Don’t Be a Target: Travel Smart

Don’t Be a Target: Travel Smart

When traveling to unfamiliar areas, whether it be a new city within the United States or traveling abroad, it’s important to travel smart in order to not present yourself as an easy target. The main topic to keep in mind when traveling: Blend in. We’ve all been there, walking around in a familiar city and you can easily pick out a tourist. Map and camera in hand, asking for direction, closely studying the local public transportation maps at each stop or enjoying the sights and sounds of their newly found attraction, while the locals are hustling by. The next few topics are those that should be researched and studied before traveling to keep yourself from being an easy target.

Airport Arrival:
Upon arrival, follow the baggage claim signs and walk confidently to claim your luggage. You didn’t travel all this way to stop and take photos in the airport.
Research the location of the rental car business. Know if it’s on or off the airport property. Do you need to take a shuttle to get your car?

Research taxi fare costs from the airport to your hotel. If you’re taking a taxi from the airport to a popular tourist spot, the taxi driver will already know an estimated amount of fare. Ask before you get in the taxi. Make sure the driver starts the meter. Don’t arrive at your hotel to find out that a 10 minute ride just cost you $50.

Always carry a paper map along with a smart phone map to better understand an unfamiliar area. Being aware of general directions will greatly help with an overall confident appearance in public. Simply stating to a taxi driver that you would rather take 10th Street instead of Washington Avenue, sets the tone that you know your way around and you won’t be hustled.
Always walk straight to the first taxi in line. If you are encouraged or pushed by the taxi attendant to another taxi waiting nearby, insist on taking the first taxi that any local person would use.

Take a screenshot/photo of a paper map in case you lose cell phone/GPS coverage while traveling.

Public Transportation:
Understand the local public transportation systems: Walking confidently from stop to stop or transfer to transfer, gives the appearance that you’re a local. Locals tend to carry less valuables than a traveler does.
Research payment methods: Knowing what the local bus or train fare is before getting onboard will help you blend in. Just think, do local routine bus riders have to stop and ask the driver how much it cost to ride? Nope, but travelers do.
Hotel:

Pick a hotel in a well populated and lit area. Even though you may be in a tourists area, you’re chances of being a victim as a tourist are less likely in an area with many tourist rather than an area where you’re the only tourist.
Know all emergency exits at your hotel. Don’t be afraid to play the dumb tourist and walk into an “employee only” door to find out if there are any additional exits to the hotel.
Use any secondary locks on your room doors when you’re inside. There are a few secondary door stops that you can travel with which are inexpensive to purchase.
Take all valuables with you when leaving the room, no matter how long you will be gone.
Buy a local prepaid phone from a foreign country. Put the local police, nearest hospital, your hotel, and United States Embassy phone numbers in your newly purchase prepaid phone. In the event of an emergency, you don’t want to find out that your personal phone doesn’t work in the area you’re at.

Attempt to get a second floor room. A second floor room is low enough to jump from during an emergency but less accessible from outside.
Monitor what nationalities are in adjacent rooms. Is the hotel rooming all Americans adjacent to each other? Are these rooms being monitored?
Valuables:

Use traveler’s checks or carry multiple debit/credit cards when traveling. Ask friends/family to carry some of your cards and carry theirs in case someone loses a wallet.
Photo copy everything in your wallet. That way if your wallet is stolen, you’ll have copies of all your cards and identification to report stolen/lost.
Save a copy of all your photocopies in an email. In the event that you lose everything, you can always access your email account and print identification documents.
Don’t show large amounts of cash. Carry minimal spending cash in your front pocket to use for general purchases. Don’t pull out your wallet with all your money to purchase a $5 item.
Carry your wallet with minimal items in it in your front pocket. You are less likely to have your wallet stolen if it’s in your front pocket.
Avoid flashy jewelry and watches. “Bling” catches a thief’s eye.
Carry a paper map and mark all the danger zones, police stations, hospitals, and United States Embassy on it.

Embassy:
Report to the Embassy for any lost/stolen passport issues. Present a photo copy of your passport to further expedite getting a new one.
Report to the Embassy for any non-medical emergency related issues. In the event of a medical issues, seek medical attention at a local hospital but also contact the local Embassy for further medical guidance.
Visit the Department of State website and research the country you are traveling to in regards to the area risk assessment. http://www.state.gov/

Ways PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT Can Be Used During A Crisis

Public Associations:
In today’s society, emergency management situations such as active shooter, fire, natural disasters and search and rescue operations occur with in a variety of locations such as churches, shopping malls, civic centers, schools, government facilities, offices and social areas. PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT provides emergency services, both government and civilian, with a modernized emergency management solution to enhance their planning and coordination activities when many of these incidents occur. PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT puts this vital information into the hands of emergency response professionals when they need it most.

Schools:
PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT provides an added level of comfort to students, faculty and parents alike, in the event of a crisis that requires assistance from emergency services. Our Aerial Reference Guide (ARG) can be used to quickly assign assembly areas for students and faculty to meet up when it is safe to exit the crisis area. Students and faculty can also use detailed floor plans to relay important information to responding emergency personnel. Emergency response personnel can use PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT to quickly and effectively coordinate response efforts where they are needed most. Tactical teams can access PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT both inside and outside of a building, which can greatly aide in their efforts in planning a quick and safe high risk entry.

Cultural Institutions:
With the increased number of civil unrest incidents occurring throughout the United States, emergency services now more than ever require the ability to quickly plan and coordinate crowd control operations and maintain peace throughout public establishments.

Government:
PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT provides a modernized emergency management solutions to be used by government authorities to quickly respond to and assess many incidents at government facilities to include city hall, courthouses and child/family services. PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT can provide law enforcement and tactical teams detailed plans of buildings within their jurisdiction which will greatly aide in their efforts during many emergency incidents. Tactical response teams will have the ability to view a crisis area from a safe distance and plan efficient breaching methods before encountering a barricaded door.

Housing Authorities:
PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT offers detailed aerial imagery of each blueprinted location which greatly enhances both urban planning projects and incident response situations and coordination operations. Emergency coordinators can use PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT’s Ariel Reference Guide (ARG) to quickly assign search and crime scene cordon areas.

Hospitals/Medical Facilities:
Not only can PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT be used to assist emergency services during an on-site incident but PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT’s Aerial Reference Guide (ARG) and MEDEVAC survey, will provide a priceless coordination solution when a medical facility is used as a crisis command post for a far greater local disaster.

Tell us your thoughts and ideas on ways PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT can be used during emergency management scenarios.

Former Marine Infantry Officer’s Thoughts on PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT

As a former Marine Infantry officer a constant issue I faced was having the training resources necessary to properly prepare Marines for the rigors of operations in urban terrain. MOUT site and combat towns were limited in availability and costly. Using Proactive Blueprint as a training tool would have been an invaluable asset. With its ???low cost??? Marines could conduct walkthroughs of a myriad of real world structures. These exacting and detailed walkthroughs would not only ensure the limited time spent at MOUT facilities was used efficiently, but would expose Marines to the nuances of urban combat rarely experienced in building block MOUT sites.

-Pete K. former Marine Infantry Officer

Physical Security: Are We Protecting People or Trapping Them

Editor’s Note: At Campus Safety Conference West last week, one of the speakers stressed the need for window security film to prevent or delay the ingress of attackers like the Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman. Although ballistic film can provide protection against intruders, campuses must make sure this solution doesn’t hinder campus occupant evacuation or police/fire/EMS response.

Continue reading Physical Security: Are We Protecting People or Trapping Them

FBI: U.S. now has one active shooter incident every three weeks

Active shooter incidents are becoming more common, according to an FBI report released Wednesday.

The study defines “active shooter incident” as one involving “an individual or individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” An active shooter incident isn’t exactly the same thing as a mass killing, which according to a new federal definition involves at least three fatalities. Only 40 percent of the incidents in the FBI report would qualify as mass killings. (Sidebar: How sad is it that our official vocabulary of killing has grown so complex and precise in recent years?)

To read more of Christopher Ingraham article, click here.

A Mass Shooting Survivor’s Thoughts on PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT

I think it’s easy for all of us to get wrapped up in thoughts of “forever” or the thought that “there’s always next time”. But, I know from experience that there isn’t always next time. We live lives very accustomed to tragedies on every screen, every newspaper, and mumbling through each radio report. Its becoming the norm to hear the reports of drug deals in our church parking lot, gang violence a block from our old elementary school, and yet another shooting, stabbing, or violent attack in almost every location we once thought “it could never happen”. I can’t remember the last time that I felt safe anywhere, even in my own home. Because I am someone constantly considering personal safety, it was an easy decision to get behind PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT. I’m confident in saying that PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT can help anyone within a Saber Security Proactive Blueprinted building feel and be safer in the event that tragedy strikes. I know from experience that with a mass shooting comes crisis and chaos. Seconds are speeding by, yet each one means more than the last and a victim will forever remember every second as if its playing on a loop within their mind.

Continue reading A Mass Shooting Survivor’s Thoughts on PROACTIVE BLUEPRINT