Archive for category Home Safety

Personal Safety and Prepping: The Earthquake is Not Your Only Problem.

Personal Safety and Prepping: The Earthquake is Not Your Only Problem!


(Draft Post Being Edited for Approval)– This post will be related to the earthquakes in Southern California and Central America within the first week of July 2109.

The focus will not only be on what we need in a Go Bag, but why having what we need – and not having to leave our secure environment to seek these things out – reduces our personal safety risk profile. We will discuss preparedness for such a situation for lone workers, who spend most of their time away from the home or office, and how such preparedness is also invaluable for travel safety.

Resource:  Earthquake Backpack List 

 How to Build and Earthquake Survival Kit

Can You Predict Earthquakes – USGS

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

5 Parking Lot Personal Safety Tips

              Personal Safety and Security Awareness In Parking Lots

What Makes Us “Soft” versus “Harder” Targets

 

In this 2 minute video we will take a look at some of the elements criminal’s factor into their victim selection process and the importance of remaining alert in familiar surroundings such as at home, work or school.

Notice the difference in our prospective victim’s ability to react to an attack as she walks from her car in an apartment parking lot.  Some elements to keep in mind!!!

No Comments

Child Grooming

Child Grooming. Recognizing this behavior for what it is!!

Guest blog entry courtesy of Kim Estes.  Kim  is a child safety expert and the founder of Savvy Parents Safe Kids. Kim believes that every child deserves a safe childhood and that adults have the power to keep children safe.

The past week has been a firestorm surrounding the Penn State Child Sexual Abuse scandal. We have by now figured out what when wrong. We know horrible mistakes were made. We know horrific crimes were committed.

Walking in on a child being raped is obviously Child Sexual Abuse in progress. However, it didn’t start “just like that”.  Sandusky had a process that he followed to gain access to that child. So how exactly do predators get to the point where they have complete access to a child and complete immunity within a community?

The answer is simple. It is called grooming.

We hear about grooming of children, but before that can happen, a predator must groom the adults. Grooming adults clears the way to victimizing children.  If we want to stop children from becoming victims, we need to be able to identify when adults are being tricked and groomed and what the predators grooming steps are.

 

Steps and Signs of Child Grooming:

Identifies opportunities, organizations and communities with children

Builds trust through friendships and/or leadership (with the adults and children)

Begins to identify potential victims

Gains access to children

Begins testing boundaries (with children and adults)

Provides presents, praise and privileges (to both the adults and the children)

Creates secrecy

Abuse begins

Uses threats (towards children and sometimes adults) to keep their crimes secret

Adults are responsible for keeping the children in our lives safe. If you observe what you believe is child grooming in progress it is your duty to intervene. Talk to a supervisor, talk to your partner, talk to the police, talk to a specialist in Child Sexual Abuse prevention. Limit that person’s access to children immediately. Predators like to fly under the radar. If you start making noise and asking questions you will make it harder for them to be stealth in committing their crimes against children.

Visit Kim’s website at www.savvyparentssafekids.com

 

No Comments

Online Safety and Social Media Security Awareness

Our Predictability as a Vulnerability

Social media safety and security are a growing concern. As more people engage in social media the amount of information being shared in relatively open forums continues to grow.

Best practice is to post information and photos after an event rather than letting people know where you will be or where you are right now. It is also a good idea to be cautious about “checking in” when using locations based services. Geo location is a growing concern amongst social media safety experts.

If you exercise the discipline of only posting after an event, keep this tip in mind; if you frequent the restaurant or establishment mentioned in your post, you are still leaving a criminal with enough information to start building a predictive profile on you.

What do I mean by this? Simply put, our predictability is one of our primary vulnerabilities. It provides criminals a good map of when and where we will be.  This information helps them streamline their planning and victim selection process whether it may be a burglary or a violent crime on a person.

Humans are creatures of habit. We tend to walk and drive the same routes and stick to schedules that become quite obvious to those who might be observing. This is why those charged with protecting dignitaries and high profile people continuously change the routes, vehicles and departure times while transporting their clients.

Even if you are careful, but mention several times over the course of a few weeks that you are home from a specific location; a restaurant you frequent, your gym, your child’s school or a more regular after work activity, you have supplied enough information for someone to predict when you will be back at one of those locations.  This information greatly enhances the targeting opportunity.

So keep in mind, even if posting after an event, keep the specifics and location vague. Predictably is our Achilles Heel.  Again keep the specifics and location very vague!!

You might think that only friends and family in your social media network are privy to anything you share. You also might think that your friends have vetted the friends they share their platforms with.  Think again!

A Reuters article on a British company, Legal & General published some statistics from a study they did several years ago.

Their study revealed that only 13% of Facebook users vetted a friend request and a staggering 92% accepted new follows on Twitter without doing any checks!!

They also found that 38% of people on Twitter and Facebook would post about an upcoming vacation.

 

Social Media Safety Training Available onsite or in webinar format / One hour duration

Related:

Back to School Safety Tips — Social Media, Device Security, Malware by Christopher Burgess (For the Huffington Post )

Password- Creation and Usage – Online Safety & Security by Christopher Burgess

No Comments

Am I being followed by that vehicle?

The key point to remember is that you are much safer in a moving vehicle, even a slow moving vehicle, than when in or around a stationary vehicle.  So if you think you are being followed keep moving and consider the following strategies.

If you are able to, make three left (or three right) turns in a row.  You have essentially just driven in a “square circle” as it were, and the likelihood that you are NOT being followed is now almost zero; anyone who is still following you after this route detection / evasion maneuver should be considered a serious threat. A less brazen person would probably terminate their pursuit knowing they have been spotted.

Now proceed at safe speeds to the closest busy road, preferably a well light boulevard or even a highway.  Drive below the posted speed limit and turn on your hazard lights. This will draw attention to your vehicle.(In this situation you want to be pulled over by the police!) Slowing down also will allow you to get your bearings while operating the vehicle safely. While doing so initiate a 911 call. Try maintaining a consistent heading and make note of the cross streets. Most states require a hands free headset this making talking to the operator easier and safer.

Let the operator know you are being followed and then let the operator ask the questions. If you see a red light ahead, slow down and try time arriving at that intersection when the light is green so you don’t have to come to a full stop. If you have to come to a stop, leave a car length between you and the vehicle in front of you giving you space to maneuver if you have to. (You should make this a habit even if not being followed)

The operator will keep you on the line and he or she will direct a police car to intercept you.

This scenario is one reason it is always good to have more than half a tank of gas and to be always be generally aware of your location. A report in Seattle several years ago indicated that 25% of cell phone callers to 911 did not know enough about where they were making it almost impossible for emergency services to respond. Situational awareness is key.

In a situation like this it goes without saying you should not drive to work, home, your child’s school or any destination you frequent. This includes a friend’s house. If you will drive to a fire station or police station, let the operator know to which one you are heading so that a first responder can be curbside when you arrive. There have been cases where the person being followed has pulled into a busy grocery store lot in broad daylight and the perpetrator was brazen enough to still have tried to cut them off as they made their way on foot into the store.

No Comments