It’s that time of year when we start planning for the Thanks- giving travels. Last year AAA estimated that over 3 million people would travel over 50 miles for Thanksgiving celebrations, just imagine how many will be traveling across town to Grandma’s house for lunch.
The best way to stay safe is planning. You should plan to leave your house a little earlier than normal, in anticipation of others on the road that decided to wait until the last minute to leave and are now in a hurry to get to their destination before the Turkey gets cold. And make sure you are not feeling the effects of the Tryptophan before you drive home. That is if you go home.
A “tradition” that some people have is to stay up after the Thanksgiving meal and go to the mid- night openings of retail stores. These people are easy to spot, they will start gathering at 9:00 or 10:00 pm and stand in line outside these retail stores, even if it is cold and raining. This is a time when you need be observant of all things and people around you. You probably will not have any problems until those doors are opened. When they are that’s when friendly easy going people turn into creatures you normally see on Halloween.
Be careful of the stampede going in to the stores, there are always reports of people getting injured during these times. I would advise not taking small children with you; but if you must take small children with you, hold on to them; it would be real easy to have children injured or get away from you and ruin the whole “fun” experience.
While shopping on Black Friday, be aware of all kinds of crimes that can take place. Credit card number theft is one of the more popular crimes. Individuals working in teams can steal your credit card number before you realize what is happening. There are a couple of things you can do to eliminate this threat. Try to use checkouts that allow you to swipe your card. If you must hand your card to the cashier, try to maintain visual contact with your card at all times. Don’t be distracted by someone behind you or another cashier; they could be working as a team to steal your credit card number. The theft works this way. The person to whom you have given the card has a card capture device hidden. While the other person distracts you, they capture your card number and the deal is done. You probably won’t know about it until January.
One final thought on Thanksgiving. As you gather with your family, remember the reason why we celebrate. We are fortunate to live in the greatest country in the history of the world. We have been blessed with resources and talents beyond all others.
Happy Thanksgiving and remember to always remove the bag from the turkey before you cook it.
So just be vigilant this Thanksgiving -- have fun, be safe and be aware.
By: Brian Black, Operations Manager of Madison Security Group
203 Us Highway 31 S, Athens, AL 35611