What Precautions Do you Find Helpful?

I’m something of a cautious fellow. I like to minimize risks.

For example, I have two apartment keys, and two truck keys. One of each of them resides on each of my two keyrings. I carry both with me whenever I go out. If I’m locked out of my truck - no problem! Hasn’t happened, but it could.

Whenever shopping online, or using credit at a place where the card is taken out of one’s sight to be run (like a restaurant) I always use the credit card, not the debit card. The debit card hooks right into my bank account, and any fraudulent overdraft could cause annoying problems, even if I can successfully challenge it.

Well no one’s answered your question so I guess I will.

Not only do I do the two-key thing, but my SO and I have copies of each other’s car keys. Ya never know.

Keep an extra $10 - $20 hidden away in my purse, so I don’t think to spend it. Also, there’s an emergency $20 at home.

Keep change in my ashtray in the car since I don’t smoke.

On the same note, keep at least $0.50 to $1.00 in change in the little change slot to the left of my steering wheel. Once I was trapped on the wrong side of a bridge with no toll (someone stole my wallet)

What else. Tissues in my car, purse, pocket, home, office desk.

I wear my safety goggles when using a weed whacker or a power saw. There have been enough times when I workedwithout them, only to have a pebble or wood chunk fly up and hit me in the eyebrow as a warning shot.

After getting out of my car to pump gas, I touch the outside of the car to discharge any built-up static electricity I may have. A little tip from the Mythbusters. :wink:

Oh, and I always point the tips away from me when I run through the house with scissors. :smiley:

If I’m going to be returning to my car after dark, I try to park under a lamp.

Campus is dismally lit, and both men and women have been attacked on-campus at night, so after dark, I only walk along main roads, I don’t listen to music, and carry my key ring with my keys poking out between my fingers so if anyone jumps me I can punch my attacker in the throat. I pity the fool that messes with me when I’m walking at night. Also, having your keys out means you can get into your car quicker when you reach it.

Sometimes I think maybe I should buy some pepper spray or something—but I think that’d be a little paranoid. Whereas the stupid keys thing, somehow, isn’t as paranoid. :wink:

Other than that, most of my precautions are in the form of rituals. I always pat my pocket before I lock any doors (apartment, office, car) to be sure I haven’t left my keys inside. I plug in my cell phone to charge first thing every morning at the office and turn it off first thing after I walk into the door at home so it’s always (close to) fully charged. (I get lousy signal at home, so if I leave the phone on it drains the battery somethin’ fierce, and even if a call rings through I always lose the connection anyway, so it’s best to turn it off.)

I am also She Who Always Has Drugs. I have Advil on me at all times, and if you’re lucky, Tylenol and maybe some decongestant. My friends always come to me for pills. And once I get them out, I swear it’s like I’m handing out candy; suddenly everybody in the room has a headache and needs one too.

I live with my grandfather half the time, and drive his car. I’ve carried an extra set of keys ever since I locked myself out of the car years ago. My sister had to drive to my grandfather’s for the extra key, then drive downtown to give it to me. Fortunately, it was a nice day - sunny, but with a nice breeze. Unfortunately, my sister didn’t appreciate the inconvenience to her.

The extra set also has keys to all the doors at my grandfather’s. The door to the garage is usually unlocked, but if the power goes out I won’t be able to open the garage door. If it’s late, my grandfather will be sleeping (without his hearing aids), and even Toto (a little terrier) would have trouble waking him. He keeps all the other doors locked all the time. Unfortunately, I usually have to got to the usually unlighted back door to get in, since the front screen-door has a keyless lock.

I also keep extra change in the car, and I always check all the locks before exiting the car (no automatic locks), and try the driver’s side door handle afterwards. And I’m so used to putting on my seatbelt, that I’ve sometimes put it on when just getting in the car to get something. If I leave something like a portable CD player in the car when I’m out, I always hide it in the glove compartment or under the blanket in the back seat - away from prying eyes.

I don’t have a savings account (unemployed and still paying off student loans that led to nothing) but I do have a small account in which I keep around a hundred bucks in case of emergency. Otherwise, I only carry cash. No credit cards, even if I could get one. And I always keep my wallet in my right front pocket. Safer, more convenient, and more comfortable, IMO.

I frequently clean out my computer’s caches and history, and run programs which scan for unwanted nasties I may have picked up off the internet.

Before letting the dog out at night (on his rope), I always bang the back screen-door to scare away any animals I don’t see that might be near - particularly skunks. (Picked that up from my grandfather.) Toto’s never encountered a skunk yet, but unfortunately rolled around in a spray area once.

For someone who suffers from headaches and migraines, I never remember to bring medication with me when I go out to town or to the movies. Never forget it when I’m going out of town though.


The trunk of my car always contains:
[li]A pillow and sleeping bag[/li] [li]Two full changes of clothes (one work, one casual)[/li] [li]A gallon jug of water[/li] [li]A box of crackers[/li] [li]50 bucks[/li] [li]A spare house key[/li][/ul]
Most of these things are there because at one time or another I found myself in a situation where I wished I had them in my car.

When travelling with someone else, especially when flying, I always make sure to pack at least one change of clothes in the other person’s bag (and vice versa) in case one set of luggage gets lost.

I have a strict habit of saying the words: “Keys- Wallet- Phone” everytime I go to leave anywhere. EVERYTIME! If I go to step outside of my car, house, the local pub, club, store etc… youll hear me say my quiet chant: **“Keys-Wallet-****Phone”. ** Some of my family memebers and friend heckle me because of my consistence, but I have never EVER lost any of these three items in my whole life. knocks on wood and checks quickly for my keys, wallet and phone
I also keep a folding chair in my trunk… you never know when youll want it, and I have actually used it quite a bit. My friends will call me from the beach, and I dont have to stop at home since I always have something to sit on… all i ever have to pick up is beer!

Oh, AND I have a sleeping bag and a couple changes of clothes in my car- but not on purpose, i’m just lazy and I leave shit in the car. I happen to have a bridesmaid dress in my trunk from a wedding about 3-4 months ago… hey, ya never know when you’ll need some purple chiffon.

I also[ul][]murmur to myself when I check things just before I leave my apartment, i.e., “heat/a-c”, “curtains”. Otherwise, by the time I leave minutes later, I tend to forget if I’ve done routine things like that.[]pat my back pocket before I shut my apartment door to make sure I have my keys.carry a spare set of car keys with me (in my wallet).[/ul]

I’ve learned to pronounce out loud my checklist when leaving the house, because then I’ll remember having checked things. If I don’t, my brain relegates this task to the “running on automatic” lobe and afterwards I won’t remember clearly if I’ve done it. Then I find myself running back like Adrian Monk to double-check to see if I’ve really done my lockdown list.

So now, as I leave the house, I look at each window and door and say out loud “Locked - locked - locked - locked.” I look at each of the stove’s burners and the oven and say “Off - off - off.” When I get in the car and back out of the driveway, I say “Tank half full - garage door closed.”

Sure, go ahead and laugh. You’ll be pushing fifty someday too!

My key shave been on a carabiner for ages. I always hook them to my belt loop. As a result, my little ritual is to always hit my hip before I leave the house or shut a car door to be sure my keys are there.

But other than that, I have my Car Crate. Similar to Hal Briston’s in spirit, but it’s much more automotive. Extra oil, basic tools, thick leather gloves (for dealing with hot engine or injured animals), jug of distilled water, lighter, jumper cables etc. I also used to have extra healdight bulbs, and fuses. It also has a first aid kit, a flash light, and rope.

Been helpful? You betcha!

Used the splint from my first aid kit when a cyclist wiped out on the streetcar tracks and broke her ankle in three places. :eek: The extra oil has come in handy not for me but for other stranded motorists. Same with the water.

You’d be surprised how many times that the rope has come in handy (and been replaced after use).

It all sits neatly in one of those plastic milk crates.

There is and always will be an empty Gatorade bottle in my car. Luckily I had one when travelling from Indy to KC a few years back and got stuck in a huge traffic jam in St. Louis. 3+ hours, no restroom in sight. Thank you, Gatorade bottle!

At work I always wear my personal body alarm, and make sure my ID badge hangs the vertically (staff) rather than horizontally (inmates).

So far they’ve never failed to let me out when I want to leave. :slight_smile:

Oh. I remembered another one. My grandfather’s garage door is pretty old and beat up. It’s automatic and has a safety detector across the bottom. The buttons to operate the door sometimes don’t work right. And sometimes, even if there’s really nothing in the way, the door will stop as it’s going down, and go back up again.

For this reason, I always check to make sure the door is down before I leave the driveway. However, I used to be a little less patient, and would often only check just as the house was going out of view - as I went around a sharp turn in the road that starts right at the driveway.

This, of course, entailed looking over my shoulder to the right. And, one winter, I ended up pulling the car slightly too far to the right. One wheel went off the pavement, and before I had a chance to readjust, the car was pulled off the road and into the ditch.

Fortunately, there was a lot of soft snow in the ditch, so the car was unharmed. Unfortunately, it was quite embarrassing explaining to my grandfather and parents what happened. I hadn’t even gotten 20 feet down the road. (My father had to come pull me out with his truck.)

Now, I always check if the garage door is down before leaving the driveway. And that’s the closest I’ve ever come to an accident.


I bought one of those combination keyboxes like the real-estate agents put on your house (when they’re showing it). It hangs on the back door (outta sight, but always there so I can get in the house).

I keep a coupla spare swimsuits in the boat. Occasionally someone will forget or actually lose one (or part of one) in a bad skiing fall. It’s nice to have a spare for them. (OK, OK, there was that one time when my cute SIL forgot hers… and it sorta slipped my mind that we had extras on board :slight_smile: )

I think we deserve to hear more of this story. :smiley:

My mother’s a cautious one, even in comparison to myself - she always did the stove-burner-check before leaving the house. In fact, when my Dad was out late (his job demanded odd hours and shifts sometimes) she’d have me help her do a ‘sweep’ of the house to make sure no one had snuck in and was hiding inside.

…And if you’d found some strange axe murderer hiding inside, then what?

I mean, Id imaagine the scenario would start with something like “AA-aaaaaAAAAH!”, but practiucally speeking…

Heck if I know. Run, probably.

** pugluvr,** who’s laughing? I’m 38 and I do the same thing. It drives Mr2U banannas, but if I don’t, I can’t remember if I’ve checked everything.

I have a spare house key stashed about 35 feet from the house.

When I go to the supermarket, I take the shopping cart nearest my car, and I take it up near the store. Neither the wind nor some other shopper can crash that cart into my car.