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Holiday Safety Tips

With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged Americans to stay home with immediate family and/or celebrate virtually this holiday season; yet, an estimated 50 million people will be keeping their Thanksgiving travel plans, down from 55 million last year (AAA). According to Hopper’s new Holiday Travel Confidence Report, 39% of people say they plan to travel during the holidays this year, while 21% have said they do not plan to travel, though in a typical year they would. Among those who are planning to travel for the holidays, roughly 50% say they plan to take a flight for Thanksgiving, and nearly 75% plan to fly for the December holidays.

It’s obvious that many are feeling isolated this year, willing to risk traveling during the pandemic to spend quality time with loved ones. Work and school schedules are more flexible this year, allowing those traveling the opportunity for an extended stay. The CDC has outlined all considerations to slow the spread of COVID-19  during these holiday gatherings, but travelers should also know the mandated local restrictions for wherever they’re going, especially if there is a quarantine requirement.

Furthermore, our team at Delta has compiled a comprehensive holiday safety guide for whatever your 2020 celebrations entail.

Travel Safety

Before You Go:

  • Get a flu shot.
  • Consider bringing your own food, drinks, plates, utensils, etc.
  • Pack extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
  • Do not share your travel schedule on social media that is open to the public.
  • Unplug all the appliances to avoid power surge and electrical fire.
  • Lock the doors, windows and other entry points; purchase a security camera to keep an eye on your home; put indoor/outdoor lights on an automated timer.
  • When leaving for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.

During/After:

  • Try to avoid driving alone or at night and keep your doors locked.
  • When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
  • Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
  • Wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Park as close as you can to your destination, preferably somewhere with good lighting.
  • If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a police station, mall, or well-lighted location. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need and do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
  • When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.

At-Home Safety 

Décor:

  • When decorating for the Holidays, make sure exits and passageways are clear inside your home.
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons, or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
  • If you use lights on your Christmas tree, ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed as that can cause a fire. Keep trees green by placing in wet sand or water.
  • Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.
  • To deter property-related crime, mark with an operation identification number. For items that cannot be marked with an engraver, photograph or videotape the items.
  • Keep your pets away from open flames like candles and fireplaces.
  • Place the flowers, plants, and bouquets carefully; Poinsettias, holly berries, and mistletoe are toxic to pets.

In the Kitchen:

  • Never leave food when frying or using high cooking temperatures on stove/oven and don’t forget to use a timer.
  • Turkey should be cooked to a temp of 165°F; use a food thermometer to confirm the internal temperature.
  • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
  • Do not handle cooked and raw food together.
  • Wash your hands each time you handle raw meat and when finished cooking the dinner.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 days; or freeze them to enjoy later.
  • Only share boneless and cooked meat with pets and know which dishes might have toxic ingredients to pets in them.

Gathering together:

  • Consume food and drinks outdoors whenever possible.
  • Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.
  • Eat something before consuming alcoholic beverages; high protein foods take longer to digest and slow the absorption of alcohol into your system.
  • Know your limit of alcoholic beverages and NEVER drink and drive.
  • Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests or arrange for an official designated driver for your party.

Shopping Safety

  • Shop during daylight hours when possible; if shopping at night, go with a friend or family member. There is safety in numbers.
  • Dress casually and comfortably; avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Always carry your Driver’s License/ID, necessary cash, checks, and/or credit cards in your front shorts/pants pockets.
  • Be alert and aware by maintaining confident body language. Don’t get distracted by crowds, selecting the right gift, or preoccupied with ongoing holiday activities.
  • Place any valuables in the trunk before you go shopping. Criminals are in the parking lots watching what you put in your car.
  • Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car and keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag, and parcels; Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
  • Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area; turn around and head back into the store and ask the mall or store security for an escort to your vehicle.
  • Get in your car and leave. Don’t start texting or talking on the phone or balancing your checkbook. Lock the doors and leave.
  • When shopping online, make sure you are dealing with a reputable online store. On checkout, before entering your payment information, make sure the page is encrypted and secure. Keep your anti-virus, anti-phishing software up to date. Check the return policy before placing your order.
  • Only donate to a recognized charitable organization. Criminals will take advantage of people’s generosity by soliciting donations for charitable causes, although no charity is involved.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through windows or doors of your home.
  • After opening gifts, don’t advertise to criminals of your big-ticket item with your trash. Tear down and cut up product boxes into small pieces to fit into garbage and recycling cans.
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