Issue 5

Personal Safety While "On The Road" - Part 1

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In this issue, we discuss how to understand the different levels of Awareness needed to reduce your likelihood of becoming the target of a predator. 

There are many instances you may find yourself away from the safety of your home or office.  You might be on vacation.  It could be a weekend outing on the coast.  You may be doing something as seemingly benign as going to the mall.
There are professions which can regularly place you in contact with people about which you know very little.  Real Estate agents.  Electricians and plumbers.  Appliance repairmen.  Property appraisers or inspectors.
And then there are activities regular people do every day that put them "out there" all by themselves.  Jogging.  Hiking.  Bike riding.  A walk through the park.
We can't lock ourselves in our homes, frightened to venture outside.  We've got life to live!  But we have to do it with the realization that bad people exist.  We must reduce the likelihood that those predators will pick us as their target.
Having a Personal Safety Plan is the key.  Awareness is the first step.
There are 4 levels of awareness:  Unaware, Attentive, Alert and Alarm.  We're going to discuss the first two levels in this Newsletter issue - Unaware and Attentive.
We're most often in this state when we're in our homes.  We're watching TV or a DVD.  We're reading a book or a magazine, or listening to music.
We're "zoned out" - oblivious to what is going on around us.
We all have to occasionally be in this state.  Everyone has got to have some down-time to just relax and let the stress of the day melt away.
The key is to ensure that we're in a physically safe environment when we do this.
This is the level we need to be in during most of our waking hours.  When we're outside or when someone comes to our home, we need to be Attentive.  This doesn't mean that you creep around in a Ninja stance looking for attackers!  It means scanning your environment for things that seem out-of-pattern.
It is the ability to distinguish between normal and abnormal situations and actions.
An example would be when you get a knock on your door.  Were you expecting anyone today?  A Fed Ex or UPS delivery?  Before opening the door, you'd look through the peep-hole or side window and see who is there.  Do you know these people and how many are present?
Another situation might be while you are out working in your front yard.  You notice a car with two occupants parked across the street.  Do you recognize this car or the occupants?  Is there a reason the car might be parked there?  A holiday dinner or birthday party perhaps?  Or do the car and its occupants look out-of-place?
Your next steps would depend upon how you are able to answer these questions.  Your Personal Safety Plan will give you the Skills, Knowledge and Confidence to act and react correctly.
For Consideration:  Does your Personal Safety Plan include "trip wires" to move you to the next step in your plan?  What alternatives have you considered?  If you're away from your home or office, who knows where you are and when you're expected to return?
Next Newsletter:  How to recognize situations that move your Awareness Level to Alert and Alarm.
Bison Risk Management Associates is a Northern California-based company that provides training, workshops and consulting for individuals, businesses and organizations interested in developing or enhancing Personal Safety and Emergency Preparedness action plans.

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1145 2nd Street • #A251 • Brentwood, Ca • 94513