Saturday, October 04, 2014

Don't Be Afraid - Be Prepared!

With all the threats of ISIS and various calls by them for “lone wolf” terrorist activities in the news, not to mention the added complications to preparedness brought about by the Ebola scare, I wanted to take an opportunity to speak up further on the issue, and at least let you know what I am doing to protect myself and my family.   In my last article, The ISIS Threat - Coming To a City Near You, I discussed some specific emergency preparation steps you can take to prepare you and your family.  So in this article, I want to take that discussion further and specifically dive deeper and discuss some things that you as an individual can do to ensure that you are staying safe.  This will allow you to then take this knowledge to share with others.

We have to take threats of terrorists looking up the names and addresses of our military families for possible targeting as credible and plausible.  But then again, we also have to show them that our willingness to respond and defend is just as credible and plausible.  We need to give them some things to be fearful of.

First I’ll say that causing drastic behavior modification and instilling fear are a few of the goals of terrorism.  Having said that, I will say that I’m not modifying my behavior for them, and I‘m not afraid.  I already practice awareness and the other preparedness activities that I will discuss in this article, and I’m always armed.  These thugs aren’t going to make me modify my behavior for them, and I refuse to live in fear of them.
They will indeed bring their terror to our soil, as if they haven’t already.  But know this:  We will fight, and we will win.  America will not become a Sharia haven on my watch, and I will not have my family, friends, and neighbors living in fear.  It's their turn to be afraid, and I mean to make them live in fear of me and my fellow sheepdogs.  There are several hundred thousand of us in this country.  Something to ponder before they decide they want to ride that train.  As Judge Jeanine says:  "It's US against THEM!"

So I’m not expecting anyone else to live in fear or do drastic behavior modifications to suit terrorist goals.  And I’m not being an alarmist.  But I am asking those of you who do not already practice some common sense awareness and self-defense techniques, which you should be doing anyway, to maybe consider some simple measures, and do what you can.  These things mentioned below are the things that I do based on the fact that I am a “sheepdog” and have been at this a while.  What you do will depend on your needs, abilities, training, and personal goals.  But don’t feel like you have to be able to do this all at once.  Start slowly, but steadily and smartly, to build up to a level that makes you ready to respond as soon as possible.

Be Aware:  This is probably one of the most basic, yet most effective tools you can have.  Be aware of your surroundings.  If you are out and about, be aware of things or people that just don’t look right.  Be aware of people around you, and people who may be following you.  The key to awareness is basically just to pay attention, and not be walking around oblivious to your surrounds with an iPod plugged into your ears, or blindly walking around looking down at your shoes, or strolling along and talking on the phone all the time.

Be a Hard Target:  Make yourself as undesirable a target as possible.  Awareness, as mentioned above, is the first step.  Then, as an aware individual, you won’t be walking around looking at your shoes, but rather be that confident and well poised individual who looks ready for anything.  Terrorists are like any other criminal:  They prey on people who look like they are weak, afraid, and unprepared.  Look strong, and look confident.  Look like you are waiting for them.  Make sure your home is hardened by locking doors and having other home security measures in place (I wrote another article about that here). 

Be Unpredictable:  Don’t take the same route to school or work every day.  If you think you're being followed, take evasive measures, such as making them follow you to a police station.  When you take your dogs for a walk, take different routes, and don't always do it at the same time of day.  Don't publish your schedules or whereabouts online in social media sites or elsewhere.  Don't post a bunch of images or other stuff to your social media sites that have GPS or other location information from your phone.  Control who can see your social media profiles.  Don't necessarily give ALL of your emergency preparedness strategies out to everyone.  Yep - I'm giving you lots of info here about what I do - but no one has a clue about EVERYTHING that I do ;)

Be Prepared:  I mean this not only in the sense of having ample supplies of food, water, first-aid, and ammunition (beans, bullets, and band aids) for yourself, but also in the sense making sure others close to you are prepared.  Just as they say in the air safety brief when you fly – put on YOUR OWN oxygen mask, and THEN help others.  The same goes for prepping.  Prepare yourself and your family first.  Then reach out (cautiously, I might add) to your neighbors who seem perceptive to such things.  Then reach out to your church, and try to get your pastors on-board with getting the church body prepared.  The list of the specific items to have on hand is the subject of other articles, and has been written about by many.  Do your homework, and find out what your and your family’s needs are.  Then be able to help others identify their own needs, and point them in the right direction for obtaining their supplies.  I wrote some tips on specific preparedness items in my last article to help you prepare.

Be a Life Boat:  Knowing how to respond in an emergency will be a key leadership principle, and YOU may be called upon to be that leader.  Remember – these acts of terror don’t necessarily mean barbarian attacks on individuals, but they may also very well take the form of attacks on our infrastructure.  If power or other services are taken down for a long time, emergency responders will not be able to get to you right away.  Get some Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training from your local fire authority or city emergency preparedness management.  You will be the one in your neighborhood with the skills to organize people, perform emergency functions such as turning off water and gas mains, performing first aid, and even getting emergency food and water.   As mentioned above – be proactive and reach out to others ahead of time, and help them prepare themselves.

Be a Defender:  Arm yourselves.  That’s the only way I can put it.  Have sufficient and varied weapons (and ammunition) to be able to stop an attack when it happens.  You may need to be able to hand a rifle to a family member or neighbor to get more guns into the fight.  This is a serious matter, and those who mean to do us harm will be bringing their weapons.  Get trained and know how to run your weapons, and keep them running.  Be able to train your neighbors and family members.  I'm not talking about just going to a range and getting in some target practice at paper targets.  Get some advanced training, and learn some defensive and gun fighting skills.  This is truly a life saver when you are called to bring these skills to bear.

As I stated before - I refuse to live in fear.   It's their turn to be afraid.  Be a sheepdog in your communities, and be ready to show these thugs that they're on our turf, we aren't going softly into that goodnight, and we won't go down without a fight.

Stay free, fellow patriots!