I recently read Sheep No More: The Art of Awareness and Attack Survival by Jonathan T. Gilliam (2017).
In this book, JTG provides a simple, layman-friendly guide to planning for our own safety and that of our families. From his experiences as a Navy SEAL, an FBI agent, and a federal air marshal, JTG talks us through the importance steps of awareness and simple preparatory acts that can help us avoid dangerous situations as well as survive them if we ever find ourselves therein.
Some of my biggest takeaways:
- Try to think from the perspective of an evil intender when considering the environments we’ll be occupying or visiting. Think about critical assets, critical areas of exposure, and critical times of high vulnerability.
- When visiting other locales, do a visual reconnaissance through Google Earth or similar technology to get a broader sense of the location, its particular vulnerabilities, and potential escape routes.
- When traveling with groups of friends or family, discuss escape routes and re-assembly locations in case catastrophe or separation occurs.
- Think through our options for how to escape or evade if faced with a dangerous encounter, AND also through strategies for aggressively fighting our way out should the first two options not be available to us.
My previous service as a school principal and school superintendent had already conditioned me to think in these safety-minded terms. I had not, however, spent as much time considering danger avoidance and interdiction from a personal perspective. Clearly, a gap in my thinking (and preparedness).
I have written often in this blog about the power of HABIT on our lives. Situational awareness of potential dangers fits squarely in the “habit” category. Just a little thinking and a little planning and a little practice for unexpected and dangerous eventualities could make a real difference for us and our families.