Five Things to Help Keep You Safe
My wife suggested that I write something that focused on a little more positivity. She’s right. It’s 4th of July weekend; a time for celebration. Besides, there is no shortage of depressing, sobering stories in the news. If bombings, active shooter violence and international terrorism aren’t enough to bring you down, you can always bring up the political news of the day. After just a few moments of analysis on the upcoming November election, I’m ready to crawl into my bed for a week, throw the blankets over my head and suck my thumb.
So lets get away from all of that, for this week anyway. Besides, we all know that there will be plenty of time to write about next week’s doom and gloom. For this coming holiday, I would like to do something that I have been terribly averse to doing. My social media agent has been begging me to do this; my editor has insisted that I give it a shot. Finally, they have managed to talk the one person in my life I cannot deny (my wife) into “recommending” that I take their professional advice. These guys went below the belt with that one.
So here it is: My “proactive safety” list. Those things that you should be mindful of during the holiday season that will keep you safe (I can’t believe I am actually doing this…. The hungry blogger has no shame, no pride…. No readers. He does what he can to survive). So, here’s how I survive:
Be Prepared – I am pretty well prepared for some serious issues on a $15.00 budget. For that amount, I can keep some duct tape, one of those 24-packs of bottled water (that are always on sale at the grocery store), a tarp, some bungee cords, a few glow sticks and some disposable lighters in the trunk of my car. Every single one of those things has served me well, and on multiple occasions. Doesn’t hurt to have a Leatherman or a Swiss-Army knife handy, too.
Don’t Over Prepare – A bug out bag…. Really? Where are you bugging out to? Someone else’s house who subsequently bugged out to somewhere else (maybe they are at your house, since you’re no longer there).
Hey, if you want to put together a gear bag that will keep you alive in the event of a zombie apocalypse, or an alien invasion, or a meteor colliding with the planet, by all means feel free. But I can assure you that would be a fool to leave the security of your residence in a realistic emergency situation. Gear up, secure your home, and stay put. When was the last time you heard the emergency broadcast system say, “This is not a test, do not stay in your homes, leave at once and rough it on the open roadway with your family. Be mindful of marauders. This is not a test.”
You’re Being Watched – Don’t worry, I don’t mean that in sense that you are being stalked or that the Government has a drone flying over you while you’re tanning in your backyard (at least not that I know of). But if you are anything like anyone else in the United States, you are bound to be out and about with 320 million of your closest friends. You’ve probably gotten your share of stares.
Be cognizant of your environment. You should keep in mind who has their eyes on you. Most of us are harmless, but you just never know.
You’re Getting Distracted – The mighty smartphone has done for my wife and children what I have never been able to do: Keep their attention. It’s also damn distracting. Remember what I told you about all the people watching you? You probably wouldn’t notice since your engrossed with that blog article on proactive safety that you are reading on your phone.
How dare I judge; I’m guilty too. I just suggest that you take every other sentence and keep that head on a swivel, take a look around and make sure the world is moving the way that you expect it to.
You Should Be Rude – This is probably the most difficult thing about staying safe. There are stories after stories about people who have been accosted or in danger, and they “knew” that something bad was going to happen. Their instincts were screaming that something was wrong, yet they managed to convince themselves that they were over-reacting. And because they were so concerned about losing-face or being impolite, they went along anyway and they let something bad happen.
If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, don’t let politeness get in the way of your safety. Be rude, tell whoever you need to in a forceful, aggressive voice to leave you alone and that you will not be intimidated into doing something that you don’t want to do. We have become desensitized and so well trained to following every thing we are told to do that we have forgotten our own basic instincts of self-preservation. It’s time to break that habit.
I wanted to make this a list of ten things, but after reading these five, I am convinced that no one reading this far would have gone any further. So with that, I wish all of you and yours a very safe and pleasant 4th of July holiday.
Jason Wells is the President and Founder of the National Advancements for Proactive Safety, an educational non-profit organization committed to providing a safe community through intervention processes. He is a former Special Agent with the United States Secret Service, and holds a Masters of Science with highest honors in Strategic Security and Protection Management. Mr. Wells is currently pursuing his doctorate in Strategic Security with a focus on proactive interventions to stop threat-related behavior. Additionally, he is a weekly contributing writer to the online publication Robious Corridor and has been featured in the Huffington Post. His first book on proactive safety will be out this Fall. Jason can be contacted at email@example.com.
Tags: proactive safety