It’s football time! Whether you go to your local high school game, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Nashville or Atlanta, there are some things you need to do to make sure you have an enjoyable time, and not have the unexpected loss of property or injury while at the game. Much like a coach prepares his team for all situations on the football field, you need to be prepared for all situations when attending the game.
One of the first things you need to be aware of is traffic flow in and out of the stadium area. Make sure you know what roads are inbound and outbound to the stadium, and remember on game day streets that are normally two-way may become one-way streets. When you arrive and are looking for a place to park, make sure you park in a well-lit area. This will help you find your vehicle after the game. It also will provide a safer environment in which to park, since most well-lit areas will have some time of security presence, (either cameras or roving patrols.)
We all want to park as closely to the stadium as possible, and most of the time, stadiums have businesses and homes close by. You may be tempted to park in these private property areas, but be careful if you do. Most businesses do not allow game day parking and may have your vehicle towed at your expense. If you decide to park at someone’s house, there is no guarantee that the home owner will protect your property, and it is doubtful that their homeowner’s insurance will cover any damages. Make sure that you place your valuables in the trunk of your car or cover any items that you may leave in your vehicle. This way, when people look into your vehicle, it will be harder for them to know what you are leaving behind.
Ladies, if you carry a purse, when you are walking to the stadium, place the strap over your neck and carry the purse between your elbow and body. Men, place your wallet in the front pocket of your pants, and if possible, take very little cash with you. Keep your children within arm’s reach at all times, and never let them wander unattended. Walk to the stadium using well-travelled paths, and don’t go through areas that are not sufficiently lit. Be aware of those who are nearby, as you never know who is watching and waiting for you to make a mistake.
When you arrive at the stadium, keep your family close together. Use cash to make your purchases and be careful not to show your cash. Remember, not everyone at the game is there to watch the game! When you find your seat, you should still be aware of those around you, but at this point, you can sit back and enjoy the game, knowing you have done all you can do to protect your family and property. After the game, you need to be on alert again. Wait in the stands to let the crowds move out so there is less risk of getting injured as the crowds leave. If you use the same precautions leaving the stadium as when you arrived, you should have an enjoyable time without any incidents.
Jim Doyle is still on the mend, so this week’s column is written
by Brian Black, an employee of Madison Security Group.