As a reader of this site, you're probably familiar with the importance of home defense. Your home is your castle, and it's absolutely essential to keep it secure against intruders. You should also have an established escape plan in the event of fire, earthquake, or any other natural or man-made disaster. All of this seems like common sense—so why should any of it change when you're in a home away from home?
This may look like a fun place to stay, but a major disaster could turn it into a death trap if you're not...
Whether you're traveling for business or simply going on vacation, your home defense strategies must translate into your new surroundings. Staying in a hotel poses all sorts of challenges—you may suddenly be staying on the 8th floor, in close proximity to dozens of strangers, and in a city you're unfamiliar with. By not adapting your survival mindset to these new circumstances, you're leaving yourself wide open to danger.
Unless you live in a high-rise apartment complex, most of us aren't used to this sort of environment.
Always fill up your gas tank before parking for the night. It's convenient to start the next morning ready to go, and if there's an emergency (sudden family issue at home, severe weather forecasted, crisis resulting in civil unrest or fuel shortages) you can immediately get on the road.
Try to reverse park in the line of sight of your room's window. This will allow you to keep an eye on your vehicle, and pull out quickly if you need to leave.
Carry a door stop for the room door. A little added difficulty getting through the door doesn't hurt.
If possible, stay on the ground floor near the exit, or at least by the stair well. Obviously, this makes for easy and quick exit during a fire, but it also helps bring a GHB (get-home bag) without lugging it through the lobby in front of everybody.
Try to minimize anyone seeing when you leave your room. When you do leave—especially if you're storing valuables in the room—keep the “do not disturb” sign on the door and the TV on just loud enough to be heard through the door.
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