What Should You Do if You Have a Missing or Stolen Package?

With the postal system nowadays, it can sometimes be easy for packages to get lost. Most of the time, if you are searching for a missing package, odds are that a stranger swiped it. As a matter of fact, around 26 million packages were stolen in 2019. With those staggering statistics, there are a few things you can do in order to minimize this from happening to you.

What to Do If You’re Sure Your Package Has Been Stolen

  1.  File a Police Report

After exhausting all your options and you are sure that your package has been stolen, you need to first call the police. If you do not have evidence or witnesses, they can only take note of the incident. You might get lucky and find that theft has been occurring around your neighborhood recently, making it a possibility that the police can do more. If this isn’t the case, they won’t do much investigation, but at least can file a report.

  1. Contact the Sender

More often than not, the stolen package is something that you ordered. If this is the case, contacting the seller will be helpful. You will want to contact them and make sure that your package was in fact delivered, and telling them that you didn’t receive it, will give you the best option for a refund. Not all companies will be understanding and send a replacement or refund, but it won’t hurt to report it. Be sure you have some proof that it was delivered and you didn’t receive it. By using the police report you will be able to prove that it was in fact stolen.

If this happens with a package that was sent by family or friends, you should also let them know it hasn’t been delivered. They can then reach out to the seller and get more information on what has happened.

Things That You Can Do to Prevent Package Theft

If you want to be proactive about your packages, you can do a few things to prevent this from occurring. Catching them on video will be your best option. If you have a security camera or Ring doorbell device, this will be helpful for catching thieves. Purchasing a motion sensor light and alarm is beneficial as well. Receiving these alerts on your phone can ensure what you are up to date on all that is happening on your property.

You can shop for a number of smart doorbells and home security cameras these days online or in stores. Some send instant alerts through apps, and others simply record footage, but arming yourself with proof of delivery or theft by installing one on your porch will eliminate issues with stolen packages moving forward.

How To Find Out If You Live in a Flood Zone

If you ever have viewed your neighborhood from a satellite image, you will be surprised by what you are seeing. The layout might be different than you have expected, and knowing the curving streets and areas of wilderness will be beneficial in many ways. It is smart to evaluate the risks your home or neighborhood may face, and what to do in order to protect yourself and your family.

Be Sure to Check the FEMA Flood Map

FEMA stands for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and has tools that make it easy to see if you are living in a flood zone. This map can show information like floodways, potential flood zones, and your home’s risk level. Along with those features, this map offers topographical and infrastructural information about leeches, coastal barriers, and a base flood line.

Understanding flood zones

Specific flood zones are labeled alphabetically, from Zone A, Zone B, etc. These labels are given to help determine flood risk and set flood insurance rates and terms for housing. Here is a quick rundown of what the most common flood zones mean for you and your house.

  1. Zone A: This is the most common flood zone, and if you live here it means you’re in a special flood hazard area that’s not coastal. The type of Zone A that applies to your home will impact your flood insurance premium.
  2. Zone B: Homes in Zone B face a moderate flood hazard risk.
  3. Zone C: Homes in Zone C face a minimal flood hazard risk.
  4. Zone D: This zone indicates a possible risk of flooding, but the hazard level is undetermined.
  5. Zone V: This is a special flood hazard area with a high risk for floods in coastal areas.
  6. Zone X: On newer flood insurance rate maps, Zones B and C are identified as Zone X.

Keep Track of Any Changes

With construction changing, topography, floodplains, and flood zone designs will change over time. If you haven’t recently checked, it would be in your best interest to do some more research. These zones usually change every five years or so, and keeping an eye on these newly updated zones will help you to be better prepared.

Look Into Flood Insurance

After looking into your town and seeing that you do in fact live in a flood zone, it will be in your best interest to get flood insurance. While floods are much more common than house fires, most homeowners don’t invest in this type of insurance. You can get this type of insurance through private carriers, or through government-sponsored agencies.

This type of insurance costs around $200 to $800 a year, but by looking at your options, costs could be decreased. Doing research can lower your costs and also give you the most up to date and accurate information on this type of insurance.

Think About Installing Flood Sensors

A flood sensor is a huge way to prevent your home from flooding because these devices notify households of water leaks. These sensors can detect leaks from water heaters, washing machines, and weather-related leaks. These sensors can be integrated into your home security systems and will prove to be very beneficial in an emergency.

The Best Pepper Sprays for Self-Defense

In any situation, pepper spray is always a powerful substance that can temporarily cause blindness and burning pain in the mouth and eyes of an attacker, allowing you to getaway. When it comes to non-lethal self-defense, this substance is one of the best. Pepper spray is legal in all 50 states but does have some restrictions.

Whether you are looking to fend off an animal or an attacker, you should have the best pepper spray brands in mind, just in case.

  1. Sabre Red Pepper Gel: The best overall pick.

The Sabre Red Pepper Gel spray, which costs around $20, is one of the most popular sprays on the market.  Part of its success comes down to its main ingredients, which is a gel. Gel-based sprays are a good liquid-based option that is heavier than aerosol sprays, making it more effective. This is a huge advantage because it is less likely to get into your eyes while trying to fend off an attacker.

This pepper spray is easy to aim, and has one of the longest ranges on the market, making it effective at around 18 feet. Due to this long-range, you can protect yourself long before an attacker can get close to you. This spray comes in a small canister, but unfortunately has no clip option, only a holster.

  1. Sabre 3-in-1 Pepper Spray: The best choice for someone who is budget-conscious.

The Sabre 3-in-1 Pepper Spray, costing around $10, is the most traditional aerosol pepper spray. This multipurpose spray includes CS tear gas that can cause extra irritation, along with an invisible UV dye to mark attackers in the case of an incident.  The size of this spray bottom is a bit small but can hold up to 25 bursts, offering a decent 10-foot range. A perk of this spray is that it is small, and you can put it onto a keychain, which makes it easy to use and easy to carry around.

This spray can last for around 3 to 4 years, depending on the use. The blowback is a bit more common but does offer a safety switch on the top, making sure that it doesn’t get on clothes or inside a purse when it’s not in use.

  1. Sabre Red Pepper Gel Spray for Runners

The Sabre Red Pepper Gel Spray for runners costs $13 and can combine the accuracy of gel-based sprays with a small package. This makes it easy to take on your daily run and comes with a convenient strap that keeps it at the ready so that you can respond quickly to threats.

This spray can hold 35 bursts, making this brand the most available on the market. This is ideal for runners because it has a very accurate spray range, which is around 12 feet. Because the range of this spray is a bit shorter, it has less blowback. You can rotate the canister to fit the back of your hand or hold it on your wrist.

  1. Fox Labs Mean Green: The best spray for marking an attacker.

Fox Labs is another one of the most well-known brands in the world and offers options at low costs. This particular model costs $19 and gets its name from the green dye it sprays on attackers. Unlike other brands that use these types of dyes, it does not require a backlight in order to show up.

This is a high-quality non-lethal weapon, which makes it great for pockets and purses because it has no exposed trigger. This model is a bit safer to use because it is also a gel-spray. The range that this offers is around 15 feet, making it easy to maintain a safe distance while in a situation where you are being attacked.  The only drawback of this model is that it doesn’t come with separate carrying options. There is no clip, holster or keychain attachment, and if you would like this, you must purchase separately.

  1. Mace Brand Triple Action: The most compact pepper spray.

Mace, which is another name for pepper spray, is offered by a very well known company who has been making this product for years. It doesn’t have the popularity as the others have but still offers small yet effective pepper spray options. This product costs $14 and is the smallest pepper spray on the list.

It offers a flip-top design, making it secure in your pockets and backpacks. This also comes with a smaller keychain so that it can be added to your car keys. Along with its small features, it is packed with tear gas and UV dyes, making it a perfect and affordable option.

The Best Remote Car Starters

Until you use a key fob that can remote start your car, you won’t understand how ideal this type of electronic device is. Having a key fob for your car can warm up your car before getting in it, can start your car from inside, and also begin to cool your car off if the weather is hot. Having a remote start is cutting edge technology, offering you a keyless entry into your vehicle.

If you have decided to go keyless, then you will need to look into the best remote car starters on the market today. CrimeStopper has a remote that works for a variety of vehicles within a 3,000-foot range. You can enjoy the convenience of its LCD screen pager that can count down your remote start option and can even add features if needed.

The Top 4 Remote Car Starters

  1. CrimeStopper Rs7-G5: This is the best overall starter.

This remote starter can support two vehicles. It has a two-way communication system, an LCD pager, and a countdown to start your vehicle. This device is compatible with most vehicles and has an impressive 3,000-foot range, allowing you to start your car from across the parking lot or even down the street. This can be controlled from a mobile application, that is available for iOS users or Android users.

  1. Avital 4105L: This is the best car starter for your budget.

If you are looking for the basics, this remote starter is the one for you. It has two key fobs that can provide two different cars with keyless entry, trunk release, and remote starts from 1,500 feet away. Additionally, you can program how long your vehicle should run while using the remote start option and can monitor your fuel efficiency. The only downside to this starter is that the communication is only one way, so you will have no way of knowing if your vehicle has responded.

  1. Viper 530fV: This offers the best security.

This remote starter has been called the Cadillac of car starters because it is loaded with great features that give other brands a run for their money.  This two-way remote starter has an LCD display, automatic trunk release, and a vehicle temperature readout. Of course, the features are ideal, but its security features really set this model apart. The Viper 530fV is equipped with a six-tone siren, remote encryption, and a car alarm.

Unlike the other options, this application and the physical car remote is sold separately. Once purchasing this starter, you must also look into getting a subscription for the application it is used with. The system has gotten rave reviews and is a great investment to look into.

  1. Python 5706: This offers the best range.

If you are serious about range, then investing the extra money in this starter will be best for you. You can transmit its signal for up to a mile, which translates to around 5,000 feet. The starter is loaded with the basics of a car remote system and offers a ton of additional features. This model is a bit on the more expensive side but is full of features that matter. From its vehicle compatibility to the system that utilizes it, this stater is a great option.

The Best Neighborhood Safety Tools

If you are thinking about beginning to look into crime statistics before moving or searching for safety initiatives, then look no further. We have put together a list of various options in order to aid you in making the best decision when choosing a safety tool. With all the websites and applications that are out there for community betterment, there are a lot of things to look for. This article will cover which websites are the best for tracking large crime, crime monitoring, and community safety.

With community safety efforts comes social responsibility. While monitoring the community you are looking into relocating to, you must also remember not to pre-judge or profile the individuals living there. Making sure that you are using these tools in order to build the community, and not divide it.

Top-Rated Programs for Neighborhood Safety

  1. AreaVibes

This type of program helps you to find the best place to live, based on all the factors you deem important. All you have to do is enter your state, city, neighborhood, and address into the search box. From there, this website will plot your location on a map, proving you with its livability score, which ranges from 1 to 100.

This site will also map and rank the areas that are nearby to the town, according to various factors. Along with this information, you will also receive scores based on other states’ averages and national averages. A letter grade will also be given for each city, ranging from A+ to F.

AreaVibes custom search function sets it apart from other tools, allowing you to search for locations based on crime, education, housing, and amenities. If a crime is the main reason for your search, then this application will quickly and easily compare your town to several other towns and cities in the area. You can even break down the types of crime and check any reported incident. Additionally, this site can show statistics and crime trends, comparing it to different regions and nearby cities.

Cost: Free to use.

  1. The Neighbors App

The Neighbors App, made from Ring, is one of the newest neighborhood tools online. Ring is known for their doorbell cameras and home security systems and strikes again by bringing an online neighborhood watch program. The perk of using this application is that you do not have to be a ring customer, and can also be used by other community members and the police in your area. You can also contribute your own tips as well, anonymously.

In addition to its neighborhood safety functions, you can look up information on the community, search for lost pets, and also submit information if needed. This application definitely has its pros and cons, but a great reputation for quality products and services.

Cost: This application is free to use.

  1. NeighborhoodScout

This application can provide crime statistics and other local yet important information to help you decide a new place to move to. You can compare neighborhoods based on the overall crime rate, violent crime rate, and then the property crime rate. By doing this, you can compare your neighborhood against other cities and state averages. What makes this application great is that users can outline specific crime rate areas, by the distance or miles from an address.

NeighboorhoodScout allows you to create a custom search for your new neighborhood, and help you to identify the area you should move to, based on your qualifications. From there, you can always compare neighborhoods in any state you choose.

Cost: Most of the site is free, but the more detailed reports might cost a small fee.

  1. FamilyWatchdog

FamilyWatchdog directly finds registered sex offenders in any neighborhood you chose to search in. All you must do is type in the location or address to this website’s search box, and the site generates a map pinpointing the addresses of nearby sex offenders. Color-coded icons relate to what crimes were committed, included carious sex crimes, sexual battery, rape, and crimes against children. Once you see the icons, you can click on each one to find their names, where they are located, and what they have been convicted of. If you are looking for a specific man or woman, you can search for them by name.

While investigating this website, you can sign up for alerts whenever a registered sex offender moves in or out of your neighborhood. You can receive additional and detailed information about these offenders, and receive information about personal safety tips, facts about sexual abuse, and articles about the community.

Cost: This application is a free service, but you will be asked to sign up for a subscription if you want additional background reports.

  1. CrimeReports

CrimeReports can map crime data from more than 1,000 law enforcement agencies, working together to keep your community safe. You can search CrimeReports based on region, zip code, or law enforcement agencies to view maps with icons, which identify recent police activity. You can narrow down the search for more specific types of crime, and by clicking on each icon, can then view a range of details about each incident.

This website filters can allow you to narrow down your crime search rate by the date, day of the week, time of the day, and incident type. You can sign up for periodic crime alerts, register your home security camera, and submit tips. By zooming out of your neighborhood, CrimeReports will show you incident trends that are easy to read, allowing you to see how many crimes were committed over the last 15 days.

Cost: CrimeReports is free to use.

  1. SpotCrime

SpotCrime maps the crimes in your area and can deliver alerts on email, text, and some social media platforms. This app will gather data from news reports, law enforcement agencies, and user tips, to represent crime statistics. Each crime is represented by icons, making it easy to see what activities take place in your neighborhood. By clicking on each icon that this site brings up, can make it easy to see what the crime was, where it took place and a link that will give more information about each incident. The sources of these crimes are most likely from law enforcement officers. This application does not go as in-depth as the other sites listed, but is still user friendly and incredibly visual. Users can get a quick look at crimes around their neighborhood.

Cost: This application is free to use.