NEWS | Dec. 19, 2013

Antiterrorism sends holiday safety message

By Mance Clark 902nd Security Forces and Logistics Support Group Antiterrorism Officer

As we celebrate the 2013-2014 holiday season we must maintain a state of heightened situational awareness and continue to report any suspicious activity, especially while traveling or attending large public gatherings. Here are just a few tips for a happy and safe holiday.

At Home:

· Don't place on open sources (Facebook, Twitter or My Space) that you will be out of town or at the airport.
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· Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even if it's just for a few minutes.

· Don't display holiday gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway. Store gifts before you go away on a holiday trip.

· If you take a holiday trip away from your home, have some interior lights activated by an automatic timer. Have a neighbor or family member watch your house, pick up the mail and newspaper and park his or her motor vehicle in your driveway from time to time.

· Immediately after the holidays, mark new gifts with an identification number and record new serial numbers.

· Avoid leaving boxes from purchases, especially TVs, VCRs and computers, out on the curb for trash pickup.

Shopping:

· Shop before dark if possible, or coordinate shopping trips with a friend. Never park in an unlit lot or area, no matter how convenient it is.

· Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle's trunk. Keep vehicle doors locked and windows closed.

· Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check, credit card or debit card when possible.

· To discourage purse-snatchers, don't overburden yourself with packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket pocket, not a back trouser pocket.

Traveling:

· Inform family members of your travel itinerary and, if driving, your route and anticipated arrival time.

· If flying, move to secure staging areas as soon as possible.

· Visit http://www.Travel.State.Gov or http://www.TXDOT.gov for other safety tips and road conditions along your route.

Remember, being responsible and maintaining situational awareness is the best way to avoid preventable mishaps. For more information or suggestions about staying safe over the holidays, contact the JBSA-Randolph Antiterrorism Office at 652-1357, the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Antiterrorism Office at 295-0534 or the JBSA-Lackland Antiterrorism Office at 671-5926. Happy holidays and thank you for you service.