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Thread: How to be safer in the DR - Compilation of tips by DR1 Members

  1. #11
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    I'd like to see something about what to wear or what not to wear so as not to appear a 'tourist' - for both men and women (besides the obvious camera, hawaiian shirt). Ro

  2. #12
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    The new generation of wireless security devices, including motion sensors, are not only effective, they are very easy to install and operate-literally "plug and play".

    I had a break-in in my Tampa home recently (musta spooked the perps when I came home, because the two items taken were found on the ground outside). Ironically, I had my home "speced" for a system just a couple of weeks before by the husband of one of my employees, a guy who has become regarded locally as somewhat of a guru in the field of home/business alarms. At his suggestion, I found numerous on-line DIY technical sources, some quite cost-effective, for the new generation wireless alarms, including motion sensor-triggered wireless cameras that record onto a hard drive. A combination of wireless motion sensors and door/window/cameras trips can secure the perimeter zone as well as the interior effectively.

    These devices are small, could be brought into the country very easily, and all that has to be done is install a batteries and stick them in strategic locations on the walls. No internal wiring. The master panel has to be installed near a phone line and power, if you want one that calls either a monitoring service or your cell phone.

    My friend referred me to this website (he has no interest in it; it's where he, as a pro, bought stuff for his home): Home Security Store - Wireless Security Systems for Home Protection . There is also an exceellent BBS/forum on this site where security geeks hang, offering detailed discussions.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW-I live in one of the better, more secure neighborhoods in Tampa. Goes to show no one is immune from folks wanting to do harm.

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  4. #13
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    Default My two cents worth ...

    Wow what a lot of posts in just a few hours. Sunday morning too. Good stuff; and it seems mostly from “living-there” people.

    1. Tourists – let’s not alarm them but they should travel in groups; think about (and try to follow) the advice given here and elsewhere.

    2. Regular, repeat visitors – don’t get cocky after a few trips in which there were no incidents; read the advice on this thread and mull it over.

    3. Living-there people – I bow to the experts.

    My philosophy is – Most Domincanos are not crooks. Some of the not-crooks will take advantage and commit crimes of opportunity if someone who they think rich is careless. The very few who make their living (or most of their livelihood) from crime are almost impossible to thwart if they put their mind to it. You just have to encourage them to prefer to rob someone else; and/or you avoid the places and times of day (night) when they are prowling.

    Stress: attitude – attitude – attitude. I always dress down, moderately and try to act as if I know where I’m going. I’m not trying to pass for a Dominicano – just someone who knows his way around and is not worth the trouble of molesting; that is – not someone who is especially rich and not an especially easy target.

    Dressing down/moderately to me means: what in Canada would be work pants and work shirt, almost never short pants; scruffy ball cap or local straw hat.

    BTW safety – for new visitors especially – includes awareness of traffic and the low priority placed on pedestrian life. It is also awareness of the fact that you are responsible for yourself when you choose to: get on a boat, gua-gua, plane etcetera; walk that deserted path; eat that meal. You’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.

  5. #14
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    Standard apparel here is collared shirts or poloshirts, khakis or jeans, shoes and socks.
    this applies to all cities and towns. Shorts are considered to be "girly man" attire.
    Women in short shorts are considered hookers and will be so treated.
    Lots of jewelry? "Please come and rob me, mister"

    About money:

    Spread it out. The ATMs here will let you have enough for a dayor two. Plastic is accepted just about everywhere. CAsh in a couple of pockets.

    Be nice. If you are a visitor, be nice. You do not have to become "blood brothers" with the staff, but do be nice. Smile.

    Learn a few phrases, like "Cómo Estamos? " (the old-fashioned way to say HI!" Dominicans love to teach you how to speak...

    If you live here, know your neighbors. A sancocho on one of these evenings with beer, toasted casabe with garlic butter and chicken and a few pork chops....Rice, avocado....and this just for the closest neighbors...

    Dominicans love to ask personal questions: How much do you make.? How much did you pay for the house? stuff like that. Be very vague.

    In the cities of the "interior" , like where I live, the thieves are seldom "random". Often times they have ties to your help or are actually part of your help...

    Lights are good for nighttime protection. So are yappy little dogs. Big dogs tend to discourage people, and this is a good thing. Butthe yappy ones tell you someone strange is here...

    A firearm is for killing people. Showing it off doesn't do much unless you are willing to pull that trigger, and know how to do it! Train yourself if you can afford one.

    Someone once said that fences make for good neighbors. My mother sometimes talked about "spite fences" ....at any rate, good fences can be a major deterrant, especially now that razor wire is available... There are bushes that are beautiful and impenetrable, so a lot depends on your space.

    Enough ramblings..

    HB

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  7. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobraboy View Post
    The new generation of wireless security devices, including motion sensors, are not only effective, they are very easy to install and operate-literally "plug and play".

    I had a break-in in my Tampa home recently (musta spooked the perps when I came home, because the two items taken were found on the ground outside). Ironically, I had my home "speced" for a system just a couple of weeks before by the husband of one of my employees, a guy who has become regarded locally as somewhat of a guru in the field of home/business alarms. At his suggestion, I found numerous on-line DIY technical sources, some quite cost-effective, for the new generation wireless alarms, including motion sensor-triggered wireless cameras that record onto a hard drive. A combination of wireless motion sensors and door/window/cameras trips can secure the perimeter zone as well as the interior effectively.

    These devices are small, could be brought into the country very easily, and all that has to be done is install a batteries and stick them in strategic locations on the walls. No internal wiring. The master panel has to be installed near a phone line and power, if you want one that calls either a monitoring service or your cell phone.

    My friend referred me to this website (he has no interest in it; it's where he, as a pro, bought stuff for his home): Home Security Store - Wireless Security Systems for Home Protection . There is also an exceellent BBS/forum on this site where security geeks hang, offering detailed discussions.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW-I live in one of the better, more secure neighborhoods in Tampa. Goes to show no one is immune from folks wanting to do harm.
    I checked the website - it's great. Does anyone know of a company on the north coast that specializes in that kind of product? - D

  8. #16
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    Default Speaking of gua-gua, public transportation, etc.

    I always wear my shirts out, for two reasons, hides the 9mm and helps keep the pickpockets out of my pockets.

    If waiting for a bus, beware of those that prefer to stand behind you, especially if you move and they do also. I moved 4 times once, and the guy kept getting behind me. So I moved away, turned and faced him with my hand under my shirt. He left. (Another reason to keep the shirts out, they don't know what's under it).

    If in a public vehicle, don't be nice and lean over to pick up something the person near you dropped. That is one of the techniques for exposing your pockets for pickpocketing.

  9. #17
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    Default If a verbal confrontation is unavoidable

    1) Listen to what the other person has to say
    2) Do not misinterpret excitability for aggression - if your Spanish is at beginner level, this is very easy to do
    3) After the confronter has spoken, explain your case politely, non-aggressively and as pleasantly as possible
    4) Be aware of body language: arms folded in front of your body, head on one side says 'make my day, idiot'. Make sure body language is non-provocative
    5) If all confronters' buddies join in shouting, seek to control 'interview' by lowering the volume of your voice. Eventually curiosity will take over & their volume will lower, too, because they can't hear you.
    6) Concede a few points along the way, even if you have to engineer it. This way you are taking heat out of situation. Remember Dominicans hate to loose face.
    7) After everyone has had their say, make eye contact with the one in the group who looks the most mischievous and try to inject humour into the situation. The humour should be pointed at you, not at confronter. Facilitating people to laugh at you takes the heat out of situation
    8) Always make 'friends' before encounter finishes. End on a handshake
    9) Remember you cannot quietly take control of the situation unless you are quietly in control of yourself
    10) If it transpires that you are the one in the wrong, admit it and apologise
    11) If confronter is drunk as a lord or coked out of his brains, ignore 1-10 and leave the situation. You cannot reason with someone who is not in full possession of their faculties.

    P.S. Mirador, this works for women, too. I am one and I've done it.
    Last edited by Lambada; 11-19-2006 at 12:50 PM.

  10. #18
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    Default Beirut or Santo Domingo, dunno?

    Quote Originally Posted by SantiagoDR View Post
    I always wear my shirts out, for two reasons, hides the 9mm and helps keep the pickpockets out of my pockets.
    Guy, are you trying to help or create an alarm? Hides your 9mm, wonderful. Geez, sure the DR is a swell place to retire to. All you need is a .50 caliber M2 machine gun placed at your entrance. Oh I forgot, remember to have it manned 24/7 just in case. I think this thread will hinder many from ever coming to the DR. I can know see people cancelling their tickets.

  11. #19
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    12) Set a good example by arguing differences of opinion on this board in a courteous and non-belittling fashion

  12. #20
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    No...many here carry a gun. I have met so many recently who have admitted to owning one. So, it is important to know this fact. Usually they are not exposed. They are concealed under the shirt. They are meant for defense. I don't think that will scare people away. But to come here and suddenly see them on hips or in pockets without being forewarned...that would be scary. Occasionally you will see someone pull his gun out and shift it to another location. Not knowing about guns here, this would be a surprise.

    Attach To Safety In Carro Publico: I had an incident where I entered a carro publico and a guy entered right behind me. He pressed up against me and started trying to get to my wallet. I realized something was wrong and shifted my weight and put my hand in my pocket. He then quickly exited the car. So, you need to be extra cautious in these carro publicos. You are pressed up against people.

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