So. Cal. Survival Guide
I live in the 10th most dangerous state in the nation according to Andy Meisler writing in the L.A. Times Magazine section today. The article caught my eye since it falls in line with my theme here ie. safety and life preservation. He points out that we have shysters, muggers, gangsters, ragers and incompetent Range Rover repairpersons. True, we are not cursed, like other states in the Union, with road salt, hurricanes, locusts, snow emergency routes, overcrowded subway trains, crooked aldermen, golf course alligators, chain gangs and humidity. He has a sense of humor as you might surmise.
If someone steals your...Cellphone...call your wireless carrier and ask them to "suspend not cancel" your account. Otherwise you will lose your number. Do it as quick as possible too.
Identity...don't ignore it when your wallet or social security card or number are missing and you notice strange charges or debits on your accounts, or if your checks or credit card purchases are mysteriously refused. The steps are too numerous and complicated, go directly to www.idtheftcenter.org or call the ITRC at (858)693-7935. The Calif. Dept. of Consumer Affairs will also walk you through the odious process at www.privacyprotection.ca.gov.
If you are attacked by a...dog..."Don't use pepper spray, says Uncle Matty, too hard to hit it in the eyes. Stand your ground, make a loud noise, preferably with a shrill whistle, turn left or right to present a thinner profile. Place an object ie. umbrella, backpack etc. in its way or, last resort, drop to fetal position and cover your face. Most dogs bite once and leave." Mountain Lion...same as above or the Dept. of Fish and Game has a great pamphlet or go to their website: www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/lion.html Carjacker...Notice when you are being followed. When you are stopped at a signal try to leave enough space around your car for a quick escape. Don't trust your windows or doorlocks to stop a bullet or even a fist. Give up the car, bail out the unblocked side and run. Kidnapper...Don't go anywhere with him, there's a good chance you'll end up dead. Fight, yell, scream if you are being pulled into a car or van. Run and chance being shot or chased. Mugger...stay away from dark, abandoned alleyways. Give them whatever they want and run to a lighted area. Blogger...If someone has too much time on their hands and calls you something awful on his website, it's as libelous and actionable as if they called you that in a magazine. Ken Layne, editor of a news blog Sploid.com advises you set up your own blog devoted to you many sterling qualities...just like I'm doing.
If you come down with...Food poisoning... usually not from food but allergies or the flu. Most food poisonings don't produce nasea, vomiting, diarrhea or cramps for 12 to 24 hrs. after spoiled food was eaten. Call the doctor after two days and he may prescribe antibiotics or IV fluids. Road Rage... our natural response is to feel angry. Assume the only thing you can control is yourself. Tell yourself the other guy is disabled, crazy so you have to act to save yourself by getting away from the situation.
If you are trapped in...A Railroad Crossing...if your car is stalled and you can't get it going, exit the car immediately and run parrellel to the tracks toward the on-coming train so the debris misses you. If your car can start or go and is between the safety arms, crash through them. A Crossfire...head for cover as near as possible... Or concealment. If none, fall flat and stay absolutely still. An Earthquake...before the earthquake put www.lafd.org/eqhbtext.htm in your browser and print out the handbook. During the "Big One" duck and cover under a table or desk. Stay away from things that can fall on you. Forget the old saw of standing in a doorway. A flashflood...evacuate immediately. Get out of areas subject to flooding ie. dips, low spots, canyons washes, with extra caution at night. Don't try to cross flowing streams. Use one car so you don't get separated. Vehicles can be swept away in as little as two feet of swift running water. Six inches of torrent can knock a person off their feet. An Elavator...stay in the elevator and push the alarm button and stay calm.
If you witness a...murder or assault...don't approach the suspect but keep to yourself in a safe place. Notice everything about them and the scene and which way they went. Write it down if possible. If they drop something, don't pick it up. Call 911. Home invasion robbery...drive to the nearest police station and call your loved ones to warn them. If at home and you hear someone, leave by another door or find the room with the sturdiest door and bring your cell phone.
- There are many other suggestions; some very funny. Usually these are no laughing matter. Bob