In our modern world, where a trip to a U.S. border town or an overseas assignment can quickly degrade into a kidnapping, robbery or assault, what can be done to avoid circumstances that place a person in greater danger? If those situations do arise, can techniques be learned to improve one’s chance of survival? ITI’s (International Training Incorporated) answer is yes, and they have spent over 20 years preparing civilians, military, law enforcement and government contractors not only to avoid problems, but to adapt and prevail.

Hard Target

The first element to successful situational awareness begins at the most basic level: Where do you live, work and travel on a daily basis? Attacks, whether street crimes or organized terrorist plots, follow a general pattern. The perpetrators choose their target from several possible victims, and then a vulnerable location to attack. Before an attack begins, the best defense is to be a hard target and to avoid locations or routes where you are vulnerable. As Ryan Lutz, former Air Force anti-terror specialist and current ITI instructor points out, “Travel is neutral territory. Choosing good, safe routes with known alternates is critical to complicating things for the bad guys.”

Once safe routes have been established, it is critical to familiarize yourself with the surroundings and get an intuitive feel for what is “normal.” Lutz encourages individuals to develop an awareness for people doing things out of the ordinary, such as sitting in front of a book or newspaper but never reading it, or someone wearing clothing out of place or season that might conceal a weapon. While most of us will never evolve to the Jason Bourne level of knowing the bad guy keeps his loaded pistol in the refrigerator behind the milk, the fundamentals of basic awareness and safe habits always apply. Remember, sometimes the difference in being a victim or someone who is passed over lies in being just a slightly harder target than the next guy. Appear alert and aware, and do your best to actually be that way.

Pages: 1 2 3
Show Comments