Monday, November 21, 2005

The Day You Forget Your Gun

Your family wants to go to the Tacoma Mall this Sunday.

You lock your defensive pistol in the trunk of your car as you all go inside to shop. It's just the mall, what could happen?, you think.

You and your family are walking down the mall when you hear it -- BANG! BANG! BANG! CRACK!

A man falls in front of you, clutching his calf. You scream "GET DOWN!" as you push your kids to the floor.

Other stunned shoppers are standing around, looking at you like you are crazy. You yell at them too, "GET DOWN!" Further up the mall you hear some screams echoing and someone else begins to yell, "gunfire, gunfire!".


You try to remember "what am I supposed to do when gunfire erupts?" You look for something to get behind, a planter, a wall, anything. You look over to a store where the clerk is standing, open-mouthed, looking up the mall. You push the kids and your wife towards the store, half scuttling, half crawling.

You glance in the direction of where the clerk is looking and catch a glimpse of a young guy wearing a light blue shirt, a tie and a tan jacket, walking backwards shooting a rifle from the hip. He's getting closer...

Thankfully, the clerk's brain has engaged and he has jumped up and caught the metal security gate for the store and is pulling it down.

You push your family towards the back of the store, taking up a defensive position and your hand instinctively moves toward your hip...but your pistol is safely locked in your car. It might as well be a million miles away right now. And the gunman is moving closer to the store while still firing.

Yesterday, 20-year-old Dominick Sergio Maldonado walked into the Tacoma Mall in Washington and opened fire, injuring six and holding three hostage for several hours before being arrested by SWAT personnel.

The shooting lasted a scant 45 seconds, which probably seemed like an eternity to those at the scene. Typically active shooter scenarios last between 4 and 17 minutes -- a short enough timeframe that it is very unlikely that law enforcement agencies will be able to respond, deploy and terminate the threat. It's probably going to be up to you to save yourself and your family -- and you don't have your pistol. Several mass shootings have been stopped by responsible citizens, but only after they retreived their handguns.

Your defensive handgun does nothing for you when it's tucked away somewhere. For that reason, make sure you don't choose a platform that is too big, bulky and inconvenient to carry. Do what the professional protection agents do, they routinely carry small, compact and easily concealed handguns.

School Crime Rate Drops by 50%

Violent crime against students in schools fell by 50% between 1992 and 2002, with young people more often targeted for violence away from school according to a report from the Education and Justice Departments.

The Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S.

Morgan Quitno has released its annual ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities in the U.S.
Overall, out of 369 cities ranked:

Most Dangerous Cities

1. Camden, NJ
2. Detroit, MI
3. St. Louis, MO
4. Flint, MI
5. Richmond, VA
6. Baltimore, MD
7. Atlanta, GA
8. New Orleans, LA
9. Gary, IN
10. Birmingham, AL

Safest Cities

1. Newton, MA
2. Clarkstown, NY
3. Amherst, NY
4. Mission Viejo, CA
5. Brick Twnshp, NJ
6. Troy, MI
7. Thousand Oaks, CA
8. Round Rock, TX
9. Lake Forest, CA
10. Cary, NC

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Katrina Proves You are YOYO

When I was doing Mountain Rescue, there were inevitably times during missions when weather shifted, helicopters were grounded or assets were shifted to other calls. That meant that resources you were originally relying on were moved or could not be used.

That gave rise to the acronym YOYO, meaning “You’re On Your Own”. Usually someone either driving or flying away would yell, “Adios YOYO!” with a sly smile knowing that we had to either hike out or tough out a particularly nasty night using only the supplies and equipment we had on our backs. So we always made sure we were relatively self-sufficient.

This same lesson was emphasized during Hurricane Katrina – with the major emphasis being on the security aspect.

You can’t count on the authorities,” says Chad Callaghan, CPP, vice president of enterprise loss prevention at Marriott. “If your plan has primary response by the authorities, you’d better have a backup plan.”

Callaghan had thought state and federal and local governments had procedures in place to deal with hurricanes, but quickly learned that “we were on our own”.
Marriott, like many companies, scrambled for private security. Private security companies obviously had private guards come in for property protection, but they provided a myriad of other services as well. These security personnel provided thousands of meals and bottles of water for businesses whose personnel needed supplies, helped with search and rescue, and evacuated more than 2,500 people from the area. They also assisted in asset recovery, such as the relocation of one of the largest art collections in the southeast from a facility that was half-flooded or by going in to flooded facilities to retrieve important documents and valuables. In addition, some officers assisted companies in making a record of damages by taking pictures of property.

Remember that you are responsible for your own safety and security. Plan accordingly.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Criminals See Canada as Haven

DNA Evidence From '73 Helps Convict Rapist

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Stay with People!

You're walking to your car in a parking lot after dropping off of donation of clothes. As you reach your vehicle, this man (sketch at right) approaches and asks a question. You turn slightly to answer and then you see it -- he's drawn a gun. He orders you into your own car, drives you from the parking lot to a quiet residential neighborhood where he sexually assaults you.

This is precisely the scenario a 21-year-old woman faced recently at the hands of a man who is thought to have committed at least 3 other assaults since August.

What would you do?

It's hard to provide a definitive answer for any one specific situation, but generally, you cannot allow yourself to be taken somewhere else.

As one of the six basic principles of women's self-defense, you need to either stay with people or go to people.

Do not ever let yourself be taken somewhere. Cops call it the "secondary crime scene" and most of the time it will be where your worst nightmare resides. If you are approached in a public place do not get in a vehicle with him. Do not walk around the building to the alley -- STAY where others can see you. His worst fear is the fear of getting caught, so you should drop to the ground if you need to in order to prevent him from carrying you away. On the other hand, if you are in your house or another location that is private, you need to GO to people. His worst fear is the fear of getting caught -- run out the door to a neighbor’s. Crawl out a window onto the roof. Drive your car up to a diner or convenience store. Go where there are lights and others.

Go to the Rape Escape page for more articles and information on women's self-defense.

Surprise! Disaster Preparations Pay Off

Without trying to overstate the obvious, those who planned for a disaster weathered Hurricane Katrina with success, versus the well-publicized catastrophe which awaited those who did not.

Only two weeks after Katrina swamped the Gulf Coast, Wal-Mart (the largest employer of the Fortune 1000) had located 97 percent of the employees displaced by the storm and offered them jobs at any U.S. Wal-Mart facility. All but 13 of the Wal-Mart stores that Katrina had closed were in operation. The corporation had hauled $3 million in supplies to the disaster zone, sometimes arriving days before Federal Emergency Management Agency supplies.

“Disaster recovery is the same process regardless of the cause,” says Mike Farnham, former Fortune 500 security director. “Corporate-level security maintains the same function and goal: To secure, control, preserve and re-establish connectivity and/or operations.”

Monday, November 07, 2005

Terror Suspect has Photos of Capitol on Computer

Another reminder that many of the jihadists' terror targets are symbolic in nature...

Britain is holding three men with terrorism charges. One of them has photos and short video clips of Washington, D.C., landmarks, including the U.S. Capitol, on his computer. A video stored on the computer's hard drive also showed how to build a car bomb.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Heed the Warnings of Violent Co-Workers

One of your employees or fellow co-workers has a temper problem and is known for yelling, getting upset, disagreeing with his supervisors, and getting into fights.

No big deal right? Just stay out of his way and maybe things will go okay.

Well, not so for Robert Sisia, a supervisor in a restaurant supply company, a company where he had worked for 20 years.

Another employee,Darlin Fajardo, 35, had worked there for two years. Fajardo, a stock-clerk known for his temper, had a violent disagreement with Sisia and stabbed his 51-year-old supervisor in the chest with a steak knife.

A steak knife? Remember, it IS a restaurant supply company... But many, many work locations have plenty of items that can be used as weapons.

Heed the warning signs of violent co-workers. Stay on your guard and be prepared to protect yourself.

You'd Think Katrina Was a Good Enough Wake Up Call

Only 39 percent of business executives have invested in emergency preparedness, even though 92 percent of executives say that it is somewhat important or very important for businesses to invest in preparedness, according to a recent survey from the Advertising Council.