Category Archives: Charley & Tracy Vega-Simple Self Defense for Women®

Charley & Tracy Vega are the co-founders of Simple Self Defense for Women® an award winning company that promotes the personal safety of women and their children with a focus on how to prevent, avoid and ESCAPE a potential attack, threat or abduction.

Simple Self Defense for Women® has been featured on the Marie Osmond TV Show, Lifetime television’s The Balancing Act, CBS Affiliate WKMG, WESH, The Daily Buzz, GalTime TV, The John Tesh Radio Show, Fox 35 News, My Bliss Magazine, Power Women Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, Gun World Magazine, She Knows TV, The Huffington Post & numerous others in addition to their own PBS television special.

Tracy Vega has 20 years experience in marketing and working for fortune 500 companies. She is the winner of the 3rd Annual Power Women Magazine & Radio Show “Woman of the Year” award for 2012 and the Woman of the Month for Every Way Woman Radio Talk Show. She has recently been appointed to the board of directors of the national non-profit organization Can You Identify Me. Tracy designed the ultra-modern TV studio and created the trademarked company logo. Tracy is an experienced martial artist who is also the business manager, responsible for market development, contract acquisition and social media. She is a regular blogger for the company, Balancing Act on Lifetime television and a guest blogger for The Ricki Lake Show.

Charley Vega has over 30 years’ experience in the martial arts. He is a Master Instructor of Combat Hapkido and has taught self-defense to thousands of men, women and children. Charley host his own internet television show demonstrating his martial arts expertise. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Nova SE University and has taught Business Management classes at a State College. He has held senior management positions with several fortune 500 companies including AT&T and Siemens. These companies have recognized him for outstanding achievement including the Excalibur Award, Breaking New Ground Award (4 times), Circle Of Excellence Award (6 times) and President’s Club Award (5 times). He is a published author and has been featured at several Barnes & Noble book signing events. Charley has been a guest speaker for Bank of America, Sprint, Caribbean Business, and the Department of Defense. Charley is the writer and executive producer of the PBS TV Show Simple Self Defense for Women®.

Together Charley & Tracy have designed and created the unique Simple Self Defense for Women® program.

Simple Self Defense for Women® has been featured on WKMG Channel 6 News, a CBS Affiliate, WESH Channel 2 News an ABC Affiliate, WNZF Radio, The Guetzloe Report, The Daily Buzz, GalTime TV, Lifetime Television The Balancing Act, the Daytona News Journal, Channel 13 News, My Bliss Magazine and more.

Tracy Vega has 20 years experience in marketing and working for fortune 500 companies. Tracy is the company’s creative director who designed the ultra-modern TV studio and created the trademarked company logo. Tracy is an experienced martial artist who is also the business manager who is responsible for market development, contract acquisition and social media. She is a regular blogger for the company and the Balancing Act on Lifetime television. Tracy’s professionalism has awarded her the support of many major corporations who are investing in the personal safety of women as clients and corporate sponsors which include American Signature Furniture, Vince Carter’s Embassy of Hope Foundation, State Farm, Halifax Hospital, Embry Riddle University, Bethune Cookman University, Ashworth Medical, Florida Hospital Memorial Center, Edward Jones Investments, Bright House Networks, Wal-Mart, University of Central Florida, The Daytona Beach Police Department and numerous others.

Charley Vega has 28 years’ experience in the martial arts. He is a Master Instructor of Combat Hapkido and has taught self-defense to thousands of men, women and children. Charley has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Nova SE University and has taught Business Management classes at a State College. He has held senior management positions with AT&T, Macy’s and Siemens and has been recognized for outstanding achievement including the Excalibur Award, Breaking New Ground Award (4 times), Circle Of Excellence Award (6 times) and President’s Club Award (5 times). Charley has been a featured guest on WMGF and WNDB Radio. He is a published author and has been featured at several Barnes & Noble book signing events. Charley has been a guest speaker for Bank of America, Sprint, Caribbean Business, and the Department of Defense. Charley is the writer and executive producer of the TV Show Simple Self Defense for Women®.

Together Charley & Tracy have designed and created the unique Simple Self Defense for Women® program.

10 Must-Know Holiday Hotel Travel Safety Tips

vega_holidaytravel

When it comes to travel, it doesn’t matter if you are an Elite Platinum Member or just a grandparent heading out for that once a year trip. You need to be concerned with your personal safety!

Below are 10 must know holiday hotel travel safety tips you should be aware of, before you even start packing. We want you to be ready when you make your first stop along the way.

  1. Let’s start with the basics. Always beware of your surroundings, when approaching your room.
  2. Don’t let the attendant at the front desk publicize your room number. If he or she announces it out loud when giving you your key, ask for a different room. Have them write the number and hand it to you.
  3. When possible, avoid staying on the first floor. Many safety experts recommend occupying a room somewhere between the third and sixth floors — where rooms are high enough to be difficult to break into; but not so high that they’re out of the reach of most fire engine ladders.
  4. Keep the door to your room locked at all times. If you are inside the room, turn the deadbolt and fasten the security chain and or/the boat latch. I would also recommend investing in a portable doorstop alarm. This is an item you can find on our website.
  5. Check the locks on the windows (and balcony door, if applicable) as soon as you arrive, and notify the front desk if any are not functioning. It’s a good idea to check these locks again each time you return to the room, as housekeeping may open them and forget to close them.
  6. When you leave your hotel room, pull the door completely closed behind you. Make sure the latch has engaged. Take a moment before you leave to try the door and make sure it is secure.
  7. Use the security view-port (peephole) to see who is outside your door before opening it. Do not trust someone claiming to be a hotel employee if you are not expecting one. If you are unsure, call the front desk to check. Leave the security chain engaged while opening the door for further protection.
  8. When leaving your room, turn the TV or radio on, and/or put your “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. Both of these tricks will give potential thieves the impression that you’re still there. (You can contact the front desk to arrange a housekeeping visit even if the “Do Not Disturb” sign is up.)
  9. The hotel parking lot and hallways should be well lit. Report any outages to the front desk and ask for a security escort if you feel unsafe. Always try to park under a light.
  10. When entering or leaving the hotel after dark, use the main entrance.

The safety tips in this article and many others can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women DVD. Please visit our website www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com for more details.

        Tracy Vega, Co-Founder- Simple Self Defense for Women

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7 Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

holiday_tracyvega

Can you believe the holiday shopping season is here? I laugh, now, looking back… My dad always had a backache the day after Thanksgiving; and now I know why. He didn’t want make the drive, fight the crowds, carry the packages and handle the kids while my mom shopped!

The one thing that hasn’t changed is that men still don’t like to go shopping, at least until Christmas Eve. What has changed is how dangerous it can be, if you aren’t aware of your surroundings. This is especially true for folks that don’t normally venture out to the mall or the big box stores during peak hours or with crowds.

Here are 7 simple safety tips to help make your holiday shopping experience a safe one!

  1. Tell someone where you plan to shop and about what time you expect to be home.
  • This is especially important for those who don’t normally go out very early or late.
  • Leave a note or tell someone where you plan to shop just in case. This can be very valuable if there is an accident or worse. It gives family, friends and police an idea where and when to start looking if you don’t return.
  1. Since holiday hours now start in the wee hours of the morning and go very late into the night, be sure to park under a light and as close to the entrance as possible.
  • Write down where you parked or even take a picture so you are not wandering looking for your car when you are ready to leave.
  1. Always have your pepper spray in your hand when you are walking to and from the car.
  2. Minimize the amount of items you carry in your purse during the holidays.
  • Only carry one credit card and a minimal amount of cash.
  • Leave all the extra pictures and personal items at home.
  • Always put your purse inside the car and lock the door (keep out your keys) before you start loading the car. NEVER leave it sitting out in the cart.
  • If someone tries to steal your purse, LET IT GO!! It’s not worth your life!
  1. Are you carrying more packages than you can manage? Can you barely see over the top of your cart?
  • Make multiple trips to your car if you are shopping at a mall or strip center. You don’t want to have so many packages in your arms that you have to lean them against the car or leave them in the cart where someone can walk by and grab them.
  • Put all items in your trunk or cover under your hatch. Don’t leave anything visible to the public.
  1. Avoid the ATM machines when possible. If you have to use one, go to a drive up and keep your pepper spray in your hand, only open the driver side window and stay alert to anyone around you.
  1. Parking lots are a place where people come and go. Pay close attention if you notice anyone lingering and acting suspicious. If in doubt, call and report it.

The safety tips in this article and many others can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women DVD and in our new Simple Safety Tips book. Visit our website www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com for more details.

Tracy Vega, Co-Founder- Simple Self Defense for Women®

TRICK-OR-TROUBLE: 10 HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

Halloween

It’s not just the trick or treating that makes Halloween fun for me – it’s also my birthday! My husband is one of the few men that can say he’s married to a real “witch” and get away with it!

As a child, I spent my birthdays trick or treating; and as an adult walking with the kids as they went door-to-door. The number one rule for us was only going to houses that had their lights on.

Well, times have definitely changed and I want to share some safety tips with you that you may have not considered.

  1. When picking a costume with a mask check the following:
  • Can you easily see out of it?
  • Can it be quickly removed?
  • Is it well ventilated for easy breathing?
  1. Does your costume have a bottom?
  • Is it easy to walk in?
  • If it’s adult costume, can you drive in it?
  1. Before you head out knocking on doors take time to check the national sex offender registry for your neighborhood.
  • Most local city & county agencies have this information available.
  • Avoid these homes
  • If you know a home is registered to a sex offender & they have lights on and decorations out, report them to local authorities immediately!
  1. Parents always carry a flashlight & peppers spray with you.
  2. If kids are uncomfortable going to a house because it looks too spooky, walk up with them.
  3. Never enter anyone’s home to accept candy even if it’s just for a minute. Always wait outside.
  1. Respect people’s personal space and don’t let anyone within your personal space.
    • Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean it’s ok to walk up to just anyone.
    • If you are uncomfortable be sure to keep your distance or ask that person to step back.
  1. Be mindful/respectful of what time it is.
    • If it’s 10:00 pm & the trick or treaters are long gone, don’t open your door to a random.
  1. ALWAYS walk in groups or pairs. It’s never safe to walk alone.
  2. Check all candy/items before eating them.
  • Only eat factory wrapped candy.
  • If a piece of candy looks questionable, throw it away!

For more information about Simple Self Defense for Women® Guest Speaking, Workshops, DVD’s, Security Products or how to bring us to your campus visit www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com

Tracy Vega, Co-Founder- Simple Self Defense for Women®

8 MUST-KNOW BACK TO SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS

 kids crossing street

It’s hard to believe that the kids are heading back to school already! At least, while they are in school, there is that small sigh of relief knowing that they are safe. It’s getting to and from that always makes me a little nervous. We are extra cautious at the beginning of the year, with the little ones when they start out; but as the year goes by, maybe we don’t pay as much attention as we once did. It addition to our simple tips, below I strongly encourage you to visit the National Sex Offender Registry before you children head out the door!

  1. Will your child be walking or riding a bike to school this year?
    • Make the trip with them a couple of times so you are both comfortable with the route.
  1. Time how long it takes for them to travel each way, walking or riding.
    • This gives you an idea what time they should arrive A.M. & P.M.
    • If they have a cell phone ask them to call/text when they leave & arrive both ways.
  1. If there is another child in the neighborhood going to the same school, try to arrange for them to travel together. There is safety in numbers.
  2. Point out “safe places” for them along the way (if there are any) in case of an emergency.
  3. Will your children be riding the bus this year?
    • Make sure they are familiar with the bus number. It’s better to miss a bus & remain at school with adults that can help instead of taking the wrong one & nobody knows where you are.
  1. Wait in a group at the bus stop.
    • Don’t ever leave the group to walk up to a car that approaches.
  1. Never allow your child to “ride” with anyone unless they are on your “safe list”.
    • A safe list tells your child the ONLY people they are ever allowed to go with if it’s not you. This includes walking, riding or even approaching a car. It’s that serious!
  1. Communicate! If your child is expressing concern or feeling uncomfortable find out why & take action. Children have great instincts. Listen to them.

For more information about Simple Self Defense for Women® Guest Speaking, Workshops, DVD’s, Security Products or how to bring us to your business or campus visit www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com

Tracy & Charley Vega, Co-Founders- Simple Self Defense for Women®

What You & Your Daughter Need To Know About Campus Safety

collegesafety

(Image: Patrick Faricy)

Do you remember taking your daughter for the first day of kindergarten? (I do – and I even remember what she was wearing.) The next thing you know, you are taking her for senior pictures and wondering what she was going to wear to the prom. Now, you’re packing boxes and worrying as your daughter heads off to her first semester at college.

We have spent our whole life teaching them right from wrong, helping them make important decisions and, most importantly, keeping them safe! Now it’s all up to them, let’s hope they have been listening. Since you still have that drive to set up the dorm room, I thought I would share some extra safety tips that you can talk about on the way.

  1. First things first… Get to know your dorm resident assistant (RA). She will be familiar with all of the important things you need. Don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions. They are a good source of information and should be discussing dorm room safety to the students.
  2. Did you know that the first six weeks for a college freshman are considered the “rape red zone?” This is because it may be the first time your daughter is on her own, she’s not really sure who she can or can’t trust; meeting new friends and attending college parties where there may be alcohol and drugs. It’s extremely important for her to know how to avoid, prevent and ESCAPE if she is faced with a dangerous situation. We have taught personal safety to thousands of women; and the common theme among previous victims is “I should have known, I knew not to do that bit I did it anyway!” We say this all the time but it’s worth repeating…TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Women have amazing intuition, and we need to listen to it! If it does not feel right, it is not!
  3. If you have an opportunity to pick your roommates, try to pick friends or girls you are familiar with. Rooming with someone who isn’t a friend? Talk with other people that may know them, or check them out online. Look at their FaceBook, Instagram  and Twitter page. If you are not comfortable with the choice, ask for a different roommate and or run a background check online.
  4. If allowed, change the locks when you move in and add a deadbolt or chain lock for additional security. If staying off campus try to stay in a gated community that has an alarm system (changing the code when you move in). Look for places that are well lit, and talk with the neighbors about any recent crimes. You can even add a portable doorstop alarm inside your room at the door for personal safety.
  5. Before you head out check the location finder on campus -it will help you know what stores and restaurants are nearby and student-friendly. Never go out anywhere alone! Always try to go in groups, only go with people who are close friends and stay together whenever possible. If you are breaking from the group make sure someone knows as much as you do about the person you are going with. Best friends lookout for each other!
  6. Try to take a taxi or bus, as a group. If you find a taxi driver who is reliable and you are comfortable with. Keep their number in your cell phone and try to use him each time. This will allow you door to door service and avoid any potential for DUI’s.
  7. If you have a car, never walk to your car alone! Same applies if you have a dog – never walk them alone at night. They make you feel safer; but you could still be a target.

For more information about Simple Self Defense for Women® Guest Speaking, Workshops, DVD’s, Security Products or how to bring us to your campus visit www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com

Tracy & Charley Vega, Co-Founders- Simple Self Defense for Women®

Protecting Your Purse: 8 Must-Know Safety Tips

purse_quincychatwin(Image credit: Quincy Chatwin)

You might call it your handbag, pocketbook or perhaps your purse. Whatever you call it, it’s likely where you keep your wallet, debit card, cell phone, driver’s license, car/house keys and many other of your very personal items. Talk about the weight of the world on your shoulders! So, let’s talk about some helpful safety tips for those all-important accessories you carry with you everywhere!

  1. ALWAYS zip, snap or button your purse! Don’t leave it hanging open so everyone can see what’s inside. It leaves you vulnerable to a pick pocket.
  2. NEVER leave your purse unattended! Thieves only need a few seconds! If you can’t see it, then you can’t see the person who might be rummaging through it or trying to steal it.
  3. At the grocery store: Secure your purse with the baby strap, or place it at the bottom of the cart placing groceries over and around it. Don’t make it easy for a snatch and grab! If you aren’t comfortable leaving it in the cart, keep it on your shoulder.
  4. When loading your car: Open the passenger door, place your purse on the floor take the keys and lock the door before you continue.
  5. Staying at a hotel? Use the safe if they have one or take it with you. Never leave it in the room unattended.
  6. If you like to keep your purse on the seat next to you in the car, then hook it through the seatbelt. It creates an extra step for someone trying to reach in the window and steal it and it will keep it secure if you need to stop in a hurry.
  7. Avoid hanging your purse on the back of the restroom stall doors. It’s too easy for someone to reach over and snatch it while your “occupied.”
  8. Minimize what you carry in your purse. Don’t carry your birth certificate, you marriage license, grandma’s favorite cookie recipe and so on!

The eight tips above were all good prevention habits when it comes to purse safety. The last tip is the most important!  If you find yourself the victim of a purse snatching, LET IT GO! You heard me; there’s nothing in there that is worth your life. Women have been beaten, dragged behind cars, and killed for their purse. Your instincts will be to fight, because you don’t want to be a victim; but I am still going to tell you to LET IT GO!

More safety tips can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women® DVD and web site www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com

Women and Cars: 6 Must-Know Personal Safety Tips

Remote on Visor

My husband always says I remind him of a scene from the movie “My Cousin Vinny.”  Marisa Tomei says her “uncle is a mechanic, her brother is a mechanic”; and, for me in addition to that, my father and grandfather were also a mechanics that owned a Gulf station back in the day.  So, I am familiar with good automotive maintenance habits and the personal safety aspect that goes along with them.  When you read these, you are going to think “I knew that.”  But are you doing these?

  1. Do you have a handheld garage door opener on your sun visor?  Remove it, before you leave your car with a mechanic.
  2. Don’t leave your whole key ring, when you drop off your car.  Only leave the ignition key and fob.  (Remember to take your pepper spray off your key ring.)
  3. Never program your home address, in your GPS system.  Instead, use an address of a nearby shopping center.  If you have a portable GPS, remove it from your car before leaving it.
  4. Always remove mail, paperwork and personal belongings, before dropping your car off for service.
  5. Check the air in your spare tire, regularly.  Having a flat tire is troublesome enough; you don’t want to put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, by not having a useful spare.
  6. Keep a flashlight in your car that is easily accessible, in case of emergency.

 

The safety tips in this article and many others can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women® DVD. Please visit our website www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com for more details.

Tracy Vega, Co-Founder- Simple Self Defense for Women