The Penny-Pinching Prepper (Ulysses Press, 2015) by Bernie Carr helps readers prepare for an emergency without breaking their bank. Carr walks his readers through DIY projects, storm shelter building, and more all on a budget to make sure that anyone can afford to be prepared for an emergency. In the following excerpt, he helps readers look at their how from the perspective of a potential thief.
Our local news recently reported a rash of SUV tire and rim thefts, and the crime usually happens in a person’s driveway sometime during the night. The owner typically finds all four tires gone and faces an expensive bill of several hundred dollars to replace their tires. Thieves often target items which people don’t even give a second thought to.
To avoid being a victim of crime, it helps to think like a thief.
A thief perceives things differently from you and me. Consequently, items that we take for granted on a daily basis may attract their attention. Some examples:
• Moms may carry around heavy purses filled with snacks, coupons, and old receipts, thinking there is nothing anyone would want in there, but a thief notes that the purse looks loaded and therefore may carry lots of goodies.
• A jogger may leave the house to go for a run with nothing but a cell phone and keys thinking he has nothing valuable, but in reality, thieves find that cell phones have a great resale value and therefore target the jogger for his phone.
• You leave a shopping bag full of trash in the back seat of your car, thinking to dump it later, but all a thief sees is the Nordstrom bag full of something and breaks your car window to check it. There was nothing in the bag, but you are still out a car window. This could have been avoided had you removed the bag right away.
The point is, avoid calling attention to yourself or your personal belongings by minimizing items that may call a thief’s attention to you.
1. Keep your curtains and blinds closed. If you must keep your windows open, position your appliances, computers, and valuables away from view to where thieves can’t easily spot them.
2. Park your car in your garage, and close the garage door. If a thief does not see your vehicle, he or she will be less likely to steal it.
3. When out shopping, leave your packages inside the trunk of the car.
4. Avoid wearing expensive or shiny jewelry and watches—they make you an attractive target.
Many crimes are crimes of opportunity. A thief spots an easy way to grab your belongings and takes advantage. Don’t make yourself easy to rob.
• When grocery shopping, do not leave your purse in the shopping basket as you peruse the produce. Do not leave your car door unlocked with the keys in the ignition, even though you are just running into the convenience store for less than a minute.
• A distracted person can easily become a victim. As we discussed earlier, situational awareness is the number one rule of personal safety. When going about your day, avoid being overly encumbered by carrying or holding too many things. Have at least one hand free at all times.
Reprinted with permission from The Penny-Pinching Prepper (2015), by Bernie Carr and published by Ulysses Press.
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