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How To Protect Yourself - A new way of living.




INTRODUCTION:


Greetings to all. As most know, we live in different times. The days of leaving your car unlocked and your front door unlocked and open are long gone. Yes, we can get into the politics of how this has gotten worse, but I won't do that. This post is NOT about politics; it is about reality. This post focuses on the reality of the danger around you and how we can better protect ourselves. I have publicly spoken on this topic numerous times. My globally acclaimed book, "A Woman's Fear," focuses on domestic violence. It tells of real stories and real people who have encountered many things I am presenting to you in this discussion. These stories are sad but true. Some had positive outcomes, but many had devastating consequences, including death. This is an excellent read—an actual wake up call.


The question is, what makes me so knowledgeable about this topic? In my combined years as a career firefighter and paramedic, I responded to over 100,000 calls. No medical call is the same, and no fires are the same. However, as different as they are, they share one common denominator.


Each time a police officer, firefighter, or first responder arrives at a scene, the one common denominator is UNFAMILIAR SURROUNDINGS. Therefore, like the military, we are highly trained in SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. Without that training, even more of these professionals would die in the line of duty. However, even one lost in the line of duty is too much. However, these losses are the reality that comes with these jobs.


THREE KEY POINTS:


There are three key points to remember.


  1. Think ahead,

  2. Be aware of your surroundings,

  3. Take the proper precautions.


Carjackings, home invasions, kidnappings, and different forms of female abuse, violence, and human trafficking are on the rise in most major cities. Other crimes are rising at an alarming rate. Much of this is due to our issues with the southern border. However, they were on the rise, but at a much slower rate. Many cameras are now available for law enforcement officers to gain video from. Ring doorbell cameras, individual outside surveillance cameras, business cameras, and traffic cameras are excellent resources for law enforcement. The issue is all of these are after the fact. After the damage or crime has been committed, it does help in apprehending criminals and retracing a crime. Women and the elderly population have always been at a higher risk for these crimes. But now, criminals are targeting all age groups.


Our law enforcement officers are spread thin and cannot be in all places at the same time, and in some cities where the local government has defunded the police, some cities are understaffed by up to 600 officers. In addition, in many cases, some cities follow the catch-and-release and no-bail laws. Therefore, these criminals are caught and released and, in many cases, not charged or convicted. Consequently, they move in to continue their crime spree.


As Kevin Costner said in the movie Draft Day, "We live in a different world than we did 30 seconds ago."


One of the most important things to remember is that we are responsible for our safety before anyone else.


I am frequently asked, "How do I protect myself?" To answer this question, I would require a two-hour presentation. Since that is unrealistic in a blog post, I will summarize it here. Feel free to email me with any other questions. crondina@caesarrondinaauthor.com


Let's dive right into this.


HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES?:


In today's fast-paced world, it is essential to prioritize personal safety whenever we step outside our homes. Whether running errands, walking, or commuting to work, we must take certain precautions to protect ourselves from potential threats. By being aware of our surroundings and following simple, straightforward guidelines, we can significantly reduce the risks we face while out and about. To do this might require a change in your routine. We are people of habit. Meaning we do the same things daily. We take the same route to work, go to the same gas station, mostly on the same days and times, and go to the same coffee shop. We never change our routine.


A dear friend of mine, a law enforcement officer, once told me that they never worry about catching the everyday citizen because they follow the same routine. They are predictable. Criminals do not. Therefore, apprehending criminals is more of a challenge. Let's look at some things to consider.


1. Staying Alert and Aware:


The first step in safeguarding ourselves is to maintain a high level of awareness. We need to pay attention to the people around us and the sounds of our surrounding environment. Most people walk down the street focusing on their cell phones. STOP THAT PRACTICE. Avoid walking around while engrossed in your phone or listening to music at high volumes. This is a distraction and will make you less observant of your surroundings. By staying alert, you can identify potential risks and take necessary action. For example, you may see a group of young men that do not right to you. This will give you time to cross the street. You cannot take corrective measures to avoid them if you do not see them.

2. Trust Your Instincts:


Our gut feelings can be our best tool in assessing danger or a potentially dangerous situation. If something or someone makes you uncomfortable, trust your gut and take appropriate measures to avoid contact. As I stated, this might include crossing the street, entering a crowded area, or seeking assistance from nearby authorities. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you see a gang of young people hanging out at the gas station, you want to go to, drive by, and get your gas elsewhere.


3. Plan Your Route:


Before leaving home, know where you are going and how you will get there. This is especially important if you are unfamiliar with the area. Stick to well-lit and frequently traveled paths, and avoid shortcuts through isolated areas and unfamiliar neighborhoods. Try to be aware of any potential escape routes or public areas nearby. This planning can help minimize the chances of encountering risky situations. Carjackings happen at red lights and on any street while you are stopped. Let me give you an example. When traveling down any road, there is no need to climb up the rear end of the car in front of you. It will only save you less than a second when the light turns green. Give yourself a little space so if you have to dart around that car to escape a threatening situation, you can.


In a three-lane situation, I often move to the right lane. In a three-lane situation, I will frequently. By doing this, you have the shoulder of the road as an escape route. Numerous good samaritans may assist you. However, you cannot rely on that. When I travel alone, I always think that I am the only one that will protect me. It's a mindset—a way of thinking that helps me take the proper precautions.



4. Be Cautious with Strangers:


Many people are friendly and compassionate by nature. However, we must exercise caution when interacting with strangers. Avoid divulging personal information or accepting offers of help from unknown individuals. The best-dressed people can also be the best con artists. If someone approaches with suspicious intentions or makes you uncomfortable, firmly and politely decline their advances and move away from the situation. Seek assistance if needed.


5. Travel in Groups:


Try to travel with others whenever possible, as there is strength in numbers. Criminals are less likely to attack a group of people rather than a single individual. Walking in a group or with a companion can deter potential attackers and provide additional protection. It is also helpful to maintain connections with family or friends while out; This can ensure someone is aware of your whereabouts.


6. Use Well-Lit and Populated Areas:


When walking or waiting for transportation, choose well-lit and populated areas. Criminals are less likely to target individuals in places with witnesses or a high chance of being seen. Avoid dimly lit alleys, parking lots, or quiet areas that could make you vulnerable. Parking as close as possible to a store entrance also helps. However, you may not always have that opportunity.


Don't be the person who makes this mistake. The time for

getting your keys out to unlock your car door is not when you get to your car. They should be out, selected, and ready in advance. Although many cars have remote access to open and lock car doors, many older cars do not. If yours is none of those that do not, you might want to add that feature, provided you have power door locks. For those who do not have power locks, you need to be more diligent to have your keys ready before you get to your car. Another good step is to lock your doors immediately after entering your vehicle.


You do not want to be the victim of this situation. A woman shopping with young children is also more vulnerable because they have to take more time to put the children in a car seat or buckle them in. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS and KNOWING YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Know the possibilities, and look before you leap. If you see a group of people hanging out close to your car, get an escort to your vehicle. Call the police if necessary.


Some groups sit in cars to see who is going into stores. You do not see them, but they see you. They may wait for you to come out if you appear vulnerable. Ladies and gentlemen, this is reality. I am NOT saying you should stay home and never go out. That is not realistic. My purpose is solely to show you a safer way to achieve this.


7. Secure Your Belongings:


Protecting your belongings is essential not only for financial reasons but also to avoid attracting unwanted attention. Keep your phone, wallet, and other valuable items secured in a bag or pocket that is difficult for someone to access without your knowledge. Also, how you carry your pocketbook is essential. Don't carry it by the strap in your hand, dangling it as you walk. That is an easy snatch-and-grab situation. Place the strap over your head and your shoulder. That makes it more challenging to steal. Take caution when using your phone or other electronics in public, as this can distract you from your surroundings and make you an easy target.


8. Learn Self-Defense Techniques:


Taking a self-defense class or learning basic defensive moves can give you the necessary skills and confidence to protect yourself in an emergency. These techniques can assist in creating valuable time to escape and seek help. Many communities offer these classes for free. Or at a low and reasonable cost.

9. Carry a Personal Safety Device:


This is a slippery slope. Consider carrying a personal safety device, such as a whistle, pepper spray, or personal alarm. These tools can be used to deter potential attackers or attract attention in case of an emergency. Familiarize yourself with using these operating devices effectively and be prepared to deploy them if needed. I am a true believer in our Second Amendment rights. I carry a gun, as do many. That comes with great responsibility. After taking a gun class to acquire a concealed carry permit, not everyone follows up with staying proficient in its use.


Many years back, I took a two-week gun training course. It was so cool and so much fun. It was very similar and mirrored much of what law enforcement officers must take during their time in the academy. After that, and for years now, I go to the range from time to time to keep my proficiency level up with the weapon I carry.


The one thing I want to share with you is what our instructor taught us. It is one thing to shoot at a target; it is entirely different to shoot a live person. Many cannot pull the trigger. There are many cases of people drawing a firearm on a potential assailant and not pulling the trigger or using it as a method to threaten them. The assailant went on to disarm them and kill them with their gun. Carrying a firearm is serious business. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF. There are other deterrents you can carry that I mentioned above. Most importantly, KNOW THE LAWS OF YOUR STATE. I live in Florida. Florida has a "stand your ground law." This greatly protects the rights of those who need to defend themselves.


10. Trust Law Enforcement and Emergency Services:


In any emergency, do not hesitate to contact the relevant authorities, such as the police or emergency services. They are trained to handle such situations and can provide immediate assistance when required. Memorize emergency contact numbers or program them into your phone for quick access.


IN CLOSING:


Do not be that person who sits and watches the news and says, "THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME." It CAN happen to you or anyone. Never be ignorant and ignore your safety. Protecting ourselves while out or at home requires awareness, preparedness, and proactive measures. By staying alert, trusting our instincts, planning our routes, and employing basic self-protection strategies, we can enhance our ability to be safer and enjoy our time.


Some may think this is a bit over the top, but I take other precautions. For example, when I go to a restaurant, I will NEVER sit at a seat when my back is to everyone else. If I am out alone and sit at the bar to eat while enjoying a cocktail, I will usually sit at the end of the bar where I can see the entire room, even if I have to wait for that seat to become available. I prefer to sit at a table closer to an exit when possible.


This is all part of SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. It allows me to see potential issues that might arise before they do, giving me time to react to them. It comes from going on medical calls in a multi-room dwelling for a domestic call. You must know who else is in the house. You could be taking care of a person and someone comes out from another room and attacks you. How do I know this? Because it has happened to me? You learn quickly how to avoid that in the future. An officer may check out an entire house before addressing the issue.


After a while, and when you have been trained to do this and live it daily at work, it becomes second nature. You do not have to think about doing these things; you do them naturally. They become your daily habits.


I hope you enjoyed the post. Please subscribe to my blog, YouTube, or Vimeo Channels. Thank you.


Please feel free to leave comments, or if you have a topic you would like me to discuss, you can email me at crondina@caesarrondinaauthor.com. Thank you.


Be safe, stay well, and focus on being happy. And remember to always:


Live with an open mind,

Live with an open heart,

Live your best life. 


Best Regards,


Caesar Rondina









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