DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The holiday shopping season is officially here.

However, come Black Friday and beyond, the malls and the stores will be packed.

“Just know what you are going to be doing and what are you shopping for. Stay focused on that,” said B.J. Council, You and Five-o founder.

Council is the founder of the organization You and Five-o and is also a retired Deputy Police Chief with the Durham Police Department.

Council said before you start shopping make sure you charge your phone and bring only what you absolutely need.

She said once you get inside, be aware of your surroundings.

“One of the things that I do usually when I go shopping is find out where my exits are. Look for security,” she stated.

“So, you know where they are because they are going to be moving through these spaces. I think for me it’s if you hear something like somebody arguing and those types of things and if you hear gun shots, the thing is to run in the opposite direction. The other thing is don’t pull out your camera or phone and start videotaping,” Council explained.

“But if you can get out and get away that is the primary thing. If you see something try to remember it,” Council said.

Council said an important thing is just to remember where you parked.

Durham police also tweeted some helpful reminders too.

CBS 17 reached out to both Durham and Raleigh police ahead of the Black Friday shopping weekend.

DPD told us there will be more officers out at all high traffic shopping places. As for RPD, they are also increasing patrols and presence in busy shopping areas.