Personal Security Tips

50 Personal Security Tips

Personal security is often overlooked, ignored, or never even thought of. Most people go about their daily lives and routines without a thought of potential danger lurking nearby.

It’s great that for the most part we don’t have to worry too much about it. The trap though is your normalcy bias towards this notion. Just because it was safe last time doesn’t mean it will be safe this time.

The following list of personal security tips may help secure you in your daily life.

These tips are just the ‘tip’ of the iceberg, so add your own to the list…

Personal Security Tips

Always be alert and aware of your surroundings and of the people around you.
Situational Awareness And A 360-Mindset

Make casual eye contact with people when walking.

While walking, avoid distractions from your ‘smart phone’ (e.g. ‘texting’).

Keep your head up and shoulders back while walking (confidence).

Buddy-up whenever possible while out in dark parking lots for better personal security.
Key Chain LED Light

Always inform family or friends if you are traveling, and give them itinerary dates and locations you will visit.

Try to stay away from the brush or trees when walking, jogging, or running. Always be prepared to run away from an attacker and scream (drawing attention to the situation).

If a stranger approaches offering a ride, TURN AROUND and go in the opposite direction of the car. If possible, write down the license plate and description of the car.

Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street.

Walk confidently, at a steady pace, and have your keys ready in your hand.
Don’t be a Victim – Be Confident

Avoid being on a cell phone while walking out in public (or driving!). If you must (while walking), force yourself to be especially aware of your surroundings.

Avoid walking, jogging, running in public with earbuds in your ears (listening to music). It dulls the awareness of your surroundings which makes you an easier target. If you must, then at least pay extra attention around you…

Avoid dangerous places at night time, visit them during day time hours.

Stop and look around if you feel unsafe entering an area. You may want to return at a different time. Trust your instincts.

Avoid isolated bus or train stops. Otherwise, continuously look all around you. Be aware.

Don’t stay in the same spot and make yourself an easy target if at a bus or train stop and feel unsafe, .

Don’t open you purse or wallet while boarding the bus; have your fare ready.

Keep flashy jewelry out of sight.

Sit as close to the bus driver as possible while on a bus during off-hours.

Check your purse or wallet if someone is jostling, crowding or pushing you.

Never leave your purse, backpack or briefcase in plain view. Lock it up when you leave your desk or office.

Keep the office door locked if you work before/after normal business hours.

Try to find another worker or a security guard to walk out with you if you work late.

Do not get in the elevator with another person if you do not feel comfortable with that person; take the next one. If you have to get in, stand next to the control panel so that if you are attacked, you can press the alarm and as many of the control buttons as possible.

Be alert for pickpockets on crowded elevators.

Be aware of escape routes for emergencies. Make yourself aware of more than one way out.
How To Choose The Safest Seat In A Restaurant

Avoid danger spots like quiet or poorly lit alleyways, subways or isolated car parks. Walk down the middle of the pavement if the street is deserted for better personal security.

Consider heading for a public place; somewhere you know there will be other people.

Avoid walking past stationary cars with their engines running and people sitting in them.

Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets unless situationally ready.

Walk facing oncoming traffic whenever possible, to avoid curb crawlers.

Keep your mind on your surroundings – remember if you are chatting on your mobile phone or wearing a personal stereo, you will not hear trouble approaching.

Be extra careful when using ATM machines. Make sure nobody is hovering nearby and don’t count your money in public.

Trust your instincts and take action if you think you are being followed. As confidently as you can, cross the road, turning to see who is behind you. If you are still being followed, keep moving. Make for a busy area and tell people what is happening.

Beware of someone (stranger) who warns you of the danger of walking alone and then offers to accompany you. This is a ploy some attackers have been known to use.
How To Know If Someone Is Following You

Consider carrying personal protection (firearm, pepper spray, …whatever works for you).
Pepper Spray with hand strap
Key Chain Pepper Spray

Don’t drive right up to the bumper of the car in front of you At a red light. Leave enough room to maneuver out of your lane in case you have to get away from there..

Use all of your senses for better situational awareness. Visually scan your surroundings. Listen to the noises around you.
The Automatic Scan Technique For Your Security

Even when living in remote areas, never let your guard down. Being isolated may embolden certain opportunist criminals who may be lurking unbeknownst to you.

Keep a dog. They tend to bark…

Lock your Doors at night.
Adjustable Door Security Bar

Lock your Windows too!

The more people that are around, the more danger (and risks) thereof. It’s just the odds. More opportunities for criminals.

Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Keep your wallet in your front pocket whenever possible.

Be aware of vans parked by your vehicle with their “sliding doors” near the driver’s door of your vehicle.

Make the habit of locking the doors as soon as you get inside the vehicle.

When parking, don’t unlock your door until you’ve had a look around first.

When driving (stopped at light or traffic) make SURE you can see the tires of the vehicle in front of you. You WILL have space enough to maneuver around that stopped vehicle if you need to.

Carry a whistle.
Sonik Blast Whistle
Personal Alarm


  1. I live down a secluded lane with no neighbors in sight. If I am home alone, especially if working outside, I open carry my pistol. My daughter, who lives nearby, does the same and my husband and son-in-law carry when working in the woods. You never know what two or four legged animal may be creeping around.

  2. I can definitely be guilty of complacency on occasion situational awareness dose require some practice. I try my best to stay alert. In the past Usually if a big thug makes eye contact with me I give him a flirty wink and an air kiss to him. I’m pretty big and have a good Evil German look combined with a staunch military bearing so they think I’m just a little too crazy to handle. The Acknowledgement that I know he is looking at me is usually enough to deter them. My tactic is Reverse Psychology.

    1. WC
      If you had bright red lipstick, dark eye shadow, and pink hair, I think I saw you in wally world. haha

        1. Just curious White Cracker…
          Was that from pulling it out or did it just fall out ? LOL!

    2. WC
      Staunch Military Bearing????? You were in the Navy, right? A Sea Bee, right? You had a pink dress, right? Drop the Reverse Psychology before you end up as some goat herders dancing boy.

  3. Many personal safety risks do not involve other people at all up here in the frozen north.
    Watch out for that rutting bull moose or elk.
    Beware of tree wells in deep snow country.
    Don’t high cut with that snow machine in avalanche chutes.
    Don;t trust that the river or lake is frozen sufficiently to carry your vehicle or just yourself.
    Don’t forget that now there is only about 6 hours of daylight.
    If you bump that great fir tree laden with snow, you might get buried and wet.
    Melting falling snow on your tongue is not sufficient water to survive. :)

    Probably missed a bunch – hard to remember all one’s mistakes.

    1. hermit,

      That’s no joke! I used to cover western Canada for my old job. I’d cover Edmonton and Calgary, sometimes Grande Prairie in the same trip. Fly into one city, drive to the other, then fly out when the work was done.

      I came upon a horrible wreck one time. Late 90’s, bright red Chevy Cavalier, versus a gigantic moose. The compact car hit the moose broadside at knee-level, took out his legs, and the bulk of the moose went over the top and landed on the roof of the car, crushing it and trapping the occupants inside. The moose was still alive! RCMP had to put a few rounds in him to end it and I heard later that the remains had to be removed with a chain saw before they could get to the people inside the car.

      People say all kinds of things about city living… certain cities especially. But I think I’ll take my chances with troublesome humans.

      1. Last winter I was talking to a border patrol person who drives from Bonners Ferry to Porthill ID everyday – he reported 10 animal strikes in one week. He now has a grill guard like mine – I think they call it a Rancher style – tough as hell but would not do much against that tall moose – you get more that a windshield chip.

        1. About the only thing that would help against a moose would be bars like limb lifters on a cat with a crusher screen welded onto it,,, even that might not work

        2. Yeah moose bars may help on an 80,000 GVWR freighter, not so much on a 3,000 lb compact car. I can always spot a Canuck Truck passing through town by the moose bars. 90% they will be tagged out of BC, AB or SK.

        3. I have to laugh at those “Bars” and bumpers, 95% of them are mounted to the frame with (4) 1/2″ bolts, they look pretty but are totally worthless.

        4. NRP
          My grill guard mounted with 3/4″ high grade bolts – that guard would support the truck if lifted. But, as important to life and limb, my guard protects the several rads in the front of my truck – estimate replacement cost $8,000.

        5. We used to tell the kids in Alaska if it looks like the car you are in is going to hit a moose, immediately slide under the dashboard or down in the back seat or they will be in what is left of your lap.

      2. McGyver and rest

        I have been witness to two very bad wrecks with Animals, one a Horse, the ‘Van’ was doing a full on 65MPH when it hit the horse full on, the horse had to be put down inside the van, 3 fatalities. Second was a full grown Cow at 2500 pounds +-, three cars piled up, one upside down. the other two completely totaled 6 people injured. I will admit I have taken out a few deer, and make smaller critters, in my day around here, freezer meat via Truck.

        People, PLEASE keep your eyes open WIDE, talk about Personal Security, even in a full sized 5000 pound truck the world WILL reach out and touch your life if your not aware.

        1. NRP,
          Wow! That’s horrible. We’re always careful near the mountain house (and in route back and forth) because there are lots of deer. We had a near miss a couple of months ago when driving on Hwy 395 with 2 deer out in the pitch dark fairly late (way past usual dusk grazing time). That close call had my heart racing for quite a while, I can’t imagine the impact of hitting a full-size horse or a cow.

        2. As mercenary as it seems, waiting to follow someone (anyone going my way) rather than being the lead car is the safest way to “clear the road”.

        3. – About twenty years ago, DW was driving back one evening from a company party (Beer, you know. I wasn’t about to drive even slightly lit in Louisiana) About a 100# feral pig, one of five, ran across the road in front of her at about 60. She chose to hit only the one, which was still enough to flip the minivan we were in onto its side. Didn’t kill us or the pig, although we had to put the animal down with a broken back. The disgusting part was, we had about 50 soldiers, all qualified as expert with the pistol, and none of us were armed, or else wouldn’t admit to it. Gunpowder and alcohol don’t mix. We had to use a tire iron.
          – Papa

      3. McGyver
        ah, those Moose. Heard they are very plentiful up in Canada. Heard someone say they form a major portion of Canada’s active defense strategy. In the event of major threat there are plans for Canadian Military to strap Nukes onto the Moose, slap them on the fanny, and watch them clear the terrain…. (thought we all needed a bit of light humor)

    2. Hermit us,
      All great points for us rural folks. Add to your list for those of us in the west:
      1) in brush country watch for Lions lying on the branches of trees above the trail.
      2) in mining areas steer clear of openings, lots of time the ground around them is unstable and will cave in.
      3) avoid steep canyons and arroyos if there are thunderstorms within 20 miles, flash flood danger.
      4) watch out for a Mother Anything with young, even a Mama squirrel can inflict nasty bites protecting young.
      5) when out in the boonies and your water is half gone, you’d better be on the way back to the truck.

      1. Minerjim
        Good list. Have seen one cougar (no not the attractive old woman) in this area but griz and black bears are more common.

    3. One of my neighbors in co got burried when he was trying to clean the snow off his roof, whole thing let go all at once and covered him up, man was he surprised, his wife dug him out and his eyes were as big as saucers

    4. we are in west ny state one of oldest and best friends was about to put his motor cycle away for the winter a BIG buck came from no place needless to say he is lucky hes alive he ended up with most of his left side broken he will walk again with no head trauma but he will never ridw again thats for sure

    5. Now that is more like it. Don’t think I would make it in the big city! Guess I would have to walk around with a whistle in my mouth at all times!

  4. Wow! What a world we live in where offering a ride to someone is dangerous and alarming.

    Many years ago (80’s, not many cell phones) I was driving along I-5 south through Echo Park. I noticed a green, junky looking car on the shoulder. Then a quarter mile later, I noticed a somewhat scruffy looking guy hoofing it on the shoulder. I pulled over and asked if he needed a ride. He said: “Wow! Yes! And Thank you very much.” Then he got in my car.

    Before we pulled back into traffic he wanted to let me know that he was an undercover LAPD detective, and that was his UC vehicle broken down a 1/4 , mile back. He showed me his badge and said he really wanted to remove his firearm from his inside his belt and set it on the floor if that was OK, because it was digging into his side a bit. I told him ‘sure no problem’. I didn’t mention the hand-cannon I had under his seat towards the back. Being California, even in saner times, it might have been awkward.

    We chatted for awhile, he was really frustrated with the junk cars the detective bureau was being issued at the time. About ten minutes later we arrived at Parker Center downtown and I dropped him off at HQ. He thanked me profusely and went about his business.

    What a situation now where doing that today might get the cops called on me. Oh well, just another nick in the armor of humanity I suppose.

    1. McGyver,

      I picked up a lot of scruffy looking guys in my time. I used to pick up hitchhikers and others all the time and often people have picked me up and/or helped me change a tire. Back in the day, people didn’t have cell phones, and here in the boondocks, there often isn’t cell service.

      I was never afraid, but one time when I had my mother in the car, she became very afraid when I stopped to help a little old Indian lady on a reservation in NM. She had her 32-year-old mentally retarded daughter with her and said her son had just gotten out of jail and she thought he planned to kill her, so she and her daughter were trying to reach relatives in Colorado.

      My mother kept pushing the lock button on the car; I kept unlocking it. I was very embarrassed at her behavior. Anyway, we drove back to a gas station to try to get her some gas, but I didn’t have a gas can and the station didn’t have anything we could carry gas in. Finally, we drove back and she told us that a friend had come by and was getting one of her relatives to come and help. I was so sad that we hadn’t been able to help. Now, I always carry a gas can.

      Another time, a man stopped me and told me he was on the way to the hospital. He was suffering a detached retina. His car was broken, so he had borrowed a friend’s car, which had broken down on the freeway. I took him to the hospital.

      My most memorial hitchhiker was a family of 4, mom, dad, grade-school-aged son, and daughter. I was driving through Rocky Mountain Park and had stopped at an overlook. The family approached me and said they had locked themselves out of their rental car. The little girl was cold and needed to go to the bathroom. They had left their jackets in the car. They wanted to know if I could take mother and daughter to the Alpine Visitor Center to call a Ranger for help.

      So we drove to the Visitor Center and talked to the Rangers. She asked me for my name and address and the mom wrote it down. I also let the girl borrow one of my extra coats so she could stand in line at the outhouse. (At that time, they didn’t have an indoor restroom.)

      About a month later I got a long letter from someone describing their vacation. I looked at the end to see who had sent the letter. It was signed by 4 people I didn’t know. I thought, “Oh, no, I opened someone else’s mail by mistake.” But I looked at the envelope and it was addressed to me. Only when I got to the end of the letter did I realize who had written when they thanked me for my help and invited me to come visit them someday. They included their address and directions to their house.

      1. Daisy,

        That reminds me of another one, forgive me if it’s a repeat. 1986, I was new in town and living in a crummy apartment (compartment?) in Panorama City. Coming home from work one night around midnight I stopped at Ralph’s for some groceries. A sketchy looking dude approached me out of the shadows and asked if I could spare a few bucks for gas. He pointed to his “out of gas car” on the side street.

        Well, I didn’t have a few bucks to spare.. But I am, and always have been ‘McGyver’, so I had a full can of fresh gasoline in my trunk and I promptly offered to pour it all into his gas tank if it would help. He looked at me, stunned and wide-eyed. I said: “no really, it’s ok, you can have it” and my trunk was already opened, he could see it. The guy started to back away and he said: “You are weird dude.”

        I thought that was awfully strange. About an hour later I was tucked into my little ghetto hovel, enjoying some microwaved food when it hit me like a brick…, “Oh my God! That guy was scamming and he lied to me.”

        I was, like, 17 or 18 years old and fresh arrived from the Midwest. Guess I grew up a little bit that day.

        1. Yes, McGyver, I have been scammed.

          But, most of the time I am the one who offered help, not the one someone approached.

          One more experience: I was driving down the street and noticed an old woman struggling in the heat & carrying two bags of groceries. She was going in the opposite direction. I found a place to turn around and came back. By the time I got there she had left some of her groceries in a trail behind her. It looked like those pictures of wagon trains on the Oregon Trail, leaving a trail of belongings.

          Anyway, I asked her if she needed a ride and she immediately put her groceries in my car and ran back to pick up the milk and other things she had had to abandon. I was really glad I had stopped.

        2. I stopped giving to panhandlers after i saw one of em wip out a cellphone and walk into starbucks, they can starve as far as im concerned, no more, treat them like democrats

        3. My Dad used to work in an area heavy with them. He was in a bank one day when one of the pan handlers (he’d seen her on the street) walked in and traded hundreds in coins for larger bills. The manager told Dad she was in there a couple times a day. I used to carry fruit–if they took the fruit (most didn’t) I was willing to offer money the next time, but most weren’t there again. I suspect those who were really hungry got what they needed and got out.

    2. Early 80s i was driving from k falls back to solvang, picked up a girl hitching, drove her all the way to san fran, now days not so sure anyone should be hitching, sorta hazardous

  5. I’ve heard the suggestion to carry two wallets; a second one in the event of a hold-up with a $20 bill in it. Hand that over to the thief and off they go, hopefully. I think I heard that from Tom Gretchen of Guntalk.

    I always carry two sets of car keys, one for the ignition that goes in my pants pocket and the other in my coat. That way if we are in a restaurant and have to exit rapidly I don’t have to retrieve the coat. I also have a keychain fob that has a auto logo that is not what I am driving. In the event the keys are acquired by a would-be thief they will be looking for the wrong kind of car. This key does not have a remote on it.

    After having been locked out of the house I now have a key outside that unlocks, not the house, but a padlocked structure that has a key in it that unlocks another padlocked structure that might have the house key in it.

    I keep vehicle keys in and outside of the house in the event I have to leave the house in an unconventional manner. Vehicle keys are left on the nightstand where they can operate the auto alarm if need be.

    And now ladies: this is what irks me and I see it every time I am in a store. The shopper is scrutinizing products on the shelf with her back turned to her grocery cart in which her purse is sitting on the basket wide-open. I saw that the other day; I could see her bottle of medication, the wallet….. just don’t do that!!

    1. Old Chevy,

      I always carry extra house & car keys in the pocket of my jeans. Mostly because I have a habit of accidently locking myself out of my house or car. But it is a real good idea. If someone wanted to steal my car, I could let them have the key in my hand, and still have a key to get back into my house. No locksmiths around where I live. (Partly because hardly anyone locks their doors.)

      Also, if I hand the carjacker the key and he starts to leave, I still have the fob that goes with the other set of keys and I can set off the car alarm — if I dare. I would have to do that as he was about to open the car door. He might not realize that I was the one that set off the alarm. And I would have to act before he got the key in the ignition or the alarm wouldn’t work.

      If you were kidnapped, and he let his guard down and got out of the car (to get gas or something) you could use your spare key to start the car and get away or if he turned off the car, you could set off the alarm and attract attention.

    2. Old Chevy,
      My Dad taught me to carry a set of dummy keys. One working car key and the rest non-working old keys. The idea is that in the event you are being robbed, throw the dummy keys far away from you. The dummy thief will go after the keys and you can then get away. They may get your vehicle (after fumbling with the other non-working keys), but they won’t get you. The good set of keys should be in your pants or coat pocket. Not in a purse that might get “snatched”.

      by the way, my Dad loved old Chevys! Favorite was a 1949 Bel Aire. Mine was a 72 Malibu!

      1. Good advice. I will add to this how important it is to know your equipment. I know of a person that parked in a dark city garage where they worked and for years wished they had remote start. When they went to trade it in the salesman looked at the keys and said “remote start, great!”.
        I had a 49 Chevy that I unfortunately cracked the block when temperature dipped before I had anti-freeze in it.

    3. I have seen these unattended purses – usually middle aged or elderly women. As I shop I just say out loud like a school teacher ‘someone’s purse is unattended’. Of course, only if the person appears to be decent. If they had a hell’s angels vest or tons of tattoos (older women do not have tons of tattoos), I would not say anything but just keep quiet and mind my own business.

      I have one special purse for shopping, it is small, is a cross body and can be worn under a coat. I leave the photo ID (that I need to pick up parcels) at home as it has my address on it.

  6. McG, moose, a few folks die up north here every year; vehicle/moose collisions. Very fortunate it landed on the roof, typically ends up in the vehicle cabin, low slung car.

    Security; while walking up to your vehicle in a parking lot, look under it from a distance and check all sides. Avoid a creeper.

    1. Grey,
      I hadn’t read everyone’s comments – I commented on the same thing re: checking around, on and under your car in a parking lot… very important!

      1. So Cal, I want to say great minds think alike, but I’m still trying to figure out where mine is, or went, and wouldn’t insult your intelligence with the comparison. I don’t have any happy faces on this junky old tablet to add…so
        :-) (80s technology)

        1. So it converted a semi colon and parentheses into a face, Ken server voodoo….

        2. Grey,
          So funny… and I’m happy for the comparison/compliment :)

          When on a desktop, I have no icons and do the punctuation faces… when on my cell phone I have all the little faces and symbols.

  7. Living in suburbia and working near and around a major city, there are lots of personal safety risks. Ken covered a lot of that ground.
    I’ve been taught to always look under, around and in my vehicle before getting in – especially after dark. Many women and elderly folks have been attacked by someone coming from under their vehicle in a poorly lit parking lot, just waiting for that vulnerable moment when you are halfway into the vehicle, with the door open and often with your hands full.
    When my sister was a toddler, my mom had her purse snatched while pushing my sister’s stroller in broad daylight – the thief knew my Mom could not abandon the stroller to give chase. From then on, Mom only took her id, keys and a few dollars she could keep in a front pocket with her on walks. I see so many moms and grandmas leave purses, backpacks, etc.. on, in or hanging from a stroller… so vulnerable!

    1. Having done my entire law enforcement career in southern California, I’ve never even taken a report of anyone being assaulted by a suspect hiding underneath a passenger car. While I’ve managed to find several suspects (skinny little runts) partially underneath vehicles attempting to hide under a passenger car, in my experience, its a rare thing to have someone completely underneath and have the capability of getting OUT from underneath the car fast enough to attack anyone.

      It is great internet lore, though, and always seems to be in some kind of made-for-television horror movie of ill repute. In reality, even a small child cannot scramble underneath or from underneath any passenger car now.

      I always carry a money clip in my left pants pocket, with a $10.00 bill around 10 $1.00 bills, so it looks like a roll. Never had to use it as a throw down money/wallet in case of a street robbery, but I believe it’s good practice to carry a decoy and phony small ring of keys.

      1. You mean that because we saw it on TV that it might not reflect reality? I think I’m being ‘triggered’… ;)

        Great advice regarding the money clip with a 10 around ten 1’s!

      2. Hi TPSnodgrass,
        Well, I guess I can eliminate under and stick with just the around and in. :)

      3. TPSnodgrass,
        My apology for spreading baloney about a creeper under a vehicle. I go with your law enforcement experience over my paranoia. Thanks for the information.

        1. Grey,-
          While I agree with TGSnodgrass’s observation, one thing I encountered several times in my career has been evil doers hiding in rear seats of cars left with doors unlocked or windows left down when the owner ran into a convenience store for “just a second”. Often enough that I routinely check the back seat before entering the car, even though I never leave the car with windows down or unlocked. I guess those who like putting labels on such, this would fall under “situational awareness”.

        2. Dennis,
          Having law enforcement experience is an advantage from the average citizen (me for example). When absorbing where I am and if the environment around me may be a potential problem. Without a load of street experience dealing with the bad side of the population, not a lot of experience to reference so sorting variables can skew judgments and decision. So “paranoia does creep” and needs to be managed.

      4. I don’t watch under the car for people hiding under there, but for people crouched on the far side or otherwise occluded whose feet would still be visible. It’s still a good habit to get into.

  8. Your location can dramatically raise or lower the chances of being a victim. Living in a remote area and doing most of my shopping in a town 30 miles distant with a population around 2,000 and the largest city in the county, our crime rate, at least stranger on stranger assaults, is non-existent. Property crimes (burglaries and thefts) do increase during the holidays season.

    In my sparsely populated area, I try to be very vigilant in keeping a log of unfamiliar vehicles and license plates, location, time, and description of occupants. I also try to make sure these strangers are aware of my focus on their activities. I make sure my home and outbuildings appear to be occupied even when we are in town (selected lights left on, loud radio playing in the barn,etc.) If possible, at least one family member stays home as just travel time for a trip to town is over two hours round trip, and ne’er do wells know this when they see you leaving.

  9. Coming out of a grocery store several years ago on crutches after an operation, I passed a women unloading her cart into the back of her SUV. Her purse was on the cart. Two kids were cutting through the parking lot, one grabbed her purse and they both ran like h$&& out of the parking lot into a wooded area. She’s screaming and all but it was to late. Just made me think of awareness. I couldn’t chase after them and there was only two-three other people in the lot who just stared. When the police came I gave them a witness report. Best I could do, but it did make me situational aware.

  10. This is a repeat comment.
    My son and DIL were in a WalMart when there was a bomb scare. People were running for the front entrance. Lots of screaming.
    I told him about always knowing where all the exits were. Some are marked inside the store and some are just plain steel doors on the outside. Always check for both. Check out the back of the building.
    In this case I told him that there are two exits at the front. One is small, called Outdoor Living, and is located at the far end of the store. I always park near that exit and try to find a spot in which I can drive out frontwards. Also, there is an exit only for the road near there.
    Many stores have exits at each of the four corners of the building. I have noticed this now that I am careful about knowing where the exits are.
    If it is a small store, the back will have an employee entrance.
    While this was not a real bomb scare people panicked and the main entrance was blocked. Always have an alternative exit.

  11. Remember, situational awareness is not knowing where the charge ports for your phone are—

  12. Take a hint from the turtle–
    Keep a low profile, wear armor— (unknown)

  13. I’m the one who stops and offers people a ride. No way I’m leaving the old lady with a walker and three bags of groceries or the young mother with four toddlers in a rainstorm. If they say no that’s fine, but I won’t stop offering. I won’t usually stop for people trying to hitch a ride, although I’ve done that a few times (one in a mountain pass when we were about 100 miles from ANYTHING, and another on the reservation in AZ).

    1. I gave a ride to a young woman carrying one child, with one walking beside the heavy rain…. on her way home from the grocery store with bags.
      I caught h*ll from Mr. G when I got home and he caught h*ll right back from me.
      Common sense–what was she gonna do??? throw marshmallows at me or hit me over the head with milk??

  14. Most Americans need to remove their heads from their recital cavity and know what’s going on around them. The phone can be answered when not driving, walking or eating in a restaurant. Only you can prevent you from being a victim. Do you CCL? Do you have the mind set to shoot another human tell they do not move anymore? Can you stick a knife in someone and look them in the eyes until theirs no-one home anymore? Have you been to the range and qualified in the last 90 days? Are you ready to do what ever it takes to protect your life and your family’s life’s? Like I said “Only you can prevent you from being a victim”.

    1. @Southernman, Your personal security solution is not that of everyone and for all circumstances. While not disregarding the potential for returning deadly force when warranted, the intent of this article is to present tips and ideas to get people thinking…

      Not every situation requires sticking someone with a knife while watching the life leave their eyes, as you put it.

      Avoiding getting into those circumstances is much preferred.

      1. Ken
        Is it the stress and security worries that encourage some people to adopt a harder defensive stance? We recently discussed the increased stress in a society that is exacerbated by the divides of the citizens – urban/rural, rich/poor, left/right, …. as one side promotes more hatred and violence, so the need to counter the treats are also increased. Your site has the full spectrum of readers, pacifists to aggressive warriors. All are very well behaved when they post but you can almost feel the heat when topics go into guns, ammo, knives, armor, defensive strategies, lone wolfs … It is not surprising to see the anger come out occasionally from some of the prepper community as we see the country slipping into more chaos.

      2. Ken
        Now I’m angry too – just read on ZH that Idaho is the leading State in population increase. Hmmm, where do you think they are coming from?

        1. That’s right! You are being invaded by Caifornicators! Hide your children, hide your wife. Lock the doors because we are coming with up-armored Priuses (Prii??) We’re coming through Oregon, we are coming from Salt Lake. And just to counter your defenses…. we’re sneaking through Spokane too… Booga-booga! :>) We are bringing tofu and kale brother! They have decent Thai food in Boise. We are metastasizing. Before you know it, we’re going to invade and buy out Coeur d’Alene too. Actually, I just sold my battery powered C-Max for an F-150, so I am now a deep cover operative. Where can I get a decent vegan moose burger up there?

        2. McGyver, Too funny! Living on the California Oregon border I can relate to the Oregon view. They say the only 3 things an Oregonian fears are a gangbanger with a gun, an illegal with a knife and a Calfiornian with a U-Haul.

        3. McGyver
          Better bring your snowshoes, snow shovel, and warm blankets. Don’t be surprised to see armed (open carry) people when shopping in wally world. I have not met any wimpy non-meat eaters in northern Idaho.

        4. me
          I was hoping that Oregon was well along in building that 3′ high wall to stop them prii from coming north.

        5. As a native “Californiacator”, we fled 12 years ago, after the Crush of Humanity limit was reached. Haven’t looked back. While I would not ever choose to live in Oregon, I’m still in the West, and would be an instant felon back “home” in California, where my lawfully purchased gear(there) that I refuse to get permission from the California AG to continue to own, is welcomed in my new state. We visit family in northern California still. but I’ve no illusions about how we need to split away from the Peoples Republic communist areas of California to survive.

        6. Hermit us, McGyver, me,-

          I’m getting a kick reading your conversation about California immigrants. Several years ago, my family and I trekked to British Columbia to visit a cousin who had moved there from Texas. Our route carried us through Montana with an overnight stop in the small village of St. Ignacios (sp?). I engaged the motel owner in small talk and he voiced his concern that an influx of new residents from California was changing the community for the worse. I asked him if he had lived there his entire life. He answered that no, only for a couple of years. I then asked where he had lived before, he looked down at the floor, then sheepishly admitted that he too was a California migrant.

        7. Were you “triggered”? ;)

          Yes I read that too. Good luck with the hordes from other places. Worst part might be the eventual changes that take place as population centers push their politics and ideals upon everyone else.

    2. Southernman,

      You asked…”Do you have the mind set to shoot another human tell they do not move anymore? Can you stick a knife in someone and look them in the eyes until theirs no-one home anymore?”

      That’s a pretty harsh admonishment for some folks. It’s a valid question to ask. Harsh, but valid. Folks really can’t answer that question till they’ve faced that test. Have you? I’ve known many who have. Never met one who would have asked those questions in a tone like you did. Heard many a wannabe instructor use almost those same words, but always rhetorically. Please share your experience taking lives. Few combat veterans bring the subject up in such a way, much less talk down to those who haven’t. Enlighten us,please.

  15. “Battlefield America” should be required reading by all American Citizens, asap. An excellent book, well researched, and highly valuable, this book was even recommended by Judge Napolitano of Fox News Fame. We are there, Far better to “shelter-in-place” and prepare your “fox hole” at home, than to face the pitfalls that American Citizens are not equipped to overcome, by design,acording to the book.

  16. I guess i have it pretty good, i really dont have to worry about this, maybe when on the road, but overall, not an issue here.

  17. – I had a long reply, which I choose not to post. Instead, I’ll just point to Dennis’ reply and, “What he said!”
    – Papa

  18. When you put your car in Valet don’t leave your house key on the ring…by using the car’s registration to get your home address you’ve told the thieves where you live and that they have a window of time to invade your home
    When traveling don’t put your full address on your luggage tags……a phone number will suffice if the airline needs to track you down,,,..same reason as above
    If on foreign travel don’t insert your business car as a luggage tag as it may serve to make you a target of corporate espionage (or worse)

    1. Good point. My old boss had her car broken into. They took the garage door opener and the registration. By the time she had gotten home they had broken into the house. Now I take a sharpie and blacken the address on all mandated to be carried paperwork in the vehicles. Registration, insurance card and trailer paperwork. LEOs don’t need the address’s. When they run the plates it tells them who where you are from. It does make it harder for the bad guys. when you blacken the front turn it over and blacken the back also as you might still be able to read it. Cutting it out with a razor blade would probably be even better.

      Same thing with mail. Don’t leave it in the vehicle. As we are all aware of there are a great many people living under tarps and beat up old tents. They carry their home on their backs or push it around in a shopping cart. The more affluent of them have a bike with a cobbed together trailer. What most of them have is a net monetary worth that can be described as pocket change. Leaving change visible in you car is an invitation to haven your window broken. It’s sad that they can double their worth with a rock through your window. No room in the revolving door jails so whats to stop them?

      Do you take or have you ever taken an opiate or benzodiazepine prescription? Pharmacies are now mandated to shred the old paper prescriptions. Dumpster divers were rummaging through the trash to find out who had the prescriptions. Then doing a little light detective work to find out who had the prescriptions and where they lived. They then got broken into and the medicine cabinet visited. I always warned my patients about throwing away their old prescription bottles. Peel the label off and if it’s difficult to get off try filling it water and microwaving it for 30 seconds. Even friends who are visiting might be tempted to peek into your medicine cabinet while using your bathroom. A full bottle of Vicodin might not be taken but would you notice 4 or 5 pills being removed?

      1. Ah, those empty plastics prescription bottles are water proof and make great storage items.

      2. I get a black permanent marker to cover my prescription labels on empty bottles. I try to take the empty prescription bottles, labels marked out, to work and throw them in the office kitchen garbage can that is used to dump food scraps, microwave tv dinner boxes with spaghetti sauce. I shred all the pharmacy information papers pertaining to my prescription in the office shredder which is RCMP standard. This way everyone’s shredding gets mixed. Due to world events as well as personal events I am a lot more cautious than I used to be. Some people probably could get high on high blood pressure pills. Addicts will mix anything together. With Fentanyl, who knows what is next. Bath salts used to be bubble bath powder with a fragrance purchased at the store when I was a kid. How times have changed, The worst thing about those bath salts was kids over filling the tub with them and the bubbles escaped from the bathroom and floated all the way down the hall.

        1. I remove te labels off of old prescription bottles… and burn them.
          ..I re use the bottles as needed… for fire starters, storing safety pins, sewing kits…

  19. Southerman,
    I really do hope we never get to the point of deadly force against another human although it may be closer than we want to recognize. If a societal collapse occurred, there are certain folks who will have no problems taking lives to get what they want. There’s a big difference in talking about it and actually using deadly force. Personally, I don’t want to share my experiences from 1970. I keep those memories under lock and key. Of all the military personnel assigned to combat zones a very small percentage maybe 5% actually participate in direct fire activity. The rest supported us Grunts in the field. Those that were out in the boonies on S&D missions usually will not talk about it. Those that were Rear Area MFers are those who usually talk big about firing up Mr. Charles yet never fired their weapon at an actual live target and hand to hand combat rarely ever occurred except in the movies!
    Am I ready today to participate in hand to hand combat or shoot someone until they stop moving, can’t say until faced with a life or death situation,, and I doubt you could in an actual circumstance based on your bravado. Rambo type talk is cheap! In a SHTF activity I would stay as far away from you as I could.

  20. Broadwing and Dennis

    Excellent replies and sorry that bad memories were stirred.
    Just a speculation from someone who was not there, I wonder how the violent video games add to that misguided “rambo” thinking.

  21. I’d guess that the vast majority of crime risk can be avoided by not being a victim of crimes of convenience. Examine what you value, looking for opportunity for theft and address it.

  22. Good point Ken, as the potential for demographics to change traditional voting patterns is indeed an area of concern.

  23. To hermit us and McGyver:

    I enjoyed reading the conversation about changing state demographics, Californiction and I am guilty as charged. ( Bummer Dude!).

    I did not use a U-Haul, I used Allied Van Lines! the lesson to be learned from Kalifornia, Never elect an action movie star into the governors seat.

    As a last dig for hermit us and McGyver: some of us Californians are breeding. ( I can almost hear the howling from Idaho.)

    The location where I hear the most and loudest California bashing?: Either the Gun shop or the Range I belong to.

    To Southernman and Dennis: I had to use my weapon in my job several times in my short LE career. ( in SoCal) That is why I did not make it a full 20 years with any department. I never got a medal or recognition for these acts and the department would rather settle out of court and desire to bury the event and separate the officer. I was busy working and going back to school so I was too busy to be bitter about it. I still have scars on my shins from the stone and bullet fragments that were chipped up before and during my return fire from my last engagement.

  24. Personal Security, we never will stay at any Motel 6, Super 8, or other “attractive price lodging”, because most, rent weekly in the back to various local thugs. I’d rather pay more fro a better area. Location, as stated above, goes a long way to improving your chances at not being a victim.

    1. As a person who does not drive, and am older, I take bus tours. There is safety in numbers, the driver always has a cell phone with office contacts plus there is a tour guide. The driver and tour guide have done these trips many times and have a lot of local knowledge. Even people who used to drive on vacation, in their middle aged and older years, often take bus tours to be more relaxed. Many young adult friends or young couples take bus tours to places like NYC for safety in numbers. Some of these bus tours are just the hotel, transportation and a city tour, plus a ton of free time. However, the traveller does not provide his/her personal credit card info to the hotel. If the traveller went missing, the tour company could provide some information to law enforcement. These tours never stay at a Motel 6 or Super 8 but get group rates to save money as they often block off 30 or more rooms at a time for the tour.

  25. To McGyver and hermit us:

    Other Americans are spotting Californicators by our lime green and florescent pink Spandex bicycle shorts if not for the California tags on the BMW SUV’s being driven.

    It is not. a pretty picture when the person wearing the spandex is a big h eavy set dude that needs to shave his back.

    1. CaliRefugee
      Arrrggg – you had to give us that visual. The yoga pants at wally world are bad enough. Do people actually ride bicycles down there – looking at the LA freeway on TV, not one in sight. Not many cycle up here as the shoulders of the road are only a foot and we aim for the spandex for extra points .

  26. If your car has remote door lock via key/fob make sure it actually works. The driver door of my Accord (no hiding under it) quit working and I didn’t notice it, just listened for the ‘chunk’ when I pressed the key button.

  27. “Don’t drive right up to the bumper of the car in front of you At a red light. Leave enough room to maneuver out of your lane in case you have to get away from there…”
    If we all did this there would be gridlock galore. Persnickety, paranoid, self-flattering cheeseballs clog up traffic. Tag up so others can get in line and the world can move!

  28. Have often seen, on personal security tips, to carry one’s keys in hand, for defense or to get into car quickly. —- Just read a news bit, which suggests this may not be such a good idea…
    — too easy for a watchful criminal to grab them from hand and jump in YOUR vehicle…

    “couple and a suspect were both walking towards a 2010 silver Ford Edge, which was parked at the Royal Bank in Sunridge Mall in the northeast.

    Officers said the suspect tried to swipe the keys from the man, who was also assaulted, then got into the SUV and hit the woman and a building before fleeing the scene.”

  29. My condo building had an impostor pretending to be a health care worker who was let into the building (she was wearing scrubs and we have many elderly who have home care, visiting nurses, etc.).

    She had gone into many unlocked units and was found going through the medicine cabinet of a couple’s condo. She was reported to the police, the superintendent posted the CCTV color photos in the elevator and communicated to residents to not let strangers into the building.

    She even came back a second time and was challenged by a couple who videotaped her on their cellphone. A few months later she was arrested. She was going city to city doing this.

    Some elderly do not lock their unit doors which makes them very vulnerable. A few months later a drug addict broke into the building, took the elevator to the locker area and parking garages, broke into cars and lockers. Thankfully this happened at night, after midnight,so the chances of him confronting a resident were slim. Even senior-centric buildings are targeted.

    1. Update. A neighbor told me that the drug addict who broke into the condo lockers and parking garage was the grandson of an elderly condo resident. You just never know your neighbor’s relatives and their problems.

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