OSEA Safety Blog

Preparedness Matters When It Comes To Your Safety, Security

Monday, June 21, 2021 Joseph Coniglio

There is no surprise anymore when you pick up the news and see awful stories of people being hurt or killed, it almost seems commonplace. What catches my attention the most is where these events are taking place. These shootings and stabbings are happening in movie theaters, churches, schools, and businesses; with many happening in broad day.

Personal safety must be at the top of our mind at all times. In the past, we could tell our kids (or we were told as kids) things like “nothing good happens after 11pm outside” or “don’t go to that specific area of town” and that was normal and considered safe. Fast forward to today and it’s a much different landscape for anyone growing up in this world. There is a major argument to be made (in fact it has been made) that the violence we see on the news is not actually happening as frequency as it those stories make it out to be.

So, my first piece of advice, don’t believe everything you read online! My second piece of advice, always be prepared to defend yourself if the unlikely circumstance rears its head in your direction. Does that mean you need to be a black belt? No. You can attend a self-defense course in person, study techniques in books or even watch instructional videos online.

In addition to hand-to-hand fighting, there are many forms and methods of self-defense such as the obvious ones like; (mind you these options may or may not be legal in your state) pistol, knife, pepper spray, baseball bat. There are several less known and more discreet self-defense tools out there such as self-defense keychains, kubotans, mini-baton or even a stun-flashlight.

Whatever method you choose, the most important step is practice. You can’t practice enough and again it doesn’t matter what your choice of defense is, practice is still important in all forms of self-defense.

With all that said, you can avoid putting yourself in these situations by planning in advance when to or not to go somewhere. For example, if you need to park in a ramp, try to find the most well illuminated, most used parking area within the complex and try to pick a location closest to an exit door. When you return to your car, alter your route from the one used to leave the complex and pick a route that allows you to see your vehicle and the surrounding area from a distance which allows you to recognize anything out of the ordinary.

When you are driving at night, in an area that you know car jackings have taken place, take extra precautions as you navigate through it. Couple ideas when in these situations; always check your mirrors and blind spots, thieves are smarter than you think, and they know where to approach from. Keep your doors locked. For newer cars that may mean breaking out the manual as some come preset where only the driver door locks on button press.

When you go to places such as malls or large supermarkets, take an inventory of the exit door and bathroom locations. Bathrooms can offer good cover and concealment in the event of an active shooter when retreating outside isn’t an option. Lastly, pay attention to people’s demeanor and body language. For example, hands curled into fists can be a sign of strike coming. Someone who has a hood up indoors or in other ways trying to conceal their identity, wears very baggy or heavy clothes out of season, shows signs of nervousness such as pacing or jittering and anyone who generally seems out of place.

At the end of the day remember, there is no perfect or right way to defend yourself. Whatever it takes to get yourself out alive is all that matters.

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