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It is spring break time, and many Katy ISD families have plans to hit the road for fun activities throughout the next week. Before starting vacation, the Katy ISD office of emergency management reminds families to be safe by planning ahead and taking necessary precautions. Katy ISD’s spring break is March 12 to 16.

Before starting a vacation, it is important for families to develop a safety plan. In general, it is best for the family to stay together, so that they can watch out for each other. However, when visiting places like large amusement parks, not every family member may want to do the same things. Therefore, it is smart to develop a communication plan before arriving.

“So often, we rely on preprogrammed numbers in our cell phones; however, cell phones get lost,” says John Bremer, Katy ISD emergency management coordinator. “That is why it is important that each family member memorize one or two phone numbers of other family members.”

When on road trips, there may be times when the family stops at a rest stop, gas station, or restaurant with a car full of family belongings. Think about what you choose to leave in the car. Don’t leave purses, passports, credit cards, money, or small valuables; take those things with you or hide them in your car or trunk prior to stopping.

“One thing to keep in mind while on a road trip is that driving ability can be compromised by many things,” adds Bremer. “It goes without saying, do not drink alcohol and drive, and do not text and drive. Also keep in mind that heat and dehydration can make a driver sleepy. So stay hydrated, cool, and, if tired, have another adult take the wheel.”

ATMs are a great way to be able to travel without having to carry large sums of money, but they are often a target for criminals. Be careful at the ATM. Do not keep your PIN anywhere near your ATM card, and if the ATM does not seem right or does not function properly, leave and report it to your bank immediately. As you approach ATM machines, look around and pay attention for people who may be watching you.

Finally, the Katy ISD office of emergency management reminds families to keep their homes secure while they are away. Empty and unwatched homes can be a target for burglars. Ask the neighbors or family friends to watch your home and report any suspicious activity, and don’t leave hidden keys around the exterior of your home.

By following some of these tips, you can ensure that your family will enjoy a safe and memorable spring break. Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.