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Drew: Stay Woke, Be Alert and Be Aware

By Samuetta Hill Drew

In the wake of the recent tragic and pointless deaths involving both 3-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney and 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, as well as the many others whose names are less familiar or sadly unknown, I’ve decided to deviate slightly from my holiday season safety theme.

Even though this slight deviation is not particularly focused primarily on holiday safety there remains some correlations as it relates to these safety recommendations this week. These safety recommendations below have been covered in-depth in past articles, but there seems to be a pressing need to repeat a few again as a refresher.

Let’s begin with reminding everyone to notify someone, such as a parent, sibling and/or friend, of your whereabouts or destination points when traveling day and especially at night alone. This applies to both male and females. It’s not necessarily for the sake of having people in “your business” rather a safety precaution just in case of an emergency.

Note, two weeks ago, a family friend’s daughter (who’s a college student) told her friend she would see her in class but needed to stop and gas up her car first. While paying for her gas inside, two male teenage boys climbed into her car and behind the back seats on the floor. When she got back into her car, she was held at gun point and told to drive. When she didn’t show up for class her friend became worried and began contacting her parents and friends.  Thankfully the authorities were able to locate her.

They identified her location (traveling toward Mississippi) by using the tracking device on her cell phone.  She was rescued by the authorities and the two boys were arrested. Safety Recommendation: Tell somebody of your plans, never leave your car unlocked for any reason and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Never allow children to play, walk to school, store, etc. alone. A responsible adult should always supervise a child or children. Safety Recommendation: Be aware of your child(ren) and their location always. Always make sure they are being supervised by a responsible adult who is in close proximity making it easy to reach the child quickly, if needed.

Refrain from talking on your cell phone when walking to your car, in the mall or down the street. You become a distracted walker making it impossible for you to pay attention to your surroundings. Safety Recommendation: Always remain alert of your surroundings when walking alone or even in small groups.

Keeping an Eye on Safety is a full time endeavor, so you must stay woke by being alert and aware of people along with your surroundings, no matter what activity you are engaged with, big or small.