HOUSTON – Whether you’re taking time off to go to the beach, or to visit another city, Rania Mankarious, executive director of Crime Stoppers of Houston, shares important tips to keep your family safe during Spring Break.
“It’s not the thought that everyone it’s out to get you. But you do have to keep in mind there are thieves who troll social media looking for homes that are vacant. So, think about when you’re posting. If you want to post during your trip, of course you can, but it might be better to post after.
Before heading out, make sure your doors and windows are locked, and keep in mind what you tell your ridesharing driver.
“A lot of us take Uber to the airport. It’s so much easier. But, do you want to tell your Uber driver that you’re going to be gone for the next two weeks? It’s just something to think about. You can call your neighborhood police department, they’ll do drive -bys, make sure your home is OK.
Mankarious shared seven more tips to keep everyone safe while on vacation.
1. MAKE SURE YOUR DESTINATION IS SAFE BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Check resources like State Department’s safe-travel site and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel-health site. Also, it’s Important to enroll in STEP -- the State Department’s free program that helps the embassy contact you in an emergency.
2. BE AWARE
Doesn’t matter if you travel destination is the beach, a city locally, internationally, a theme park.
3. ALWAYS PRACTICE GOOD WATER SAFETY
Avoid alcoholic beverages while swimming or boating. Also, make sure you know about lifeguards, and whether or not it’s easy to get supplies like googles and life jackets.
4. RESEARCH ISSUES IN YOUR DESTINATION CITY
Has there been problems with alcohol, ridesharing, rioting, theft or other issues? It’s important to understand the social and cultural climate of the city or country you are entering.
5. MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS KNOW WHERE YOU ARE STAYING AND YOUR ROOM NUMBER.
Talk to them about stranger danger and when out and about, have meeting points should families get separated.
6. WATCH YOUR VALUABLES
Put your passports, extra cash and secondary credit card in the hotel safe. Don’t carry them with you. Once you’re settled at a hotel, make copies of your passports and carry them with you. Make another set of passport copies and leave them at home with a family member in case the originals are stolen.
7. THINK ABOUT YOUR HOME ALARM
Should it go off, does it dial your house? Your office? How will you be notified?
To see Mankarious’s complete interview, watch the video above.