Consistency In Safety Routines
Developing various routines
for common tasks is commonplace for most people. For instance, you may start a pot of coffee each morning.
Every morning, you follow the exact same process: You go to the same cupboard, take out the beans, grind them,
pour them into a filter, put the filter into the coffee machine, add water and push the "brew" button. Five
minutes later, you have coffee to drink.
Think about how your routine is disrupted if someone put the coffee beans
in a different cupboard. Or if your coffee maker is broken and you need to use another machine to brew your coffee.
These inconsistencies in your routine get you, "off your game" - you actually need to think about
what you're doing, and it takes you much longer to complete the simple task of making coffee in the morning.
Now, what if you're suddenly thrust into a performing a task you don't normally have to do on a regular basis?
Such as defending yourself against an attack.
Practice and consistency will help ensure you're able to perform
that task effectively.
For instance, if you
are in a threatening situation, you don't want to have to think about how to properly use the defensive tool. You
want your training to come into play, so that you can quickly neutralize the threat.
This means you need to practice
- on a regular, consistent baiss - with your defensive tool. If you have a handgun, that means going to the gun range
at least once each month and practicing drills.
If you have a pepper spray, that means going in your backyard and practicing so you see how far the particular model of
spray you own shoots out the spray, and knowing how many one-second shots you will get out of a container.
It is vitally important to carry your defensive tool in the
exact same place, every single time you leave your home. Put your pepper spray in the same section of your purse every
time. Or the same pocket in your pants every time.
If you carry a purse or a briefcase, consider buying
a canister holder with a velcro strap so you can just leave the pepper spray attached at all times (obviously, know the
laws about where you can carry it, and if curious children might have access to your spray).
If you have a handgun
(and the proper permits) use the same holster every time. Don't use a shoulder holster one day, and an inside-the-waistband
holster the next time so that you can "break up the monotony".
Be sure you use the same grip
and stance, every single time.
Practice regularly with your defensive tools. Know where they are at all times so you can access
them in a "blink of an eye". Doing these things will increase the likelihood of you being able to successfully
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Bison Risk Management Associates is a Northern California-based company providing Personal Safety and Emergency Preparedness training, workshops and consulting
for individuals, businesses and organizations.