February 26, 2014

Personal Security

This is far afield from the material I normally post here but it's just so good that I wanted to share. Penned by a close friend of mine who works in the security field, it is great advice that I hope you share with everyone you care about.
On occasion I get asked to help individuals, missionaries, churches or other groups develop personal security plans for foreign travel or daily life. This is always something that I love to help out with. I was helping somebody out earlier this week and just thought I would share a few things that I point out to people when they are stateside (Be careful applying these things overseas as cultures ...and security situations are different):

1. Know where the police stations are in the area you live and travel in. If you ever feel that you are being followed, pull into the parking lot and lay on the horn.

2. If you are heading out into a parking lot at night, stop at the door of the building that you are leaving and take a look around. If something doesn’t feel right turn around and go back inside.

3. When you have kids with you, stop and look around before you get in the car. The bad guys like unsuspecting prey and when you take the time to look around you are showing them that you are aware of what is going on. It will also tell you if someone is paying unusual attention to you and yours.

4. If you are attacked for any reason, make your stand right there. If you are taken away from the site of the original attack your chances of survival drop by about 90%.

5. Someone should always know where you are. It is like hiking, if they know where you are and when to expect you back they will know to miss you and where to start looking. Having the Find Iphone or equivalent app on your phone is a great way to be safe. It means someone can find you and that you can set off an alarm on someone else’s phone to alert them.

6. If something does not feel right, leave. We are the only animal on the planet that has a fight or flight instinct and then talks ourselves out of it. God gave you those instincts. Listen to them.

7. Don’t flash cash unintentionally. These days there are a lot of people who want it and are more than happy to take yours. Whenever you pay for something in cash or purchase anything over $75 and then head to your car, make sure that you are aware of anyone who might be following you.

8. Don’t ever let your gas tank get to empty (I’m horrible at this). Put a piece of tape over you fuel gauge to where you can’t read anything under ¼ tank. Make this your new empty.

9. Ladies: Be careful how you dress. Fair or not, if you are dressing to accentuate certain features you do not get to choose the quality of people that notice.

10. Guys: Turn the other cheek. Be humble and avoid confrontation. You never know what the other person is bringing to the argument. Not everybody plays by your rules.

Security is something that we should all be aware of because whether we like it or not we live in a fallen world and Satan does not play nice. So often I hear people say that God will protect them. I understand the sentiment but God also calls us to be good stewards of what he has given us, including our lives and that of our children. Back when I was growing up and traveling to Africa I picked up a phrase that put it a different way ”God will not let you die until he is done using you but remember that he can powerfully use people with a colostomy bag.” The implication was clear, be bold but don’t be stupid. It’s a bit harsh but it gets the point across. Good intention do not automatically guarantee good results. Be smart. Be shrewd. Use the instincts that God has given you. He equipped us all for life. Make sure you are using all your equipment.

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