Are you there?
Well, in the hope that you are…yes, like the majority…maybe all of you…I have been on forced hiatus. Meaning, this C….-19 Pandemic madness. I dislike this thing and I refuse to use the name! I do Seminars. I do Threat Assessments. I do on-site Consulting on Safety, Security, Awareness, and Threats. These services are, or were, done with groups, with high-risk professionals and Companies. That was up until the C….19 madness and the economic and social shutdown of America.
I understand and I am sympathetic to the reports that there have been many deaths attributed to this Pandemic. My heart goes out to those that passed, were severely sickened, and to their families. But I have also heard that there were deaths from causes other than the virus, but they were attributed to the virus as a cause of death. Lest you think me a conspiracy nut, I would tell you that there was a personal friend that reported a relative’s passing, though the person had an existing condition, but when death came, officials blamed it on the virus.
I am not a conspiracy lunatic…well, at least I am not driven by conspiracy theories. But it cannot be overlooked that the virus initiated in a certain country (dare I say one that starts with a “C”) but the greatest impact of the virus was felt in Western countries around the world, and particularly America. Those on one side of the social/political spectrum attribute this to the political leadership they have hated for the last four years. The other side attributes it to interference from the opposing side and to the perceived machinations and plotting of the virus host, or source.
Some of you will recognize that I am leaning to a neutral description of this situation. That would be in order to remain closer to less disputed “facts” rather than conspiracies, suspicions and biases. In fact, I don’t know the facts, and I seriously doubt that you do as well. Everyone has their source of data and past activities that they believe point to their perspective, and call them facts.
Having worked in government most of my life, I know that facts often are not what we see or what become known. Anyway!
So, back to the point. My work opportunities have suffered. Though not exactly. With the sudden need to adjust business practices, we have seen the growth of services like Zoom (https://zoom.us/) and other similar online methods for group meetings and communications. So, I Zoom, when needed. If you are interested in meeting and working with me in a Zoom setting, that can be done. The cost of such a consultation would obviously be different than an in-person meeting, but certainly there would be a service charge. After all, it is still doing business, and time is money.
I have, however, had one interesting and particular client, whose identity will, like all my clients, be anonymous. But I will tell you about this client in a broad and neutral way.
The client was a *senior-aged woman, *living alone, in a *upper-middle-class home, in a *upper-middle-class neighborhood, and located well off the normal public routes and areas. The location did not necessarily seem to be as risky or vulnerable as some more high-density neighborhoods. But when you consider that it was somewhat *isolated from public view, and up a private driveway, perhaps that made it more attractive to a bad guy. * Take note reader, these were Awareness points!
The circumstances that were presented to this client were as follows.
While sitting at home one evening, alone, inside her sitting room watching T.V. The room was at the backside of her home and was in proximity to her outdoor pool area. She was suddenly set upon by an attacker. The attacker rushed through a screen door. This placed him squarely in front of her. He had already armed himself with a shovel, which he found on the rear side of her home. He used the shovel to strike the surprised woman squarely on top of her head…three times!
One can speculate that in such a situation the victim would be severely, or worse yet, mortally wounded. A single blow on the head with an object like a shovel is certain to cause great harm and easily cause death. But in this case, the victim, though surprised by the suddenness of the attack, responded in the best possible manner. She raised her arms over her head in a covering manner, and quickly rose up from her chair and toward the attacker. In the process, only the first blow made extreme contact with her head. Further in getting up and moving towards the attacker, the effect was to close the distance between them, inhibiting the range of motion for the attacker, and lessening the effect of subsequent shovel strikes (approximately two, according to the victim). She charged at the attacker.
Her actions apparently surprised the attacker and forced him to respond by fleeing the location from the door he entered. He likely had not expected her to survive the initial strike and the follow-on strikes. But she did, and she fought back showing an offensive posture. She was hospitalized as a result of her injuries, and I will not further outline her injuries, but needless to say, she was physically and emotionally injured.
Based on the actions of her assailant I’m sure you would agree, he intended to kill her. Anything else he intended is of lesser meaning after that. Her intentions, responding to the attacker, were clear…to survive!
I absolutely love this lady!
Her drive to survive is in keeping with what I preach in my seminars and training. Many believe they have the instinct to survive, but in these modern times, people tend to expect someone else will protect and save them when threatened. My philosophy, as I am sure you have read in many of my posts is that “you are your own first responder!” The police, the military, your favorite politician, et al, none of them are likely to be there when you need them. I say this with all humility, I am formerly one of those responders. But this is today’s’ reality.
So, through a very good friend, I was put in contact with this marvelous and beautiful lady. We sat together and we worked at getting her perspective on this experience in a healing and positive turnaround. We worked through her recovery and looked at corrective steps to make her home a less attractive point of attack for bad guys.
And to add emphasis to how great this lady is, she took each and every step recommended. She made cosmetic and structural modifications at multiple points around her home and engaged in some personal preparation steps to make herself a less vulnerable target, and more of a hard target. Bad guys do not want hard targets!
All clients of my services seek to no longer be a target, and next, to learn how to be responsive and aggressive if, and when, confronted by an assailant.
Awareness Steps…So, a few points we made in this case…
- Alarms…she did have a professional security system. However, it was older, and most important, it was not optimized for good coverage and notifications.
- Landscaping…her beautiful home had landscaping that provided protection for someone that would want to spy on persons at or in her home. Further, and most important, it provided coverage for an intruder to hide, and approach her home in preparation for attack. Her gardener pruned back overgrowth, and cleared areas that might provide hiding places.
- Exterior lighting…she added some lights and updated the positioning of some external lights to give someone inside a better view of the outside, rather than giving someone outside a clearer view of someone inside.
- Cameras…while she already had some camera services, she had the alarm company upgrade older cameras and monitors, and reposition cameras that afforded a better viewpoint for the homeowner. This was done both inside and outside the location.
- Plans for action and responses…we worked together to identify routes of escape, locations for cover from attack, and what items in the home that represent protective tools for her use in a threat.
- Weapons and Tools…further on the plan line, we discussed the issue of weapons based on her needs and interests. She made her own decision on the issue of weapons, their function, their value, their safety points, and the responsible possession and use of them. A weapon is also a tool and can come in many forms, from a rolled-up magazine, to a pen or pencil, to a kitchen knife, a baseball bat to a rifle or handgun.
The bottom line…none of these things are important…until you need them. You do not know when you will need them. When you do, it might be to late if your were not already prepared and equipped. It is nice having a great police force where you live, but if they are not there when needed, well, you are on your own, Right!
My lovely client is now more prepared and in a mindset of readiness that will serve her life moving forward.
Your Situational Awareness training!