the Provided TravelNurse Resources
If at all frightened, call a friend or pretend you are talking on the phone. Say something like, “I just crossed your building,” or “I think I saw your mom in the car.” This gives those around you who may not have the best intentions the illusion that you have contacts in the area and that somebody is aware of your location.
If it is after our office hours, and you cannot get ahold of a friend feel free to call the TravelNurse 24-hour line (1-866-554-5605).
Utilize the Replay number (1-866-680-1003). Typically, this is used for when you are driving to and from your assignment, but it can also be used in any situation in which you are alone while on assignment. Call to let them know your location and when you are expecting to arrive at your destination. If you do not call back to let them know you have arrived safely, they will contact us. If we cannot contact you, we will notify the local police in your area.
Avoid Being Hidden or Out of the Way
When walking alone, stay in well lit areas, avoid shortcuts through alleys, parks, vacant lots, or other deserted places and take the road rather than taking a walking path.
Carry a Noisy Object
Keep some kind of noisemaker on your keychain or pinned to your jacket. Whistles are easy to come by, and dog/bear alarms are fairly cheap on Amazon and are made to stun and disorient stray animals. The volume alone is enough to bother a person’s eardrums or alert passersby of your situation.
Trust your Gut
When out alone at night, your instincts are your best friend. If you are worried someone is following you, turn around. Let the person know you’re aware of their presence. Don’t head straight home, but go to a nearby store or restaurant, somewhere public and safe. Don’t ever put the fear of being viewed as irrational or “dramatic” ahead of your safety.
*Bonus tip: travel size hairspray fits very nicely in a purse, pocket or bag and really stings if you get it in your eyes.*
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