As a Parent, yesterday’s news about the 2 Year old at Disney World Resort getting killed by an Alligator was gut wrenching for me. My family’s thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the child during this very hard time.
Every time there is a tragedy like this, it is inedible that questions start popping up as to the HOW. Well, besides the obvious fact that the parents were letting their two kids play in ankle-deep water in a man-made lagoon after hours, there really is nothing to say. I am aware that there was a “No Swimming” sign posted, but the kids were not technically “swimming” they were more like “wading”. No, I think the point that needs to be made here is that sometimes when on vacation we FORGET where we TRULY are.
Yes, the family was at Disney World Resort, but where were they truly GEOGRAPHICALLY located? The answer is that they were really in the state of Florida where alligator ” bites” because of human “encroachment has seen a recent uptick. Now I know most of you are saying that Disney World should have warned the guest about the possibility of Alligators being in the man-made lake due to the maze like series of canals that surround the park. Yes, I agree and I am sure some sharp-witted Attorney is at this very moment preparing to offer to sue Disney World over that very point. The fact however that really matters in this case is that in the past 20 years in Florida there has been 16 Fatalities involving Alligator Attacks.
At the end of the day folks, YOU and YOU ALONE are responsible for the safety of you and your family. Not the Hotel where you are staying, Not the Hotel Security Staff, Not the Florida Fish and Game Service and NOT the Sheriff or Police Dept., YOU!!
I say this statement with confidence but at the end of the day the trouble with it is no matter how “Situationally Aware” you aim to be, when you go on Vacation you are often “Lulled” into complacency by your surroundings. Think about it. They were staying at Disney World Resort, a swanky place of fantasy and adventure, and like any parent when their kids are really young, they were focused on their kids having the time of their lives and NOT thinking about Alligator Attacks or Physical Security or anything else along those lines.
This scenario is more common than you think. Consider the travelling businessman who has to go to some East Coast metropolis to close a deal. He books himself in at a swanky Hotel with a good, solid reputation and because of that, his situational awareness (if he had any in the first place) get’s downgraded…why? Because of his posh surroundings, he has FORGOTTEN where he REALLY is, which is a city whose crime rate is one of the highest in America, and as soon as he steps out of those Hotel doors, because of his lowered awareness and “non” presence of mind, he gets mugged, assaulted or murdered. Happens all the time.
Bottom line guys is no matter where you are going, whether on vacation or on a business trip, do your RESEARCH about the GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION of your destination; not just the hotel or theme park where you are going, but the AREA surrounding the Hotel as well. Actual crime stats on the State, City and/or County where you are going is a good start. You will be surprised at the information you can find out with some simple Google searches.
Remember to always CYA (Cover Your Ass) because nobody else is going to do it for you!
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous Out There!