The holidays are here! Make sure you and your loved ones stay safe during this busy season with these tips.
1. Be on guard at all times, and always aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you.
2. Maintain an alert stance and scan the people around you. Thieves avoid people who are alert and instead target people who they see as more vulnerable: the elderly, women alone or women and children, or people who are absorbed in conversations, their phones or other technology.
3. AVOID being engrossed in your cell phone or tablet (see #2) when walking. If you must take a call, stand by a wall with your back against it, scanning your surroundings.
4. If you have a bad feeling about your surroundings, stop and pay attention to these feelings, it is your intuition telling you not to proceed.
5. Think like a thief: what attracts criminals? flashy jewelry, a large purse that looks stuffed with goodies, smart phones, shopping bags, etc.
6. Carry only what is necessary; leave everything else at home
7. Always lock your vehicle!! REMOVE ALL VALUABLES FROM YOUR CAR or lock them in the trunk. As you shop,
lock your items in the trunk.
8. Consider carrying mace or pepper spray
9. Have your keys in your hand BEFORE heading to your car. At night or during particularly busy days, request a security person escort you to your car. A lot of stores will also have their employees walk you out, so be sure to ask.
10. Train your children to only open the door to family or friends who know the “password” and never open the door to strangers.
11. Keep your curtains or blinds closed. The more passersby see your appliances and items, the more likely you will be burgled. DO NOT PUT YOUR CHRISTMAS TREES ON DISPLAY IN THE WINDOW, or at the very least, do not put packages under the tree until Christmas Eve.
12. Consider an alarm system or a dog
13. Make sure you always lock your doors and windows.
14. Look around the area before heading home. Many thieves / robbers will follow distracted drivers home from malls /stores. If you suspect you are being followed, go immediately to a fire station, police station or busy parking lot and HONK until security arrives or the car drives off.
15. Upon arriving home, before you open your door or garage, LOOK AROUND. If you suspect you are being followed, continue driving and proceed to #13.
16. Be careful about announcing your activities and plans on social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook, this will give potential thieves a “heads up” that your house is available.
17. Before going to an ATM, look around!! Is there a car just parked nearby? Are there a lot of bushes where someone can hide and jump out at you? If you are not sure, just bypass it and go somewhere else. The most you will lose is time and possibly gas, but at least you’ll be safe.
18. When in crowded malls or stores, be alert for pickpockets especially when someone bumps into you
19. If working late, walk out with a co-worker or call security and have them walk you to your car.
20. If going on vacation, register for a vacation watch with Constable Precinct 7 (713-643-6602)
courtesy Northfield I and II newsletter
A flat on the freeway. Extreme temperatures overheating your engine. A fender bender causing you to pull to the side of the road. The possibilities are as many as parts of a car, and all unplanned. However, if you find yourself stranded on Houston-area roadways, you can have a plan for staying safe!
Houston TranStar’s state-of-the-art monitoring systems direct traffic incident management around the clock, providing reliable, real-time travel information to area motorists to get people where they need to go, every day and in an emergency.
“Motorists don’t always have control over circumstances, and commuters who travel several miles to and from work each day are even more likely to experience an unexpected problem and become stranded on the freeway,” said Dinah Massie, Acting Executive Director and Chief Information Officer at Houston TranStar. “It is critical for motorists to understand that when stranded, the safest place to stay is in your car.”
According to a Harris County Institute of Forensic Science study, most vehicles break down because of mechanical problems. Whether motorists are trying to change a tire, make a repair, or are waiting for help, the study found that 74 percent of deaths occurred while these motorists were outside their vehicles. So even after you have called for help, the safest place to stay is in your car.
TranStar offers the following tips for staying safe if your vehicle is disabled:
- Stay buckled in your vehicle
- Turn on your vehicle’s flashing hazard lights
- Pull as far off the road as possible, preferably exit the freeway entirely
- Call 713-881-3333 for help
- If someone is injured, always call 911
For more information about how to Travel Smart with TranStar, visit www.HoustonTranStar.org.
Houston Police Department’s South Gessner station is about to get a lot more action.
This past April, Captain Craig Bellamy began thinking about the station’s gym, which didn’t have many options beyond a few free weights. “We had a gym in place, but it wasn’t really working out,” said Bellamy. “With a new gym we’ll be able to have enough equipment to make it effective.”
Bellamy says he was surprised at the generosity of community donations, which made the new gym at the South Gessner station possible. About 2/3 of the $16,000 came from Brays Oaks Management District and 1/3 came from Southwest Management District. The gym should be completely finished and full of all the new equipment by the end of November, and the station is planning a dedication ceremony on December 20th with Houston Police chief Art Acevedo.
Personal fitness, while important for first responders to perform their best at work, is often overlooked. For members of the Houston Police Department, getting to the gym before or after work can present obstacles. For example, the Houston Police Department has a strict policy on gear; an officer cannot safely lock up their uniform and gear (including their gun or badge) in a public gym locker, which are prone to break-ins. Additionally, officers should not lock their gear up in their personal vehicle, for the same reason.
“Because of this situation, it means that an off duty officer may have to drive 20+ minutes to get home, change clothes, drop their items off, and then drive to the gym to workout. Having a great gym at the station allows them to use their work lockers,” explained Captain Bellamy. “If we can eliminate [the detour and the issue with safely locking up their gear], it gives officers peace of mind. It’s safer. Working out is something all officers should be doing, but it’s not mandated except for the Tag Team.”
Will more officers at the South Gessner station be working out regularly? “I think so,” says Bellamy. “Some of the new equipment is installed and there is an uptick in cardio already. […] We’ll also have more diverse equipment that work on every part of the body, which is something officers had requested. There is a lot of excitement. The new weight machines will be plate loaded so there isn’t a need for a spotter.”
Does this mean working out will be expected? Bellamy tells us it isn’t a Houston Police Department policy but it’s something all police officers should include in their daily life, for endurance on the job and stress relief. Personal wellness shouldn’t be overlooked. “There isn’t an excuse to not use the gym now, and I think more officers will get in better shape. We can include their workout progress in their performance reviews and include fitness goals.”
The Houston Police Department is inviting Houston area high school students to apply for the 2017-2018 Youth Police Advisory Council (YPAC).
Students will address issues affecting youth and the community, participate in community service projects and attend youth leadership conferences throughout the state. Additionally, the YPAC meets regularly with Chief of Police Art Acevedo and other top HPD officials.
YPAC members are required to meet five times during the school year at the HPD Edward A. Thomas Building at 1200 Travis in downtown Houston.
Applications are available online at www.houstontx.gov/police/vip/images/ypac-app.pdf. The deadline to apply is Monday, October 9, 2017.
Dear Brays Oaks Community,
National Night Out is back on at Fiesta (West Bellfort/ Fondren) on Oct 3rd see flyer attached. Please let me know if you would like to participate or have an organization who would like to participate. We will have free food, entertainment and lots of vendors/partnering organizations. The District will provide tents, tables and chairs for our strategic partners. This year we would like to actively promote the tremendous work the Houston Police Department does for our community by asking the community to consider donating to the local storefront. The HPD storefront located at the site of the event is managed by several HPD DRT officers and a team of volunteers and is financed 100% by donations from the community. If you would like to make a donation please email Barbara Hite at firstname.lastname@example.org or come out and consider making a contribution. Please get the word out and we hope to see you all soon.
Richard Rodriguez Jr., MBA
Brays Oaks Management District
Solid Waste Management reminds flood victims of the ongoing collection of storm debris. Please place debris at the curb separated into the following piles:
• Vegetative Debris – leaves, logs, plants, tree branches (do not bag).
• Construction & Demolition Debris – carpet, drywall, furniture, lumber, mattresses.
• Appliances – dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, stoves, washers, water heaters
• Electronics – computers, radios, stereos, televisions, other devices with a cord.
• Household Hazardous Waste – cleaning supplies, batteries, lawn chemical, oils, oil-based paints, stains and pesticide.
Do not stack debris near trees, cars, fire hydrants, meters, poles or other structures.
If you would like dispose of junk or tree waste yourself, visit your nearest Neighborhood Depository/Recycling Centers, open 7-days a week from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. until further notice.
Visit www.houstonsolidwaste.org for more information.
The unfolding catastrophe due to Hurricane Harvey is staggering! Sadly, the death toll has risen to 29 lives lost. The number of people in shelters continues to rise, new mandatory evacuations due to Barker Dam Reservoir flooding Cinco Ranch in Fort Bend County, Texas and evacuations in Beaumont/Port Arthur continue. The water system is down in Beaumont, making living conditions extremely difficult. A chemical plant explosion in Crosby, Texas at the Arkema facility has forced additional evacuations.
A massive response continues to ramp up. More than 750 police officers from Fort Worth, Shreveport, San Antonio and other cities are arriving to assist Houston police for enforcement of nighttime curfews and relief and recovery efforts. There are 14,000 Texas National Guard and an additional 10,000 National Guard from multiple states, 33 U.S. Coast Guard helicopters and 700 marines have been deployed, and 2 Navy warships have been deployed to the Gulf of Mexico coast to assist in the relief efforts. More than 25,000 rescues have taken place.
More than 32,000 people were in more than 230 shelters overnight with 10,000 people in shelters in the Beaumont/Jefferson County areas. More than 1,100 evacuees have registered in Dallas shelters. In Port Arthur 250 senior citizens had to be evacuated from several nursing homes due to flooding. Four mega shelters are now open (3 in Houston and 1 in Dallas). The Red Cross spends on average $50 per day to provide mass feeding and sheltering for one person. Therefore, we are now averaging upwards of $1.6M per day just for sheltering/feeding.
With assistance from numerous partners, including the Salvation Army and local food banks, thousands of meals are being provided per day. FEMA states they have received more than 325,000 applications for assistance. That number is expected to dramatically increase. Longer-term once disaster assessments begin the American Red Cross will also provide financial assistance to some families affected.
More than half of the Red Cross emergency response fleet – 200 emergency response vehicles – have been activated for the operation. There are at least 9 refineries shut down due to Harvey, which will impact fuel availability throughout the region.
Red Cross volunteers are being joined by a group of highly-skilled volunteers from the Mexican Red Cross who will help support shelters, distribute aid and connect with Spanish speaking disaster survivors to keep them informed about support available to them.
With blood products prepositioned in Houston and Dallas ahead of the storm, the Red Cross continues to work closely with local, state and federal authorities to deliver blood and platelets to hospital partners in flood affected areas.
Additional Shelter Information
Find open shelters by visiting redcross.org, downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. Shelters are standing by in other states, including Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arkansas, in case they are needed. You can also call 2-1-1 for shelter information, download the FEMA app or text SHELTER and your zip code to 4FEMA (43362).
The need is massive! Thank you to all who have given already. For those who have not we urge you to consider how you can help.
Stay safe everyone!
Mark Baker | Senior Corporate Major Gifts Officer
Community Donation/Distribution Center
In Need of:
- Clothes/ Shoes
- Baby Items
- Bed Linens
- Air Mattress
- Personal Hygiene Items
- Paper Goods ( Paper Towels, Toilet Paper Etc.)
- School Supplies
Donations may be made from August 30th Thru September 9th between the hours of 8:00AM to 8:00 PM at either Store Front location.
6227 SOUTHWEST FWY
7576 W. BELLFORT