Thank you for joining us for our third and final installment of "Are You Setting Yourself Up To Be A Victim?" As you've seen from the previous installments awareness is the key to not being a victim. In this final installment we'll be looking at Awareness Colors and how to not be a victim while traveling.
1. Awareness colors are a way of indicating what level of awareness you're in. The principle was developed by Colonel Jeff Cooper (U.S. Marine Corp., ret) Each color is a different level of awareness and with a little practice you'll be able to transition from one state of awareness to the other in a split second. We'll start with the lowest level and move up to the highest.
- White - In Code White you're not aware of anything going on around you. You are focused on reading, texting, intently looking at the phone, etc.. An assailant can come up to you and you wouldn't notice, until it's too late. You are "Living Distracted". This is not a good color of awareness. It can actually be dangerous.
- Yellow - Code Yellow should be your every day level. In code yellow you know what's going on around you. You are constantly aware. You're in a relaxed state, while being aware, but not paranoid. You'll notice if anyone or anything is out of place. Nothing will take you by surprise. As you go through your daily life you'll be running "What If" scenarios in your mind. You're alert and looking at all possibilities.
- Orange - In Code Orange you're on ALERT. You know something isn't right. At this time you need to pay attention to your gut feelings. The threat assessment is no longer "What If" but "Reality". You know you're aware and ready to fight. Prepare for a confrontation. If you find there's no need for concern you can easily move back to code yellow.
- Red - Code Red - TIME FOR ACTION! There's an actual threat. You are moving from recognizing a threat to stopping it. Mentally go back to your practice scenarios. If armed, now is the time to pull your weapon. Keep yourself safe. If not armed, use whatever other weapons are around. Almost anything can be used as a weapon for your protection, if used properly. You can't hesitate. I can't stress enough that this is the time for action. Stay in code red until you are positive the threat has been neutralized and there are no other threats around. Then you can go back to code yellow.
Many of us have to travel for either business or pleasure. How can you not become a victim? Even if you're a stranger in a strange land.
- Try not to look like a tourist. Wear clothing that blends in with the location. Expensive cameras, wearing cowboy boots with a swimsuit and caps with Mickey Mouse ears might telegraph that you're a tourist. Standing out in the crowd will make you a prime target for criminals. They will assume you're carrying plenty of cash and at least a couple credit cards.
- Even while you're on vacation/traveling you need to stay in code yellow. Not only will you enjoy the sights more but being more aware will hopefully make the criminals look for an easier target.
- Plan ahead. Since you're likely to be in a strange place make plans before leaving where you're staying. This will help you move and act with more confidence and become less of a target.
- Don't be a social media butterfly. I know you want to tell your friends you're having a grand ole time and share your beautiful pictures. But, as you do this not only are you showing your friends and family that you're not home but burglars troll different social sites. When they see you're not home that tells them your house is probably empty and ripe for the picking. If you are a parent and you left your children at home, this action can cause them to be a target.
- Guard your possessions. Keep your purse, wallet and jewelry out of view. If the hotel has a room safe use it, even if you're in the room. There are products made to help keep you safe while traveling that you might want to look into.
Thank you for taking the time to learn how to not be a victim. Like everything worthwhile it will take a little practice to make it perfect. I couldn't put everything in the article. If you want further information you can go to our website www.miraofficial.net to sign up for our "How Not To Become A Victim" class. You will learn with hands-on scenarios on what to do in different situations. The classes are available for groups, corporations, families and individuals. We also offer firearms training by a NRA Certified Instructor. For any questions or comments send your responses to Ralph Bayless firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven't read chapters one and two you will find them on our website www.miraofficial.net under the News/Video tab. A special thank you to Beth Alcazar, USCCA, for her support and information. www.protectwhatreallymatters.com