I recommend self defense classes for everyone.  I feel it is important to know what to do in a situation where you are being threatened,  this can come about very quickly and you will need to react without having to think.  So being prepared is paramount. I help teach self defense classes with both Sifu Mark Moy (Moy Martial Arts) and Sifu Jim Sanborn (Clark College & WSU).  You can check them out or contact me (Monica) at Security Professionals for further information on this.

If you have a specific threat from someone then do not hesitate to call authorities.  You should also employ appropriate  safety precautions for your situation.  Again the above people train you for these situations.

That being said these tips are for general everyday situations, to make yourself less vulnerable.  I’m sure I haven’t covered everything, so use this as a starting point.  Keep yourself well informed and aware.

1) Be aware of your surroundings.

  • If you wear headphones don’t have them too loud.  Even then be aware that it will diminish your ability to hear what is going on around you.
  • Crossing the street, even with a walk sign, check for cars.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to stop in the middle of the street because some driver didn’t see me crossing, hustle it to get out of the way of a car that came zooming out of no where, or turned into where I was crossing.  Even when there were multiple people.  Crazy I know.
  • When turning a corner (on foot)  don’t cut the corner too close, you don’t know if someone is coming around it from the other side.
  • If passing a darkened area, such as an ally or doorway, give it a wide birth at least 3 feet.

2) Keep an emergency kit in your car.  If you go up to the mountains carry blankets, or extra coats.  In a metal coffee carry matches, candles or Sterno (melt the snow in the coffee can to drink), energy bars, flash light, a large piece of paper and a marker (to post a sign for help).  Flares are a good thing as well.  I also have a first aid kit in my car, which I use more then I would have expected.

3) If you do get stuck, be careful not to run your car for extended periods of time, not only will you run out of gas, but the fumes get into your car and can kill you.

4) Respect your intuition.  If a place gives you the creeps, steer clear of it.  If a person makes you uncomfortable, leave.  Don’t let people guilt you into things like a date or a ride.  This is where the books below will come in handy.

5) Recommended reading:  The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker,  Emotional Vampire by Albert J. Bernstein