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NOLA Festival Safety Tips for Women

After attending the private advance screening of The Intruder and THE INTRUDER Women’s Self Defense Class at Triumph Krav Maga hosted by Fons Pr. I thought it would be a great idea to share some safety tips to those of you visiting during the Essence Festival.

I wld like to thank @fons_pr for the sponsoring my first Ladies Night at the movies and the blogging review opportunity for the #advancescreening of @theintrudermovie and my bag compliments of Tenshen Wine @tenshenwine and Black Opal @blackopalbeauty 🍷🍾💄💋

The Intruder The Intruder is a must-see movie full of drama, suspense, and mystery. It’s more of a psycho thriller, not scary at scary like Dennis Quaid is crazy, psycho and insane 😬He played that role, his facial expressions to the body ticks had me wondering when would someone find out he escaped from the looney bin. The plot of the movie made me aware of how relaxed I am at times, which is a good thing, but one must always be prepared. I speak of carrying mace at all times, but I leave it at home often.

Once scene in the movie took me back to my teenage years when I went against my better judgment. I skipped my last classes and took the short cut down a dead-end street to avoid being seen by adults and there was this old pervert calling for me to get in his car, I declined his offer, but he wasn’t hearing it. He drove along as I walked, then he pulled the car on the curb and jumped out. I remember screaming, throwing my backpack at him and an old lady opening her screendoor shouting for me to come in and that she called the police. If it wasn’t for her I could have been kidnapped and killed, because of my poor choices. I look back on that day and even though I was wrong for skipping class, I didn’t follow a Nola family safety rule; that is to always walk on busy streets.

http://www.girlsfightback.com/

Today, with must be ready to defend ourselves not only against THE INTRUDERS, but sadly at times we have to protect ourselves from the ones we love. As you all know I was a victim of domestic abuse and my family member was taken from us last year by the hands of a man she trusted. Not only do we need to protect ourselves, but listen to our gut instinct.

Self Awareness and Self Defense is what they teach at Triumph Krav Maga! It’s more than a workout, you walk away ready to defend yourself in any situation. Krav Maga Classes are helping people all across New Orleans get fit, have fun, and build real-world self-defense skills.

St.Roch Community Ladies Zumba Class
Me and Niyah Jean on our way to self-defense class

Use common sense

Really, it all comes down to this. If you feel like you’re somewhere you shouldn’t be, then leave. Don’t carry cash or show off aka flaunt your stuff.

If you practice safety awareness you will have the upper hand no matter what city you live in or the towns you visit.

Here’s a short video of me speaking on safety here in New Orleans, as well as things happening on my block today.

NOPD SAFETY TIPS

With the summer travel season heating up, New Orleans police have released a comprehensive list of safety tips.

Whether you’re planning a “staycation” or going somewhere far away and exotic, here’s what police say you should do to avoid becoming a victim of crime:

Parking at a Hotel

• Park your car in a well-lit area close to the lobby or use valet parking.

• Do not park in a space with your room number on it, if possible.

• Before getting out of your vehicle, check your surroundings for suspicious-looking people.

• When you get out, lock your vehicle. Do not leave valuables in the vehicle or in the trunk.

• Walk confidently and briskly from your vehicle to your destination.

• Be aware of loiterers when moving valuables from your vehicle to your room.

• Memorize your vehicle’s license number so you will not have to go outside to get it when

registering.

Checking In

• Always make reservations ahead of time and secure them with a credit card. Otherwise, if desirable facilities are not available, you may become stranded or in an unsafe room.

• If your room is not ready when you attempt to check in (e.g., if you arrive early in the day), ask to store your luggage in a locked room. Many hotels and motels have a “day room” where you can temporarily store your luggage.

• When completing the guest registry, some women prefer to sign their name in a gender-neutral fashion using only their first initial and last name, such as M. Johnson.

• Register with your business address rather than your home address.

• Advise the front desk never to release your room number.

• Avoid “shortcuts” such as back stairwells when moving about the lodging.

• Ask the front desk clerk specific questions about the hotel’s security features:

If there are hotel security officers, how can they be reached?

Does the hotel lock the outside doors at a particular hour?

If they do, what is the best way to re-enter?

Room Location

• If the hotel has more than one building, request a room in or near the main building.

• Request a room that faces inward toward other rooms or toward the lobby.

• Request a room that does not have easy access to its window, such as from the roof or street.

• Request a room on the second floor, but no higher than the seventh floor, near a fire exit, away from stairwells, elevators, ice machines, vending machines, basements or garbage/refuse rooms.

• A room near (but not next to) the elevator helps to avoid long walks down stairways.

• If you are a woman traveling alone, request the concierge or key service floor, if there is one.

When You Arrive at Your Room

• If a bell person shows you to your room, ask him or her to point out the room’s safety features, locks and exits.

• If you are not shown to your room by a bell person, conduct a quick visual check of your room to see if anything appears to be out of place. Leave immediately if it appears like someone may have been in your room.

• Do not let strangers show you to your room or carry your luggage if they are not affiliated with the hotel.

• Do not enter your room if someone appears to be watching you or loitering nearby. Walk confidently by such people, but not into a dead end. Go where there are other people. If that is not possible, enter your room quickly and report your concerns to the front desk.

• Never leave money, checks, credit cards, car keys or valuables in a hotel or motel room. Take them with you.

• Particularly if you are staying in a hotel or motel more than one night, unpack and place belongings in the room closet and dresser. Arrange your belongings, so you will know if anything is missing.

• Maintain a daily check of your belongings.

• Lock your empty suitcases so they cannot be used to carry your belongings out of your room.

Valuables

• If you have valuables or important documents (e.g., a passport or airline ticket), store them in the safety deposit box at the front desk and get a receipt.

• Use an in-room safe to store only items of moderate value. Large sums of money and jewelry should be placed in the safe at the front desk.

• If there is not an in-room safe, put valuables in a money belt you wear, or possibly bring a “portable safe” such as hollow books, shoes with hollow heels, suitcases with secret compartments, etc.

Elevators

• When riding on an elevator, always stand next to the elevator controls.

• Do not enter an elevator if it is occupied by anyone you consider to be suspicious.

• If someone is watching when you enter an elevator, press several floor buttons, so they will not know which floor you got off on. Notify the front desk if the person made you feel uncomfortable.

Door and Window Security

• Things to look for in hotel or motel door security include:

Sturdy locks

Reliable key system

Visibility to the hallway

• When occupying or leaving your room, use all auxiliary locking devices on doors and windows. (You may want to purchase a portable door lock for traveling).

• Windows should open and close quickly from the inside.

• Use the new lock or stick on windows, sliding or patio doors so they cannot be lifted out of their tracks.

• If you have a physical disability, request a room where locks are reachable and easy to operate.

Telephone Tips

• Learn how to use the room telephone to summon help quickly in the event of an emergency.

• Learn the number for the front desk.

• Learn how to call 911. (Different states/countries may have different numbers)

• Memorize your room number and the name of the hotel.

• Read any information printed on the face of the room telephone, if available.

• If you receive unwanted, harassing or threatening telephone calls, hang up immediately and notify the front desk.

General Hotel Safety Recommendations

• Keep your room key in a safe place, such as safety-pinned to the inside of your pocket.

• Request a key that does not have your room number on it.

• Report missing or lost keys immediately and move to a different room.

• Use the door viewer to identify anyone requesting entry. Open the door only if you are sure the person has a legitimate reason to enter your room. If in doubt, call the front desk.

• If you are expecting someone to come to your place, pre-arrange an exact time of arrival, as well as some form of introduction or identification.

• Completely close the room curtains, especially in the evening or if you will be away from the room for some time.

• Do not leave magazines around your room or the pool that have your home address on them.

• Ask the front desk staff for the safest areas for jogging, walking, shopping, etc. Ask for a map of the area you are staying in.

• If you feel uneasy about going to fax, telex, photocopying, laundry, pool, or exercise facilities alone, have someone go with you or tell the front desk where you will be.

• Hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside door knob when you exit and leave a light and radio on. These discourage burglars.

Source Credit FOX 8 and Touro Hospital

A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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