For those of you new to Chiriqui, we would like to provide you with some safety precautions for living here. For those of you who have been here awhile, this is a fresh reminder.
It is sad that we need to speak of these things, but you need to be prepared.
With recent increasing incidents of violent and nonviolent attacks on people and their homes, expats living in Chiriqui need to take extra precaution.
The reason you will be a target and your neighbor will not is that you are the easier target. The attacks and break-ins are not chosen at random. The thieves want to take what they can in the fastest easiest way they can. They are looking for an easy quick entrance and exit.
First and foremost, do not flaunt that you have cash, guns or anything of value. Do not wear glittery jewelry or dangle high priced cameras around your neck.
If you go out alone at night make sure you are in a well-lighted public area. Let people know where you are going to be. Get a buddy to call every day at the same time when both of you are finally home for the evening. Do your best to protect yourself, be smart. Make sure someone has your contact emergency information that can assist you in an emergency.
Protecting your contents is very important. No matter where you live, bars should always be on the windows and you should have a security door. It would also be preferable to have a walled home, gated home with razor wire. The more the thieves have to get through to get to you the more they lose interest.
Whether you are at home or away, keep all doors locked at all times. At night close windows and make sure window coverings can’t be seen through. Do not place valuable objects within sight of windows or near windows. Thieves have easy ways to snatch these items.
One of the most important things to give you peace of mind, if something should be taken, is making sure you have homeowners or renters policy. I think by now recent events have proven that those who say, “It won’t happen to me” all wished they would have had insurance to cover their losses. Do not wait until an event occurs. Procrastination can be very expensive consequence.
If someone does break into your home, do not fight. The best option is getting on the floor covering your head and staying still. Most break-ins are to get money and anything they can grab and go. Let them. It is not worth your life to try to fight them off and be killed. Cooperating is the best answer for your survival.
We all love living in Panama and with a little common sense, planning ahead and due diligence we can continue to live here without regret and be safe.
© 2015 Magda Crespo Panama Realty