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Saturday, March 24, 2018

OODA loop

(Between recent events and recent training experiences I thought it would be a good idea to go over this concept.)

Decision making, something we do all day long and never really think about. All day long you decide to do things really with out thinking about it. You get in the car, start the car and take off down the road without really taking time to think about all the complex decisions you are having to make. Internally you calculate how fast you are going and confirm it with the what the car is saying. You make a right hand turn after calculating the distance, speed and timing it will take you to make the turn before the other car coming toward you is to close.

Of course some folks make less then thoughtful decisions when behind the wheel. Which makes the rest of us decided if jail is really that bad or not.........

For lots of situations we deal with on a daily basis we make list. We gather information, we compare outcomes from the information we have. And only after we have done these things do we choose a course of action.

We unconsciously use an O.O.D.A. Loop thousands of times a day. What if we could consciously use this process to increase our ability to make decisions? Even increase the speed in which we could make these decisions?

This way of describing how we make decisions was originally used to help fighter pilots make decisions. The link can lead you to a more detail explanation.


Who more then a fighter pilot would need to make decisions, life or death decisions, as quickly as possible? Not to many of us.  

Observe - We have to have our head up either physically or metaphorically. You do not know there is an issue if you do not collect the information indicating there is an issue. 

Orient - We have to face, literally and figuratively, the issue. Focusing on the issue at hand while letting go of everything which does not have to do with the issue. 

Decide - After passing through the first two phases we come up with a plan or solution to the issue. 

Act - We follow through with the plan. The plan based on the information we have gathered. 

Sounds simple enough. Fits in with our Keep It Simple Stupid concept. Yet this seemingly simple idea can be utilized for so many different situations or issues. Like most things we talk about, we want to cover as many things as we can with as little as we can. One item for many situations is a great thing. 

How do we apply this concept. After all you can have a million ideas or a bag full of supplies. If you can not apply the ideas or utilize your items they are useless. 

Need a bandaid for the little one? Some time before you knew this could come up. You spent a couple of dollars at the Dollar Store. You know to clean out the wound and then cover it with the bandaid. Emergency over! You can do this because at some point you acknowledged a "bad" thing could happen, you focused on the issue, you came up with a plan and bought some bandaids. 

Maybe a really bad day has come up? Maybe you are facing a bad guy with a knife?

Maybe the fire is just down the street or over the hill?

Knowing the OODA Loop and how to apply it will help you make it through either of these situations and so many more. How?

Physical encounter with guy in picture...... You need to make your situation better. As in right now!

Observe - you acknowledge he is a threat. Your past the "why me" or "why is this happening" phase. You clearly define this as a threat you must deal with!

Orient - you turn to address the threat. Your focus is the threat. Nothing else matters at the moment. With orientating yourself to the threat you have now placed all your sharp pointy things toward the threat. Fist, feet and even your teeth if you have to use them! 

Decide - Fight or flight. Now that you are focused on the threat you can decide what to do. 

Act - Do something to better your position! As the guy goes past you, take the pen you were using to sign autographs and put it in his eye. 

Of course all of this happens faster then it took you to read about it. One of the reasons this concept worked well for fighter pilots. You have also interrupted the guy with the knife OODA Loop. He has to start back a square one. Hopefully you have sped up your own loop and are a step ahead of him now. 

Which brings use to how most of us will use this concept. We can speed up our own OODA Loop to give use more time to make better decisions when something happens. 

By covering some of the process before a situation arises you can increase the speed of the decision making process. Take the second situation, one friends of mine faced recently, a fire coming toward the house. 

You find out the weather women/man is calling for fire conditions over the next few days. For those of us in California we know a call of Santa Anna winds is going to bring fire. Not an 'if', this almost always means a fire is coming. In fact I can not think of any time in the recent past a fire did not happen somewhere once they called for Santa Anna winds over a day or two. 

Observe - You pay attention to the news more. Maybe you look to the horizon a little more then you do on other days. 

Orient - You hear there is a fire near your home. 

Decide - This is where your prior planning speeds up your loop. You have sat down, when not under pressure of a real situation and figured out all the 'what if's?'. You already know where the important papers are kept. You already know what you "need" to make it a few days away from the house. You already have a stash of cash to pay for a hotel room. Your gas tank is half full. Your iCloud is already full of family pictures. Add in all the other things you can already have squared away when this situation comes up.  

You have to go through the loop less times then your neighbor. This gives you the ability to be a step ahead of the situation. 

Fire coming! 
Cool. How much time we got?
Fifteen minutes!
Cool. Grab these things............ Done. 
We still got ten minutes!
Cool. Let's also grab these things, since we have time.......... Done.
But we still have five minutes, we need to do something! 
Cool. We got a couple of minutes? 
WHY ARE YOU SO CALM!?!?!?!?!?!?
Prior planning.............. Wanna panic? We got like three minutes? We can fit it in if you would like?
(this is the part where they roll their eyes at you and call you names!)

We all want to be in a position where nothing bad ever happens. Well that is not life. If we apply this concept of the OODA Loop to our prior planning we can increase the odds of us coming out in a good spot at the end of the emergency. Of course this means we have to get over the first hurdle to any sort of planning. We have to get over the "Why me?" or "Why is this happening?" phase first. 

One way to do this is to plan now before an event occurs. Take the most common event in your area. Maybe it is an ice storm? Maybe a tornado? Maybe you drive a long way to work everyday? What are the major issue you would face in any of these situations? Grab a piece of paper..... go on and grab one now while you are reading this and have a few moments to orient yourself to the issues. We will wait............. 

The rest of us will enjoy this picture of Snoopy. 

Your back? Ok, what is the first priority during your event? Write it down. How do you cover this first priority? Write down the answer. You have just sped up your first OODA Loop. While your sitting here, write down the second priority. What is the answer to cover this priority? Write it down. Now you have sped up two decisions you will have to address. I am sure if you are reading this post you have the ability to follow this thought process further down the line.

Take your plans and put them in a binder if you want to. We have set plans or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) we do without having them written down. Experience has brought us to this point. What you really need to do is discuss this planning with your loved ones. Discussing this will speed up your loved ones OODA Loops when you are not there. 

As Always,

Stay Safe!  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Good spot

Been awhile since I wrote anything. Life kind of jumped up and got in the way. The good thing about not writing or focusing on preparedness for awhile? I got to see if my stuff was up to snuff a few times. The best part, this was without the subject really being anywhere near a focus in my life. Without realizing it I had hit a "good spot" in my personal planning.

What does a good spot mean? This good spot is a place where you do not have to think about preparedness to much. When something unexpected comes up, your prior planning has lead to your appropriate response to the situation. This is a good feeling! I have a joke with myself. The future me either likes or dislikes the past me depending on what the past me has done to prepare the future me! Over the last nine months or so we have had power outages, cuts/bruises/bumps, fires, floods and other issues come up. We have done pretty good through all of these issues.

Remember, an emergency situation to you might be different then what an emergency situation is to me. This is why everyone needs to focus on what their personal situation requires. There are no one size fits all.

Scrapped knees, bonked heads and other child injuries came up. Our medical preparedness allowed us to make it through these 'emergencies'. You would be amazed how much a Spider Man bandaid can change a situation. One second you have a small child whaling at the top of their lungs swearing the end of the world has begun. Some Neosporin treated the physical wound. The decorations on the bandaid treated the mental wound. End of emergency!

More then once an ice pack from the freezer cured the bruised egos of little ones who were on the losing end of a tussle. Sometimes they even kept the swelling down from whatever they had failed at doing or the knot they received from the other one. The ice packs in the freezer even helped to keep the fridge cold during our several power outages. Between the incidents the ice packs were tested to see how long they could keep the ice chest cold after the power came back on. Two and a half days before I thought stuff started to get to warm. (No I was not opening and closing the ice chest. Just kept it closed to see how long water stayed cold.)

Being able to use a single item for multiple uses is a wonderful ability! Just hope someone does not get a bump and you need the ice pack for keeping the chest cold!!!

Our communications abilities were tested during the power outages. The ability to still communicate with the little ones, who's iPads had no internet, was a big one! Hehehehehe! Between text messages, cellular, radios and talking to our neighbors we thought we had a grasp of what was going on around us. Some of our friends found the lag time between news or official information was to much. This lag between what was happening right now to them and what was being put out caused stress to be added to their already stressful, if not life threatening, situations! 

Found more resources for staying up to date. Phones have all kinds of applications for staying informed. The ham radio and police scanners helped a lot. Yet at the end of the day we found looking around the house, talking to our neighbors, City Workers and keeping our own situational awareness were the best tools.

Nothing was better then during our first power outage. The children came home to find the house had lights. Each of them had their own flashlight. And best of all....... Pizza had been ordered for dinner!! Took the time to teach the older one how to put batteries in the camp lanterns. Did not seem like a big deal till the next power outage. Someone had to show mom where the batteries went and the best places to put the lamps.......... Future me laughed at that one!

We personally escaped the worst of the fires this year. Friends of ours were not so lucky. I will not put any names in this story. If you figure out it is you...... do not tell anyone! I called it!!!

Two families, we will call one family #1 and the other #2. Let's focus on just the first few minutes of the emergency. Both were faced with the same issues. It was time to go, fire was coming and there was no time left to figure out what to do.

Family #1, no idea what to pack. No real idea where to go. No prior planning at all from what I could figure out.

Family #2, set their planning into motion. Had a rough idea of where to go. Had time to gather more information, pack more items.

Family #1, all over text messages and FB venting their frustration.

Family #2, using the internet to check in with folks and keeping people informed of their situation.

Family #1, basically appeared to melt down.

Family #2, held it together.

This was just the first couple of minutes of the emergency. Why am I pointing this out? Those first couple of minutes could make all the difference. Prior planning prevents poor performance. Am I 'Monday Morning Quarter Backing' either family? Nope just giving my impression of what each family was doing.

They both faced many of the exact same issues. Family #2 was obviously dealing with the situation much better. Why? Seems they had hit a good spot in their personal planning. The situation might have exceeded what they were truly facing but their prior planning obviously helped them through the situation.

Having dealt with a few situations of our own. With the knowledge we gained from what our friends personally went through. The goal now becomes to close up some of the gaps in our abilities. We want to cover more of the basics. Add some more abilities. Plan out a few more scenarios.

Going to be doing all of this with the intention of moving our "Good Spot" a little further down the line.

As Always,

Stay Safe!   


Sunday, March 04, 2018

Inventory - Check your stuff

Quite randomly the month of July was the month I put into my phone to inventory and take stock of where we are for emergency preparedness. Best reason I can remember is I had achieved some goal at this point in the years prior.

Having a time you plan to check what you have, replace stuff and see where you want to be is a really good tool. I must admit life seemed to get in the way with my inventory this year. Work, kids, etc etc etc. Honestly there is not a whole lot to go through at the house, no we do not have a bunker full of every item we might need if the aliens invade, but I found enough to work on when I did sit down to go through our get home bags.

I know as our situation at home changes we need to adapt our planning and gear to the new situation. Kids grow, grown folks get older, you move or any of the other things which can change your situation come up and having a day or in this case a month to review your preparedness comes in handy. Biggest thing I found was duplicated items. I have a habit of getting items and just stuffing them inside of the bags. Of course I forget what I already have in them!

Expired or poorly packaged items were the next thing I found. Over the course of the last year I had found higher quality items but had failed to move out the older stuff. (going back to my habit of just stuffing stuff in the bag)

Somethings do not change, expire or need upgrading. Rain cover for the bag, first aid supplies, mirror, whistle and headlamp.

I realized my water purifying equipment had gotten a bit out of hand. The bag is packed to help get me home from work on a really bad day. If I need three types of water filters to get home things have gone way, way bad and the bag is not designed for a really, really bad day. Just a bad day!!! Although having multiple ways of doing something is a really good idea this was kind of a waste of space when I realized what I had done.  

I also realized my medical supplies needed to be revamped. The focus was more on the gunfight and needed to move toward covering regular issues one might have walking home. My background leads me to see things through the gunfighter lens. We should all make sure we look at our planning through the lens of disciplines outside of our own.

I also needed to trade out the MREs which had sat in my car for a year or more. Ok I know people will say you should do this more often because they go bad. Ate on of the ones I took out for lunch that day. Tabasco sauce had evaporated magically somehow but the rest of the meal was good! I couldn't remember if I had water bladder in the bag until I looked. Another good reason for going through the stuff.

I also had recently bought a new pack for everyday carry and decided to move the stuff over to the new bag. Having both bags open at the same time lead me to again find some gear which was duplicated and did not need to be carried in both bags. This bag is the Vertex EDC bag, after I carry it for awhile there will be a review.

One of the first things I did with the new bag was add a tourniquet and extra bandages. With everything going on in the world right now I felt I needed to add more medical stuff to the EDC.

Just inventory of this gear seemed to take up all of the spare time I had this month. Of course I have to still go through some other stuff but this gave me a good indication of where we are and where we need to go during the next year. If you can't deal with situations with what you carry everyday, combined with the gear you have to help you get home than what you have at home might just not matter.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

London Bridge

In case you do not know much about the incident here are some links you can go to in order to catch up before you read this post.

The first is a news article with some video and links;

This one goes straight to a video
<iframe src="http://www.nbcnews.com/widget/video-embed/959685187766" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

People were out enjoying their evening when they were attacked. A van ran people down. The occupants jumped out of the van,  attacking people with knives, until they were killed by police officers.

The entire incident lasted around eight minutes. Eight minutes before police were able to stop the threat. One minute, take one minute, just one minute and have someone hit you with a hammer! Yes, have someone get a hammer, allow them to beat you for one minute while you do nothing to defend yourself!!!!!! JUST DO IT!!!

Why won't you? Because we all know you will suffer bruises, maybe a broke bone, maybe a bleeding gash and heck you might even get knocked out!! Imagine being on the street and help does not arrive for eight minutes!! You are on your own......... we are all on our own for some period of time when bad things happen. What can you do or what do you know which could help?

These guys did not show up first. One "Bobbie" is credited with taking on all three of the attackers. This brave Officer is alive from what I understand. After he put up a fight the attackers moved on to take lives. The Officer is credited with buying other people time to flee.

Hopefully he fully recovers. We can only hope his actions saved some lives.

It was a while before these guys showed up.

While people waited....... well they did this.........

Others did this..........

At one point the attackers were reported to have gone into a pub and were chased out by the people there throwing things at them. Another man stood up and took on the three attackers. He was injured but will also survive.

The attack stopped when the attackers were shot and killed.

We have to strive to survive for the time we are on our own. We can not count on others to help us defend ourselves. We can not count on others to provide first aid. We can only count on ourselves for these moments.

What can we learn from this incident?

Situational awareness is very needed skill to counter these situations. If you are aware of your surroundings you might notice the truck jump onto the sidewalk in time to seek safety. If you are aware people are running through the streets attacking people you might be able to avoid the situation or response in some other way.

Being able to defend yourself might give you the ability to stop or counter an attack. Having some ability might mean you get to go home after the incident.

PLEASE NOTE..... Not once in this statement did I say you can kick the crap out of the attacker and save the day!!! NO! You might be able to get home at the end of the day still breathing, with no major holes in you and one hell of a story to tell!!! Maybe you could even help a few other people get home also.

Leave the fantasy, super hero Bull Shit at home!!! In the two cases of people taking on these three attackers the people defending themselves were injured, yet everyone says they had a positive effect on the ability of others to live.

Having some medical skills might mean the difference between you getting home or not. You might also be able to help others live to see another day. Remember even just putting direct pressure on a wound and being able to preform CPR might be the difference between life and death for someone.

The biggest skill you need during a bad day, after realizing something is going on, is the ability to control your fear. You have to control it, remain focused, take in information and make positive decisions. For those of us who have near been in a really bad incident this is right up there with breathing during an incident. The bad part, you can not be taught to stay calm during a bad day in one or two sessions somewhere. Experience is the best teacher.

Remain aware of your surroundings
Be able and willing to defend yourself
Have the ability to preform basic first aid

Of course people can argue with my short list for this incident. That is a good thing. We all come at these situations from different angles and have a different way of seeing the answer to the problem.

(The following section has been edited...... The first draft was loaded with heart felt anger, foul language and utter disgust at the authorities........ I edited this in the hoped people would read on without being turned off by the colorful language or rage.)

WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!? This is the plan the London police put out for their people to follow? No really here is the link to this bullshit!!!

Here is a video the London police department put out to give citizens a plan to use during incidents........ nowhere do they say you should have a plan to fight? Or do they and I missed it? Because I do not think I missed it?

This bullshit shows a complete lack of understanding the basics of PREDATOR and PREY mentality! shows a complete lack of understanding how the human animal reacts as a predator when the other person runs like prey! Do these idiots even understand more kills are made when the "victim" has their back to the attacker? Do these fucking morons understand they are teaching their population to be god damn victims?!?!?!?!!?

(end of rant........ deep breath......)

You only rise to the lowest level of your training. If your training only consist of running and hiding you will fail when these two options do not work..........

Please take a moment and read this earlier post.

Make fighting, defending yourself if you have too part of your personal and family plan.

Yes, we should avoid if we can.

Yes, we should find a defensible position, use the terrain, put things between use and the attackers.

Yes, we should call for help as soon as possible.

If you do not mentally prepare for the situation to progress or skip these other parts you will be caught flat footed. You have to visualize a really bad situation and you working through it. You have to acknowledge situations can spiral out of control to a point attackers are running through the streets attacking people. You must have a complete plan, a back up plan and a "no plan" for when everything goes to hell.

If you can arm yourself when confronted with knife wielding attackers. Be prepared to use whatever you arm yourself with. If this means you pick up a fire extinguisher, spray them with contents and then beat them with the canister until they are not a threat..... DO IT!! If you arm yourself and suddenly find yourself behind the attacker..... take the tool you have armed yourself with and bash the attackers head in until they are no longer a threat! If the attacker is busy stabbing someone else and you have something to hit, bash or stab them with........ run up behind them while they are distracted and stab them, bash them or hit them until you make them no longer a threat or need to employ the run portion of your plan again.

If you were squeamish or otherwise upset by anything you just read..... you need to mentally prepare yourself for the reality of a situation where someone is killing you or other people. You must tell yourself now

"I do not want to fight anyone but I will. I do not want to hurt anyone but I will. I will do whatever it is I need to get home today! I will bash someone's skull in! I will stab someone in their neck! I will throw them in front of a bus if I need to!"

There will be a moment in time when you will be on your own. Be prepared to take any and all positive steps you can to help yourself and others make it through this period of time.

Ok I rewrote this five times....... I am really upset by this incident! You have a right, everyone has a right, to defend themselves when someone is trying to kill them. I left some stuff in here this version.... I couldn't cut out all the language because I feel this strongly about each of us having the right to defend ourselves and loved ones. If you have no training, get some, please......

As Always,

Stay Safe!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Manchester Bombing - Teach your children

Not wanting to seem like we are capitalizing on incidents, this post is being written purposely later then others which have been posted here after an event has taken place. Of course other incidents have taken place since this one..... I do not think we will be delaying posting in the future. I really did not want to seem like the posts were taking advantage of situations.............

Completely trying to stay out of the politics........... Children, unarmed children, who pose no threat to you, are not legitimate targets no matter your cause....... Period, end of discussion.

Given the current attacks we need to cover something which came up while reading reports about the attack. Children did not know what to do. They had no idea what to do when things went south. Granted children should not have a complete skill set for dealing with bad days. They are children and should not have to deal with this S*&^, but they do have to deal with it. Even if dealing with it is just hearing about it on the internet or listening to adults talk. They have to process the information and deal with it using the tools they have been given. As adults we should be trying to prepare our children by giving them tools they can use when, god forbid, they have to deal with a situation.


Because they might not always run into someone willing to help them as this lady did for a group of kids.


Wanna bet your kids safety on some complete stranger coming to their aid? Because.....

"People are 'good' and would not leave children to fend for themselves." 

REALLY? How many other adults left children not of their own to fend for themselves in the middle of this situation......

First, have a talk with your kids. Let them know if they are ever lost, not sure where to go or do not know where you went, to find a police officer and ask them for help. This is not just for a terrorist attack. This covers normal days at the mall or a trip to the beach.

(just seen this skill in action today at a fair. little girl was separated from her family, asked for help when she realized she was alone. she was brought on stage, an announcement was made and her father was found less than 100 yards away)

Even if they are older kids, teenagers, have a talk with them and put these idea in their heads. Under stress they will remember what you told them. Even if your "terrible teen" doesn't remember odds are someone in the group will remember this.

This would be another tactic to teach your kids. Do not tell them it is a survival tactic, do not freak them out, but encourage kids to travel in groups to events like this, walking home, leaving the mall or any other time they are out. Of course if the crowd they are hanging out with is less then........ well..... if they are dirtbags, do not encourage them to hang out with that crowd. That is a discussion for another time. For this, encourage kids to move in groups.

Teach your kids to act when something bad happens. Acting being the opposite of just standing there frozen. Teach them what stops fragments and bullets, yes you can just have a discussion with them about what will and won't stop fragments and bullets! Because if things keep escalating one explosion will be followed by another! Just look to what happens in Israel, Syria and other places where bombings take place. These incidents will escalate to where the bombers set off secondary devices to catch first responders and others trying to help.

Next, teach your children first aid. As with everything we talk about here we try to cover as many situations as we can. First aid is a skill not just used if your child is caught in a terrorist act. They can use this ability when they get a paper cut or skin their knee.

Think about it for a moment, what if your child is caught in an event? What if they have enough training to seek help, find a safe position and administer first aid to themselves or others? This saying has proven true more times than I can remember; you only rise to the lowest level of your training during a bad day.

Just think how much better the situation is going to be for them!

Think about your child being able to fend for themselves during those moments of chaos. Think of the advantage you have given your child by having a few conversations and providing basic skills to them............

We can not always be there for our children. At some point we have to let them live their lives. As a parent of grown children I completely understand this, do not like it, but it is something we all have to go through as parents.

Actions taken in the first few moments and minutes after an event can make all the difference in who lives and who dies. This is especially true for medical issues. There is a "Golden Hour" talked about in medical training. If you have access to advanced medical care the first hour is vital. What your child does for themselves or others can make all the difference. Putting direct pressure on a wound, wrapping the victim or themselves in something to fight back shock and keeping a positive mental attitude sounds like nothing yet could be the deciding factor in an emergency.

Of course there is only so much we can expect children to do. We all know kids who are act like they are not listening when you are talking. They will resist any training or conversation which make them uncomfortable. As a parent still have the conversations, still have them take training or teach them ourself. We can not expect children to take charge of a scene or acting as medics. All we can hope for is to give our children tools, training, principles and ideas they can pull from is they ever need to.

Take the time to teach the children.............

As Always,

Stay Safe!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Security Habits - Get Some!

Any where on the net you can find articles and videos showing crime. Crime seems to be on the upswing in my local area. One thing in common with all of these crimes you might notice is the vast majority of crimes seem to start with an opportunity. "Well duh!" Yeah, yeah I realize the statement seems obvious and rather dumb of me to make. Let's take a moment and look at the word 'opportunity'.

"A crime of opportunity is a crime that is committed without planning when the perpetrator sees that he/she has the chance to commit the act at that moment and seizes it. Such acts have little or no premeditation." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_of_opportunity 

The first step would be to take your face out of whatever is stopping you from having good situational awareness. We have covered situation awareness before yet it needs repeating. If you want to lessen the chances of your security being breached the first habit to ingrain into yourself and your loved ones is situational awareness! Everything else starts from here. You can stop most crimes simply by building good habits. The first step is to build the habit of awareness. 

Awareness of your lack of good habits, awareness of the fact there is crime, awareness most crimes are crimes of opportunity and awareness you can cut down on the chances of being a victim of these crimes by practicing good habits. 

It may sound simple BUT acknowledging there is crime is the first step. Kind of like the 12 step program some of us might know about. First, you must acknowledge there is a problem before you can address the problem. 

Next you must look around you to see what you can do to make the chances of you being a victim much less. There are several studies on the behavior of criminals which tell how they pick their victims for physical attacks, robbery, rapes etc. Each one of these studies has one thing which seems to be included in all of them, the person looked, acted, or gave of a victim vibe. 

Which one would you rob if you had to? Which one would you attack if you had to? 

Our first habit we need to develop is being aware of what could be around us. Next is to develop a habit of doing things to counter or lessen the chances of us becoming victims. But let's not focus on being physically victimized by someone. Because if you have ever had something stolen from you, you will understand finding your wallet missing, car gone or house broken into is another form of victimization. 

This should be an easy habit to form. So easy some of us might feel silly when we do not do it and something happens. Lock your doors and windows to your home.......... I know sounds simple yet so many thieves walk in through open doors or climb through unlocked windows. Even seen the TV show "It Takes a Thief"? 

These two guys would show how easy it is to break into most people's homes. They would also show you how to counter the break in's. Good show, was only on the air for a year or two. What would surprise you was how many times they found an open door or window. So often in fact checking doors and windows is the first thing thieves do. 

Make securing your home a habit. Before you go anywhere make sure the house is locked up. This might be enough to cause a thief to move on. Remember we are talking about crimes of opportunity here. This also goes for your vehicles or any out buildings you might have. The shed you put your lawn tools in is as much of a target as your home. A person with an addiction will steal your lawn mower or TV, they just want money for whatever they can get. The easier they can get something, the better it is for them. Heck if it is real easy odds are they will be back to take advantage of the easy again.

We are not talking about turning your home into a fortress (yet) when you leave to go to the store, work or somewhere else you go everyday. What we are talking about is taking away the easy ways in. You can never really make your house thief proof, but with the addition of a simple habit you can stop the lazy thieves from having an easy day.  

If we had to focus on two habits to put into practice these two habits would be the ones we should focus on the most. Being aware of our surroundings and locking things. How many events or incidents could be avoided if people had these two habits? 

Situational awareness stops you from walking down this alley even if the phone tells you the shortest route takes you this way. Instead you take a less victim making route. 

Locking doors and windows as a habit stops you from becoming the "easy" victim. This guy made an entire city live in fear because he would go through open or unlocked doors and windows.


I remember as a child the adults talking about this persons crime spree. They would debate leaving windows opened or closed, which ones to leave open and what to do if they thought they heard or seen something. 

(NOTE for the young folks. We did not all have cell phones back then. Odds were the phone was in the kitchen. Which didn't do you a lot of good if someone was already in the house. That summer was hot and no we did not have AC units like a lot of people do now. Yes, it was the dark ages......) 

Of course using this as an example is extreme and done on purpose. Yet if we lock our doors and secure the house to keep out the lazy thief we can also keep out the serial murderer...... 

Start building these habits today. Before you go to bed check every door and window. Go out and make sure you locked up the cars, shed and garage. In the morning and through out the day tomorrow take a look around your neighborhood. Who lives there, who is coming and going on a regular basis, basically who belongs there? 

Do this every time you leave the house. Lock the place up and see who is around. Do it all week and see what you learn about your neighborhood. See how many times you find an open window or door. See how many times the lazy thief, or murderer, walking down the street could have made you a victim........... 

As Always,

Stay Safe!