One of the best parts about being the speaker at many of our
agricultural events is that I also have the privilege of being the
student. I am able to attend lots of other conference sessions
before, between or after my presentations. Such was the case at the
recent Ag Women of the Heartland Conference in Garden City, Kansas.
Brandy Unruh, Criminal Justice Instructor at Garden City Community
College, shared important information dealing with personal
awareness and safety. As a former police officer, she spoke
directly about situations, decisions and options to increase our
awareness and safety.
Brandy has given me permission to share a few snippets of her
Going on a vacation?
1) Let a few neighbors know the dates you'll be gone and ask
them to watch for anything unusual. Perhaps you have a nearby
neighbor already feeding your dog or helping out with other chores.
Ask them to stop in the house, turn on and off a few different
lights (or reset the timers), pick up the mail and check door
2) Do not post on social media that you're going to be away.I
saw a recent Facebook post: "10 Days till Disney!"and each day
thereafter was a countdown! And do not post pictures of your
vacation until you return home. If someone else takes a picture
with you in it, ask they not tag you without your permission.
3) Share your itinerary with someone, including planned routes
and places you're staying. Check in regularly. Sometimes a quick
text to a designated friend or relative can be most helpful.
Something like…"Just entering the state of WY on I-80"or "Ending
the day at Cheyenne, Hampton Inn."
4) If driving, keep your fuel level above half tank.
5) As you seek out your parked car, look around to be sure no
one is approaching you. Look around and under the car. Unlock only
as you near the door, glance in the back seat before entering and
then enter quickly and immediately lock your doors. So many wait
for the "automatic lock" to engage as a car is placed in gear.
Those are vulnerable seconds for someone you may not want to join
4) Photocopy all items in your wallet and important travel
documents - front and back. Keep the copies in a safe location
at home. Or, take pictures of all your documents and store them on
a secure website you can access from any computer.
5) Keep your valuables with you. Prepare for the worst with
copies of documents and a special place for "secret" cash. Brandy
recommends keeping your phone in one pocket and your keys in the
other. That way if your purse is stolen, you can either call for
help or leave the scene. She also shared that keeping your phone
tucked away keeps your mind and senses more alert.
6) When making hotel reservations, request floors 2 through
7. Consider evacuation routes for safety, fire or storms. The
ground floor makes you more susceptible for observation and window
entry by another.
7) If you leave the hotel room, hang the "do not disturb" sign
on your door and leave the TV on.You want to give the appearance
that the room is occupied. A vacant appearing room is a target for
8) If you are traveling by yourself, always ask for two
keys.Never volunteer information that you are solo. The hotel staff
should never verbally state your room number so others might hear
or lip read. It's best if they write in on the paper key
7) When you leave the room for any period of time, use the
hotel's safe for important items. Secure technology you may not
want to carry with you, especially your laptop. It's also a good
place for original documents like your passport.
8) Spend extra money to stay safe. Instead of walking alone in
an unknown area, use the hotel shuttle or taxi. Tip a bellman to
walk you to your room if late at night or if there are long
hallways to traverse.
Above all, remember to use common sense and heed your instincts.
Stay safe and aware, and enjoy your travels.
Jolene Brown is a farmer, professional speaker, author and
champion for the family owned business. She's from West Branch,
Iowa, USA, and travels worldwide sharing leading-edge best
practices that have the power to increase productivity,
profitability and peace of mind. Her passion combined with her
fun-filled spirit and valuable information brings humor, hope and
helpful ideas to the people of agriculture. For more information
and to check out her speaking availability, contact her at Jolene@JoleneBrown.com, www.JoleneBrown.com
Full Rights Consent. Jolene Brown LLC, West Branch, Iowa,
USA, maintains full rights to utilize the content and/or format of
all materials submitted by her for the www.PinkTractor.com website
in any future speaking, writing, audio, video or electronic
Copyright © 2016 Jolene Brown, LLC.
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction granted for PinkTractor.com by Jolene Brown