Help keep yourself safe with these simple, practical, and realistic reminders. “Safety Made Simple” is all about common sense suggestions that everyone can use to prepare today for a safer tomorrow.
“No!” is a complete sentence.
It is the end of the conversation, not the beginning of a negotiation. If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell “NO!” “STOP!” or “STAY BACK!” Most criminals interviewed after their crimes have repeatedly stated they would leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Criminals want easy prey. They prefer the weakest among us, not the strongest.
Trust Your Intuition
Your unwillingness to offend should never be greater than your willingness to offend. Fear is a warning sign, not a beast of burden. Attackers play your fear to their advantage. Turn the tables and use it to yours.
So many robberies happen simply because the home-owner unsuspectingly opens the door without first checking who’s at the door. If you don’t see anyone when you look through the hole – or if the view is blocked for any reason – don’t open the door.
Know Where To Go – Know How To Get There
Try to gather basic information on what to do when presented withnatural disasters, a medical crisis, or even bomb threats. If nothing else, at least learn which natural disasters are likely to occur in your area, and what you should do in the event of one happening.A safe haven is a place you know you can go to be safe. Traveling for business? Away on vacation? Out for a run in the park? Feel like you’re being followed? Know those places you can easily go to be safe. When in doubt, “Run to a Restaurant” They are easy to find and easy to access. They will also have food, water, restrooms, phones, and a local staff who can help you if you’re in trouble.
When it comes to staying safe, your ability to push, jump, and run may make all the difference. Are you safety fit?
Pack An Emergency Bag.
Safety is often the by product of awareness and preparation. Prepare for the unexpected by packing two easy-to-carry bags and leave one in your car and one in your house. Ideally, these kits should contain items tailored to your personal needs. You can find a pre-packed options online, or you can consult this Red Cross packing list if you want to make your own. A few basics are water, non-perishable food items, a first aid kit, cell phone charger, a blanket, an extra jacket and pair of shoes, candles, matches, flashlight and batteries, money, and (digital) copies of documents you might need in the event that your personal belongings are lost.
Be Extra-Cautious In Parking Lots
80% of all reported crime at retail and shopping stores take place in the parking lot. Try to park as close to the entrance as possible or in areas that are well-lit and have the most pedestrian traffic. Follow these seven safety tips to help you avoid parking lot predators.
Alone And Unsure?
When in doubt, call someone. Don’t want to call someone? Use your phone’s voice recorder or call your own phone line and leave yourself a message. Don’t know what you say? Just look around and start describing what your seeing. This serves a dual role of promoting both aspects of awareness and deterrence while at the same time adding the extra insurance of capturing it all on tape.
An Alarm For Every Occasion.
Pre-set a 2 minute timer with a ringtone on your phone. You’ll be surprised how often you’ll use this trick. It’s a great way to excuse yourself with an “I’ve got to take this” faux phone call.
Self Defense Tools Are Great; A Self Defense Mindset Is Better.
Your mind will never be buried at the bottom of a purse when you need it most. Things like pepper spray can be a useful tool, but did you know that it doesn’t work on everyone? (Pepper spray has little to no debilitative impact on 20% of population) Fight or flight will never fail you, but tools fail all the time.
Google voice numbers are free and will forward to any phone you want. They are great for giving out to people who you “just met but don’t know.”
Hotel Room Safety
At check-in, ask the receptionist to not say your room number out loud. When entering your room, check to make sure no one is lingering in the hallway before entering.
Always keep your hotel room door locked and consider packing adoor wedge for extra safety.
What’s Your Starbucks Name?
Coffee houses use your name to keep drink orders straight, but then they call out your name for the world to hear and send you out the door with your name emblazoned on the side of their cup for all to see. Embrace your inner Carrie Mathison and try using a “cover name.”
“Check-In” After You Check-Out
Sharing your location on FourSquare, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is great for letting your friends know what you are doing, but consider sharing this information after you have already been there / done that.You don’t want to make it easier to digitally stalk you and know when you’re not home.
Had a great time at the pool party! > Just got to the pool party!
Stay Social Media Safe
Be mindful of how much you share. Online predators are known to troll multiple sites stalking potential victims under the guise of a proper gentleman. Promote a positive protective posture at all times and trust your instincts. www.DateSiteData.com
Screen Caps And Camera Phones Can Make A Difference.
Take screen caps of maps, directions and important information you may need when traveling in case wifi or cell tower reception isn’t available. It’s also a great way to remember where you parked, what the kids wore to school today, and serves as a great reminder for which gym locker you used.
Effective self-defense begins long before a physical altercation. Awareness of your surroundings, awareness of your environment, and awareness of what looks out of place, prepares you physically and mentally for what may come next. Being aware and engaged with your environment also promotes a confidence that is often your first line of defense in convincing a would-be-attacker that they will have a greater chance of success targeting someone else.
Spencer Coursen is the President of Coursen Security Group. He is an expert security advisor, threat assessment consultant, and protective strategist who is dedicated to reducing risk and preventing violence. His systems and strategies help corporations, non-profit organizations, schools, and at-risk public figures ensure the certainty of safety for all involved.
@SpencerCoursen / @CoursenSecurity