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It is a situation, as is hijacking, which we hear about often, dread that it might happen to us, but put it out of our mind, in this violent society of ours in South Africa. After having experienced it I would like to share the following with each and everyone out there. It might make a huge difference of how you experience the invasion in your life.

What should you do?

  • Activate the alarm if you can without them noticing.
  • Stay calm. Don’t argue or make sudden movements.
  • Don’t try to be a hero. Do as you are told, don’t resist.
  • Give or tell them what they want. Keep them informed to prevent surprises.
  • Don’t look at them, but try and remember as much as you possibly can!
  • Give them time to leave. Note which way they are going.
  • Try to get a description of the vehicle if you can.

After the robbery:

  • Call the police – 10111 in South Africa
  • Ensure that the victims are ok, reassure everyone involved.
  • Notify next of kin.
  • Do not disturb the crime scene or touch anything that the robbers may have touched
  • Try to remember as much detail as you possibly can about the intruders, type of weapon, direction of flight, type of vehicle, objects touched and what is missing.
  • Seek counselling if you experience: suspicion of strangers, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, forgetfulness, insomnia, feelings of guilt, loss of self confidence.
  • Don’t think that you can cope on your own. I recommend that one sees a councillor in any case! Talk to anyone about the incident who will listen. Get it out of your system.

Putting your life together. It can be a roller coaster ride if you don’t know what you need where and when:

  • Stop your banking and retail cards, to prevent withdrawals and purchases.
  • Blacklist your cell phone. You will need the IMEI number of your phone, it’s a barcode on the box, both the police and insurance will want it. Get the sim card blocked and get the ITC number from the provider for the insurance.
  • List the stolen items for the police and insurance.
  • Get the case number from the police.
  • Get an affidavit for personal documents that were stolen like Identity Document and Driver’s licence.
  • Report the incident to your Insurance Company/ broker who will send you the applicable forms they will need the case number for the incident.
  • You will need cash to apply for your new documents. Beg or borrow if you don’t have a means to draw from your accounts.
  • Apply for sim card switch for mobile phone to retain the original number
  • Take photographs for ID document and drivers licence.
  • Apply for temporary and ID documents. Take money, photos and affidavit from police.
  • Remember that you’ll need temporary ID to apply for driver’s licence and new banking cards.
  • Apply for an auto bank card which is issued immediately, to give you access to your internet banking.
  • Apply for new retail cards and replacement cards for loyalty programs.
  • Replace locks and keys.

Lessons learned:

  • Keep your doors locked. If it is warm and you leave your door open for circulation, keep the screen door locked.
  • Keep your surround alarm on at all times.
  • Don’t leave important documents around where your employees can get a sneak peak.
  • Synchronise and Save your contacts from your mobile to your computer  so that you at least still have vital numbers at hand, but I’m going back to pen and paper, because should they take both mobile and computer you are left without any numbers.
  • Listen with love to others who experienced something similar, you can help them immensely.

Life File habits that made things easier:

  • Keep certified copies of Identity document, Passport and Driver’s licence in your file.
  • Scan them into your computer or keep them on a memory stick.( Especially helpful when travelling)
  • Keep warranties/instruction booklets with invoice of purchased household goods. Sort them under appropriate labels to access them easily.
  • Keep valuations of jewellery and watches up to date or at least have proof of purchase.
  • Instead of keeping the boxes, list the important numbers which appear on boxes of electronic equipment like computers, laptops and mobile phones store them with the warranty instruction booklets and invoices.

“Enjoy life today: yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.”

Taken from: To Achieve Your Dreams, Remember Your ABCs by Wanda Carter

Heidi Meyer

Professional Organiser
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