Be Your Own Bodyguard, Pt2 of 2

by David Morris on February 2, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my famous and popular SurviveInPlace.com course–a vital resource for anyone who wants to prepare for disasters and who thinks they might have to interact with other people after a disaster (yes…this means you : ).  This week, we’re going to do the second of a 2 part series on preparedness lessons from executive protection.  This is very meaty, valuable stuff and you’re going to like it.  If you missed part 1 last week, you can read it by going to: http://www.secretsofurbansurvival.com/1220/preparedness-lessons-from-executive-protection-pt-1-of-2/

Funnels and Channels. Funnels and channels are areas that restrict or control movement and make movement controllable and or predictable.  They’re something that you HOPE your enemy will go into if you’re trying to attack or ambush them.  In the insect world, it’s where many cunning spiders spin their webs.  In the mouse world, funnels and channels are normally where we set traps in hopes of having the greatest chances of success.

Executive protection specialists try to avoid funnels and channels with high risk principals as much as possible.  Some examples are construction zones, underpasses, roads where traffic stops for trains, long hallways in malls, alleyways, gates into parking lots at night, or even walkways to your house.

Unless you consider yourself a high risk target, you probably don’t need to worry about being the specific target of an attack.  But this plays out in helping you keep from being a target of opportunity.  The practice of identifying funnels and channels combined with identifying multiple exits can make a speedy exit MUCH faster as well.

Movie theaters are an example of this concept that most people can relate to.  Normally, when the movie is done in a medium to large theater, everyone gets up and slowly waddles down the stairs and out one of two exits.  The rows of seats create channels that funnel everyone to the isles, funnel everyone down the stairs, and funnel everyone back along the outside walls and back together to exit a common door.

If you’ve got to go to the bathroom, you know how agonizingly slow this can be.

But EVERY theater also has additional marked exits that people could go out.  At the front of the theater, at the back of the theater upstairs, or sometimes along the walls.  These exits fight against the channeling and funneling that the aisles are trying to accomplish and let a few rebels get out quickly and efficiently.

By simply identifying these additional exits in advance, you can avoid unnecessary waiting during normal times and they could make the difference between surviving and dying after a fire, explosion, or natural disaster.

Where else does this play out?  Malls, churches, sporting events, offices, or anywhere else where large groups of people might have a planned or unplanned incentive to move at the same time.

Give as few (accurate) details as possible. Details help predators identify targets, opportunities, and the best times to strike.  For executive protection specialists, you can increase your safety level considerably by keeping your day’s itinerary and other plans as secret as possible.

The same holds true for individuals, but this is a TOUGH one for social people.  We don’t tell people where we live, unless we’ve invited them over.  I rarely use my last name.  Oftentimes, we make up a name to use at restaurants.  When we go out of town, we hardly tell anyone…and when we DO tell people that we’re going out of town, we do it in private.  And, we don’t talk about what we own.  This makes for some awkward situations with overly curious people, but I’ve learned to accept that.

A good friend of mine has had the opportunity to do some VERY impressive things, both in the civilian sector and in the military.  He’s accomplished things in both arenas that make him a ripe target for all sorts of bad guys.  When his family goes on vacation, they not only use a different last name, but he also says that he’s a history professor at the local community college.  That shuts off conversations with the majority of people who don’t like discussing history and provides great conversation with those few who DO like discussing history.

You’re going to have to figure out how open or covert you want to live…and then accept the fact that it’s incredibly difficult to be both social and covert.  Family and friends who you talk with in confidence may or may not understand your desire to stay covert.  Even if they do, the passage of time tends to make people think, in error, that things that you once told them in secret are now open to the public.

Keep loved ones on your weak side. When guarding a principal, bodyguards keep their principal on their weak side so that they can push/pull them to cover AND use their primary weapon.  When I walk with my wife, she’s always on my left hand side.  When I carry either of my sons, it’s with my left arm.  If we’re all together, my wife knows that if something happens, her job is to get our boys to safety and it’s my job to distract, defend against, and/or destroy anyone trying to hurt them.

Spare food & hydration. Almost every EP professional I know keeps SOME spare food with them or near them at all times.  For the most part, it’s something simple like a small water bottle that they drink and refill whenever possible and a meal replacement bar.  In their vehicle, it might be a case of meal replacement bars and a case of water bottles, or something similar.

In addition to the general guidelines mentioned above, here are some location/situation specific guidelines that EP professionals use that you can implement immediately.

Around The House.

When returning home, do a quick check to make sure that your “castle” hasn’t become someone else’s “castle” while you were gone.  Are any lights/windows broken?  Are multiple security lights suddenly malfunctioning?  Are pets responding normally?  Is your door locked?  Does your alarm beep like it should when you open your door?

As a quick note, during “normal” times, if you know that an intruder is in your house, your best course of action is to call 911 and retreat to somewhere where you can provide updates, descriptions, and take pictures.

On this topic, are your firearms secured so that an intruder won’t be able to find them and use them on you?  If you don’t carry weapons, do you know where traditional and improvised weapons are near your door?

I LOVE fire extinguishers. Quoting Clint Smith, “Spray them with the white stuff and hit them with the red thingy.”  Do you have plenty of metal fire extinguishers?  New fancy compact fire extinguishers have their place, but it’s hard to beat the versatility of a big old metal fire extinguisher.

What is normal? Observe what normal is…for your neighbors, for your neighborhood.  Cars, coming & going, etc.  It will not only alert you to people and events that are out of the ordinary, but it will also help you get to know your neighbors better.  You’ll quickly see who’s social, who races off every morning with a scowl on their face, who always waves and has a smile, etc.  You’ll also see who notices you and who is oblivious to the world and completely un-aware.

In your car.

Proper reaction gap. Everyone knows that you should keep a 2 second gap between you and the car in front of you during ideal conditions.  I increase this to 3-4 seconds if either the car in front or the car behind me are tailgating.  In the case of the car in back, they’ll usually go around if I give them enough room.

See the bottom of the tires in front of you. When you pull up to a stopped car at a light or stop sign, make sure that you stay back far enough so that you can see the pavement and bottom of the tires of the vehicle in front of you.  In general, this will put you far enough back that you can go around them without having to back up first.  This guideline will put shorter people a little further back than they need to be and taller people a little closer than they need to be, so you’ll want to experiment some.

Timing. With EP details, drivers do their best to miss regular traffic jams, trains, and other predictable delays.

Identifying potential threats.  For EPs, this includes ambushes, attacks, and embarrassing situations.  For the mere mortal, it means identifying and avoiding unnecessary risks.  As an example, I live in earthquake country.  I know where chemical plants are near me and know how to avoid them if necessary.  Identifying dangerous parking lot or low light situations is another example of this.

Surveillance detection.  Detecting a tail may be a life or death situation for the principal of an EP.  For you and me, it may not be life or death, but it is still a smart thing to do.  You may have accidentally cut off a driver who got laid off, lost his dog, and who’s wife left him that day and not even realize it.  I have a handful of turns between the interstate and my house.  If anyone follows me for more than 2 of these turns, I turn early or late to see if they keep following me.  I’ve pre-identified routes that I can take that only add 30-60 seconds to my drive.

Thankfully, since I don’t have any clear and present threats, this discipline will hopefully never protect my family from a violent attack.  That being said, the cost of developing it over the last few years is basically non-existent.  If I ever do NEED the skill, I won’t have to learn it under stress and I will have had years of daily experience practicing it.

I will say this, though.  Being constantly aware of the cars behind me and their behavior DOES have everyday benefits.  While I can’t be sure of it, I would put money on the fact that my observation skills have kept me from being rear-ended multiple times.  I’ve pulled off to the side of the road multiple times when I’ve had to stop suddenly and I knew, from watching, that the person behind me was not paying attention to the road.

Alter your route and timing. High risk targets and protection details for high risk targets do everything they can to keep from having their movements be predictable.  At the most basic level, this means changing when and how you go to & from work and other regular appointments.  Even if you’re not a high risk target, you might want to try different time & route combinations for your regular trips so that you can become more aware of your area and to see if there isn’t a quicker combination.  AT LEAST become aware of your habits and the things you would change if you needed to become unpredictable.

Overpasses. This one has personal significance for me.  In many African, Central American, and South American countries, bandits will throw logs, cinder blocks, and tree trunks off of overpasses to disable vehicles so that they can rob or kidnap the occupants.  This happened to a very good friend of mine in Mexico City when we were in college.

Her mom, brother, and her were on their way home from the airport at night when her brother (driving) saw a couple of kids throwing a tree trunk off of an overpass they were about to go under.  There wasn’t really any time to react, but he did manage to swerve and have the tree trunk hit the side of their Jeep rather than the front.  It blew their tire and they drove on the flat and then the rim, destroying the rim, until they got to help.  They didn’t get hurt, but another mom and daughter got killed later that night on the same road.

For day to day, low threat life, you don’t need to do much about this.  It’s not very common in heavy traffic, since the followup to throwing things is to rob the occupants of the vehicle.  It’s MUCH more common at night when traffic is light.  As the economy continues to slide, it is important to know what to look for and how to respond to this threat.

If you see one or more people standing on an overpass where it doesn’t make sense, stay in your lane until 1-2 seconds before going under the overpass and quickly change lanes.  As the practice gets more common and drivers get wise to it, the bandits get smarter too and start using teams, radios and throwing items off of the “back” side of the overpass instead of the “front” side.  When things develop to this point, it becomes wise to simply change lanes before going under an overpass.

In conclusion

There’s enough of an overlap between prepping and executive protection that I encourage everyone who can to go through one or more local executive protection classes.  Not only have I learned a considerable amount from going through the training, it has given me the opportunity to get to know some VERY highly skilled EP professionals.

I’ve found that, with rare exception, EP professionals and people who take EP classes are also preppers by nature.  Even better, by nature they have gamed out numerous scenarios in their heads, have their ideal teams in mind, defensible locations picked out, and are just looking for the right people to fill in the holes.  If you go to a class with the same outlook, you’re likely to make some great long term friends who you can call on if the SHTF.

As an additional bonus, if you can get a non-prepper friend or family member to willingly take an EP class with you, “for fun,” you’ll probably leave the class with someone who’s become fully aware of the need to prepare.

If your interested in learning more strategies to incorporate Executive Protection into a preparedness lifestyle, I’d suggest that you check out my SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course.  In addition to covering all of the basics of preparing for disasters, it also goes into some advanced topics such as tactical movement to and from barter/trade situations after a breakdown in civil order.  The course is a true treasure for people ranging from newbie “preppers” to lifelong Special Ops guys trying to pass on a lifetime of experience to loved ones.  To learn more, check it out at http://surviveinplace.com

What are your thoughts on “living as a bodyguard”…either of yourself or of familiy members?  Are you currently or have you done EP work in the past?  How has it carried over to your everyday life and what lessons can you share with others?  Let us know by commenting below.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1louis
February 3, 2012 at 6:00 am

useful practical information very applicable to thrird world countries where most of this is a daily occurrence

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Vote -1 Vote +1Pat Mattison
February 3, 2012 at 6:42 am

When I go to a movie, I check the exits–then alwayus sit in an aisle seat a few aisles up–I can take 2 to three steps to exit. I never sit in the center section.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Rose
February 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Good idea, thanks for the tip

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Woolval
February 3, 2012 at 6:47 am

RE: Surveillance detection… Many years ago, long before I got my CWP and started carrying (I did own a beautiful Browning Hi Point… wish I had kept it!) my wife and I were followed by a group of teens. We had just dropped off our daughter at The Falls movies in Miami. Fl. As we were driving off a car was stopped in front of us. We started to go around, he started to move forward. I stopped, he stopped. I went ahead and started heading home. As we made several turns on our route home I noticed the same car following us. I said to my wife “I think those guys from the mall are following us”. She dismissed it, saying they’re just going the same way. We were one block from turning into our street, which ends in a cul-de-sac, they were still behind us. My “radar” said “This isn’t good”. So, knowing I was heading into a cul-de-sac and thinking I was being followed by a car full of teenagers, I turned early. Sure enough, they turned too. Now my wife believed me. We slowly drove thru the neighborhood, all the while this car closely following us. Luckily, I was smart enough not to go home and get trapped in a dead end. Back then we didn’t have a cell phone, so I thought where we might go. A few miles away was a police sub-station, so we started driving towards it. All this time this car full of teens was on our bumper. When we were 2 blocks from the police station we got stopped at a red light. At the light it was only us and the teens. (OK, time to call them punks!) I looked in my rear view mirrors and I saw 3 car doors open and several guys getting out, coming towards our van. Lokking to make sure it was clear, I ran the red light. I looked back and they all poured back into their car and started following us again! Now I’m about 1 block from the police… I made a right turn, thinking I was going into the police parking lot… but I was wrong. The kids drove past me, so I pulled out behind them, turned on my high beams and told my wife to get the tag number. The punks in the back looked at us and flipped us the bird finger. They took off, we pulled into the police station. I relayed our story to the officer at the window, he pulled up the tag info. He said “They’re really nothing we can do”… but then I noticed… he had the tag info facing us, and there was the owner’s name and address. We thanked him, we went home safe and sound. I thought of revenge, going to flatted tires, do some other damage. But then I thought, “I’d be punks like them.”.

So, the moral of my story… pay attention!! It’s amazing, I can recall almost every moment of that night as if it were last night. And that was close to 16 years ago!

I now carry full time. I’ve had some training, I can definitely use more… but I’m always looking in my rear view mirror. (OK… not always, but you get my drift!)

Dave, thanks for your newsletters. When they appear in my inbox I immediately read them, knowing I’ll learn a little more each time.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Woolval
February 5, 2012 at 8:03 am

I was just wondering… are any of those kids that followed us now subscribers to Urban Survival Guide? I’ll bet they are; we all mature eventually and look back on our past at some foolish things we’ve done. Well, I guess I should speak for myself and my foolish acts as a teenager.

I hope they are subscribers. It means more like-minded people who are taking care of themselves and their loved ones. Not more losers who look to the government to care for them. The government caring for you… a very scary thought!!

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Rocky
February 3, 2012 at 6:55 am

Another GREAT article Dave!

In the same idea while stopped at a traffic light whether you are on a motorcycle or a car with a stick shift never place in neutral. Keep in first gear so if the car behind you does not slow down you have an exit planned to quickly get out of the way. This practice has saved me on multiple occasions.

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Vote -1 Vote +1JEREMIAH OSIEMO MOKAYA
February 3, 2012 at 7:05 am

I Want to train other Kenyans on urban survival please advice me on how to pass the message to the many poor and illiterate who can not access the computers to get this information without distorting any thing am an active member of urban survival. That is why am planing to start urban survival Kenya chapter to help my fellow Kenyans

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bill Fellion
February 3, 2012 at 7:21 am

David, A while back you were saying that you could use crazy glue in first aid work. Can you say how it works. Bill

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Vote -1 Vote +1D.Moore
February 3, 2012 at 11:29 am

When my son was in high school, he and friends were on a trip with a guy who was always pulling some kind of jokes or tricks, so they decided to fix him, and with some crazy glue put it on his zipper while he was asleep. You can imagine the rest of the story.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hey Bill,

I have used it for small cuts in place of stitches and on blisters/abraisions/hot spots as a protective layer of skin. In the case of ruptured blisters/abraisions/hot spots, if the area is going to continue to get abuse, I combine this with mole skin and/or duct tape.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Jim
February 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Hi Bill; I have used super glue for over 25 years on guiding the Grand Canyon river trips.
It is very valuable in my first aid kit and would not be without.
Jim

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Brian Maday
February 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL! But I DO know about “Crazy Glue” , which is cyanoacrylate adhesive. It was actually DEVELOPED for Military Field medical use. It is NOT poisonous, and was developed to “hold together” gash-type wounds, sort of like a ‘liquid butterfly bandage’. For a Bleeding Cut type of wound, try to blot away as much blood as possible and “drip” a drop or two while holding the wound closed. Moisture speeds hardening, so a little bit of blood might actually be useful.

NOTE THAT IF SOMETHING IS “EMBEDDED” IN THE WOUND, it would not be a good idea to seal the entire area – the wound WILL have to be re-opened to clean it and remove foreign material.

I use it only for small cuts – TRAINED MEDICAL PERSONNEL known much more about this stuff than I do, so PLEASE take what I say with a grain of salt.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Tom Westbrook
February 3, 2012 at 7:35 am

Davic; Thank you very much for the good info.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jack Jobe
February 3, 2012 at 8:42 am

David – my friend,
Here is the irony. I refer people to you because – after research – I give you the highest rating on my “Review” website because You opened my eyes with your Wisdom.
“You WILL Fight Zombies or Become One!” (title of a new article I’m about to publish)
We, Preppers / Survialist, can’t afford to hide. We will create Zombies. (Read the last stage symptoms of dehydration)
AT THE END, after asking me to keep a low profile, you ask me to “Share or Like” you to everyone I’m in contact with. That’s Okay – just ironic.
On the National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers” series (begins Feb 7, 2012), you’ll see me walking around my neighborhood wearing my 72 hour bag and handing out survival tips. (“around the end of March or early April” 2012)
David – IF “The Event” happens and all Utilities are out for months, society will deteriorate quickly. Within 3-5 days, the UnPrepared have no water and begin the Zombie shuffle. Every day the number walking dead grows.
Do YOU understand why Zombies are scary? They don’t stop coming. Even your off road retreats will be visited as the surviving Urban masses of ‘campers’ spread out looking for resources.
I can either Plan to gun down my neighbors from my Urban Shelter, Or I can Educate Them, and be seen as a Well Armed, Highly Intelligent Ally with survival skills and Trade Goods (our future profession?). The more prepared Every One is now, the less Zombies later.
Cooperate! and Walk About Prepared™

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 3, 2012 at 11:09 am

Hey Jack,

You’re absolutely correct about the irony. I personally don’t use Facebook for social reasons…I only use it to announce when I post new articles. That being said, there are thousands of preppers who actively talk about their preparations on Facebook…either to the world or to small groups of friends. In my opinion, people who don’t share their preps on Facebook (like me) aren’t going to “like” the article, but people who are comfortable sharing their preps will AND people who have alternate Facebook IDs will “like” the articles. In other words, I’m not intending to ask anyone to do anything additional to compromise OPSEC.

I’ll look for you on the show :)

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1norman
February 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

Excellent article. “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

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Vote -1 Vote +1Cynthia
February 3, 2012 at 9:48 am

Thank you for all your survival information. I work with the victims and survivors of domestic violence and we always “safety plan” with our participants. This lesson on bodygaurding included several concepts we use and several we can incorporate to help protect people in dangerous situations. Please don’t say they should just leave: leaving is often much more dangerous than staying and many women (some men) have no safe option.

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Vote -1 Vote +1D.Moore
February 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

I am 86 and live alone in a condo complex. Dave, these were many excellent suggestions. I am still driving within 5 miles of my home, but surely alternate routes can be taken. My son turned off my house alarm system, but believe I will have it turned back on for a safety measure. Thankfully, I am no longer driving after dark or going on Freeways or any long trips unless someone else is driving, so lots of warnings for the driver.
Thank you very much for your information!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Steve
February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Here’s one tip I’ve discovered regarding car security (I haven’t seen it anywhere else) though I’m sure others have thought of it. When in a parked car, when the car isn’t running, make sure to unbuckle your seat belt. If the car’s not running, unbuckle it (obviously red lights, stop signs, and the like don’t quality.)

A friend of mine recently experienced an unfortunate example of this. He was attacked at night, in his car, at a large movie theater. The attacker stabbed my friend several times, from the driver’s side window. At the moment of the attack, my friend thought he was being ‘punched’ but scrambled across the seat and jumped out the passenger side window. He was able to run into the theater lobby and collapse, and was taken to a nearby hospital. The attacker drove off with the car.

If he had had his seatbelt fastened, he would not have been able to escape with his life.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Cindy M
February 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Live in a rural area? Encourage wild animals like turkeys, grouse and other birds to hang around by throwing cheap birdseed and various foodscraps out around your yard- those “pests” could one day be a ready source of food for you!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Leesa Tellez
February 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I have a link I would like you to take a look at. I have heard the name George Soros mentioned alot in the past of couple of days, so I researched him. To make a long story I ended up in a site talking about The Club of Rome and the purposes of the New World Order and in it was some information on the HIV virus and how it was man-made. It talks about the ways it can be transmitted which also include saliva and mosquito bites. Can you read it and let us know what you think of the information? The site is: http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Article=Final Warning&C=8.5

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Vote -1 Vote +1JeffHTX
February 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Lessa,

In my opinion, the info on the website you mentioned is spot on. It’s demonic driven, but the Lord God Almighty is in control. Trust in Him.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1John
February 6, 2012 at 6:14 pm

“Media releases concerning the possibility of mosquitoes transmitting AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) were common when the disease was first recognized…initiated by reports from a small community in southern Florida where preliminary evidence suggested that mosquitoes may have been responsible for the higher than average incidence of AIDS in the local population…

Each of these mechanisms has [since] been investigated with a variety of blood sucking insects and the results clearly show that mosquitoes cannot transmit AIDS. News reports on the findings, however, have been confusing, and media interpretation of the results has not been clear.”

Source: Rutgers University
http://www-rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/aids.htm

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Good stuff. Thanks, John :)

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Russ Crabtree
February 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm

It’s far better to avoid bad situations than extrication after the fact. I certainly agree that awareness is the best single tool. I watch people day and night while in public. I’m aware who is behind me and people sitting in cars and what they are doing and if they are showing an unusual amount of interest in me. Most people give this little thought and behave in public as though they are at home.
Thank you for providing this—a real public service. This doesn’t come naturally to most people. I worked psychiatric inpatient units for several years and those who failed to develop situational awareness got hurt.

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Vote -1 Vote +1JeffHTX
February 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Russ,

Your points are well taken. Thanks for the reminder. As David mentioned and Woolval enluded toward, we must have situational awareness concerning people around us driving in autos as well. Often times I’ve been able to avoid confrontation by determining a person’s aggressive body language and the focus in their eyes. One doesn’t have to stare at people, but just a glance or a sense that something is not right.

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Vote -1 Vote +1JeffHTX
February 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Thanks again David for teaching us. Much of what you presented in your article, I practice daily. I carry concealed everyday, but do not want anyone to know that I do. Most of the time, I believe it is to my advantage that strangers do not know I am carrying. Some state laws restrict how a handgun is carried. In my state, one is not permitted to allow anyone (on public property) to see any part of the weapon. I hope the state changes this some day. In an attempt on my part to be fully concealed, while carrying on my hip in public, I wear a shirt or jacket and cover the weapon with a black nylon elastic band shower cap. The shower cap does not restrict a hard draw and is only a minor inconvience for a pre planned draw. If the wind or my movement shifts the shirt, exposing an area on my hip where any prudent person might view my weapon, they’ll not see it plainly. While at home on my small farm, I carry open so every stranger and neighbor can see I am armed.

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Vote -1 Vote +1nutz
February 4, 2012 at 12:34 am

Jeff seems to me that this :is a doubtful strategy carrying open on your own as BG;s don’t care and if with a rifle could shoot you for the firearm with no compunction, you have added value as a target . Dress poor carry hidden with a fast draw. With a bunch of allies may be the opposite

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-1 Vote -1 Vote +1JeffHTX
February 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Nutz,

Your point is taken. Since I live in a rural area, carrying open is not unusual. Granted BGs could sneak around in the brush on Rancher Jones’s property nearby, but probably not without Jones knowing of it. I also live near a heavily traveled roadway, populated with country folk, Sheriff Deputies and DPS. The BGs better be a good shot because they’ll only get one. Behind my property, back in the hills, there is a lot of new houses being constructed by sub-contractors coming from the big city. I carry open as a deterrent.

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Vote -1 Vote +1matthew
February 4, 2012 at 10:00 am

My Mother travels to mexico regularly. When ever I travel with her, My head is constantly on a swivel.

Great article Dave…
Plan to do your course soon!

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Edith
February 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

I along with many others really like all your wonderful tips on being alert, as to what is happening around you. My husband keeps reminding me to be aware of your surroundings
all the time and if at any time you do not feel right about something, try a different route ,especially when going home. Do not stop anywhere except in a well lit parking lot, and go into the store closest to you and call 911 if the danger is still out there. Or if at a mall, maybe get the security guy to walk you out to your car. Immediately make sure all doors are locked, I also lock my car doors when traveling anywhere. You just never know when danger lurks nearby.
Thank you so much on help full hints for your own protection.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Melohawk
February 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

Two incidents to relate: #1- while helping a friend keep some occult influences from his kids, I felt I was being followed. The road was heading out of town into open country and it was at night. At the last minute I took a side road which I knew circled back to the main road. I turned off my headlights and whipped around the little circle to where I could see the road. The car passed on. I saw that particular vehicle around town again, at least two more times, but they left me alone. Turns out they were detectives working for the other side and, after they caused a certain amount of harassment, were forced to cease and desist. His kids are now in their 30′s and doing fine.

#2- while living in a “trailer house” that I owned and had trucked on a supposed “friend’s” property, I came home one day to find the door locked as normal but as soon as I walked in things “felt” wrong. I called my cat and she wouldn’t come – this wasn’t normal. I did not venture further into the house but kept calling. Finally she cautiously came out from the back room. She was looking around as if to see who might be at the door behind me or if there was anyone in the front room with me, totally not like her. She always had good “radar” and I trusted her senses when she would alert me to things going on outside. Knowing that these “friends” had a key to the front door and had delayed, hem-hawed and given tons of excuses for not giving me their copy when there was no need for them to have it (they had taken care of the out-of-state details until I could move there) and I had clear title to the place, I believe to this day that they had been in the place and scared her. Realizing that they were probably setting me up for a supposed “break-in” and a possible killing of my pet (many reasons the chief one being they wanted the place for their son and wanted to demoralize me into selling) I sold the place at a loss in order to facilitate mine and my pet’s survival. She was the only way they could have truly hurt me and all scenarios pointed toward her being used to push me out. End result: I got away from them, my cat passed away after 2 more years of peaceful retirement at another location, and I am living much better than before. I guess these two scenarios make me sound paranoid however it is surprising, when you look back over your life, at how many times you find you have lived through some truly dangerous situations, sometimes not even knowing just how dangerous they were.

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Vote -1 Vote +1gena
February 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Just a few years ago in San Antonio, TX they had groups of young gang members throwing watermelons off crossovers onto cars for “fun,” resulting in the death of a woman innocently driving along the freeway. It shattered her windshield at her car speed of about 65 mph, and instantly killed her. You have to keep your eyes open, even if there is no threat of disruption imminently acknowledged.
And where I live now, I have to make a left hand turn off another highway which has a 60mph speed limit. You have to turn where there is no nopassing markers along where I turn. So I not only start turning my turn indicator more than a block away, before I commit to a turn, I carefully check to make sure no one is going to try to pass me anyhow, in the middle of my turn, hitting me broadside on the driver side. They get pretty upset around here if you slow down for any reason, and I just use the extra care because I do want to get home alive and would rather wait if I have to for some jerk to pass me than assume they care about getting home alive also, and turn into a car wreck. It is a two lane, non divided highway, and people do not seem to be willing to take one second longer than they have to to get home or get to the closest bar. Gotta watch out for them to stay alive yourself.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Scott
February 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

The tip about seeing the bottom of the tires of the car in front of you got me thinking about another place to get trapped – in the drive-thru line at the fast food place. Several of them in my area now have 2 lines in the drive-thru, and the inside one is always the “trap” – you can’t get out of that line if something strange happened, but the outside one typically you can escape from. So if you’re stopping for a coffee or something on the way to work, go to the outside line, even if it takes a little longer.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Woogie
February 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

You don’t have to be a VIP, a wealthy person, or CEO of a company to be a target since kidnappings, robbery, theft, rape and murder happen to ANYONE at ANYTIME. So this article is great advice to heed..I have been stalked, kidnapped, had been sexually assulted, strangled, and shot at in my past so recently a car followed me mysteriously towards my home and they tailgated me way out in the country for 12 miles… I followed the tips written here, took turns on gravel roads that were short cuts and they turned…4 times…. I was nearly out of gas and there was a snowstorm occuring..so I went past my home to a restaurant/bar a block away and pulled up to the door to make a quick exit to get inside where the county deputy sherriff who owned the bar usually sat. The people who followed me came in the bar right behind me. I turned and confronted them ready to defend my self with onlookers and D sherriff watching for trouble….I was embarassed when the man came with his wife and another couple, mid aged…the man said they were lost in the snowstorm, couldn’t see too well and followed me as a leader to get them through to a public place of safely. ….LOL, never thought someone needed help that acted like someone with bad intentions…

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Vote -1 Vote +1David H
February 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm

One thing I try to do when parking is to always park so I am facing out and don’t have to back out. It eliminates the need to go in two different directions to exit and cuts out having to change gears.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Daniel
February 10, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I kno this is a bit off topic, but I would really like other opinions. I called a friend with an idea for a mental exercise on survival prep, he basicly told me I was an idiot and we needed to prepair and not play games, I thought my game was a goood way to get the mind working, please tell me if you agree or not.
In this situation , the zombie apocolypse has occured, and due to things outside of your controll you have had to flee your primary residence with little supplies. You and your group are well dressed and well armed with several young ladies and a few seniors, every one is in good health and does not need special medication. You are traveling in several vehicles, suburban, pickup, jeeps, subaru wagons all running fine, for now. You decide to head to the deep woods were you have a camp, you are taking back roads, logging roads,etc to avoid others, so stealing a large truck or semi is out of the question. Accordiing to news reports it will be 6 months to a year before anything can come back around, so you need to survive for a year without outside help or contact. As you travel you come upon a Walmart, it is still well stocked, you have only clothes weapons and food for a week, so you stop to gear up. Now for whatever reason you have only about an hour before you need to move out, (could be a fire, zombie hoard, savages). So, you need to survive for about a year, you have a mixed group, you are heading to the deep woods were you may or may not find shelter and supplies, you have an hour in Walmart, only what you can transport in 6 vehicles, what do you take? and why?
I thought this is a good exercise to get thinking about what you would need, and going through tthe differnet sections of Walmart mite make you think of things you had not thought of before. I also tried to get across to my friend, that even the best laid plans are subject to Murphys law, I.E. you are away from home, you arrive home and your place is ransacked, etc. So, please excuse the spelling and typing, and let me kno what you think, am I an idiot? or is this a worthwhile exercise?

thanks
Daniel

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Frances
February 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm

A few weeks ago my husband and I were going through Austin, Texas on our way home. Our windshield was hit with a gunshot just as we were under several overpasses on I35. The police can’t do anything about this kind of urban violence, but having gone thru this does make me more in-tune with the environment around me.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1John
February 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Well, I am an emergency dept. doctor with 26 years experience, 5 of them in a trauma unit, and here’s the Crazy Glue story. Medical Crazy glue is the same as civilian – it’s just sterile, has a purple dye added to make it easier to see, and costs about $175 a half ounce wholesale vs. a few bucks! It is useful for closing SMALL, CLEAN lacerations of skin areas that DO NOT MOVE A LOT. You can’t use it over mobile skin – for example, a finger knuckle. DIRTY LACERATIONS SHOULD NEVER, I REPEAT NEVER BE CLOSED IN EMERGENCY TYPE SITUATIONS – this leads to death by gas gangrene or other terrible infections! ONLY close clean lacerations. A good example of where to use Crazy Glue would be a 1/4″ deep, 1 1/2″ long cut on a clean forearm caused by a clean knife. It helps if two people do the closure. One pinches the skin edges together (try to make the edges pouch outwards, not inwards), the other spreads a 1/4″ line of glue over the juncture of the edges. It takes about 5 minutes for the glue to set up and become hard. No bandage required, and you don’t have to remove it – it will fall off by itself when new skin has grown underneath it. I would like to repeat one hundred times – do NOT attempt to close dirty wounds – even if you have cleaned them out with fifty gallons of antiseptic! LEAVE THEM OPEN with a clean bandage covering. This allows the body to express all the contaminating germs and foreign material. This is how animals survive bad, dirty cuts in the wild – you don’t see deer and bears sewing up cuts do you? Once you have closed a would tightly – with glue or stitches, you have sealed in whatever was in the wound – if that includes bacteria and other germs, they will multiply like wild and you will soon have an out of control infection – there was a reason why doctors did so many amputations back in the Civil War!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Eric
February 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm

GREAT Post & follow up info too! Daniel, I DONT think any question or thinking is idiotic! It gets you thinking about things you might not have thought of!!! But, I think your buddy was thinking what is most realistic & thinking you should use your energy else where. THINKING IS ALWAYS GOOD! THX again to urban survival!

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Vote -1 Vote +1CB
March 8, 2012 at 9:18 pm

After 24 years in the USAF as an Air Commando in SEA, a conventional fighter pilot next, and in counter-terrorism near the end, my situation awareness is always high. My most valuable contribution to your training forum is that everyone should obtain a concealed carry permit. Men should carry at least .40 caliber pistols, and women can survive with a lighter caliber, if necessary. You will have to go through a training course and certify on a shooting range by usually firing 60 rounds from each pistol you will show on your permit. Total cost from the county, certifying consultant, and the ammunition should be around $250, give or take. It’s good for three years and worth it, for you will learn many of the tactics you need to survive in a confrontation. I am the mayor of a small resort town in California, and I’ve had to brandish my weapon on three occasions in four months to save three good people and myself. I also recently witnessed a shooting homicide up close. As a cost-saving measure, California has elected to release 38,000 felons from its state prisons, and the crime rates are going vertical. Not a good place in which to live anymore for that and Socialistic reasons. If you live there, be prepared. You ARE on the battlefield.

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