Based on the late Colonel Jeff Cooper’s color-coded response system for alertness, self-defense expert Massad Ayoob explored the concept of living in “Condition Yellow” for the Spring 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE. Ayoob included in his article a number of tips to help the everyday person remain vigilant during their daily routines.

According to Ayoob, the concept of Condition Yellow begins with maintaining awareness of your surroundings. “Whether you’re driving or walking, ask yourself, without waiting to see the next road marker or street sign, could you tell someone exactly where you are right now?” asks Ayoob. “The uninitiated think this is paranoia, or hyper-vigilance. On the contrary, it’s common sense.”

Other tips from Ayoob include the idea of researching your travel routes for risk assessment and recognizing escape routes from public spaces. “Today more than ever, the internet allows you to check out high-risk travel routes and destinations,” notes Ayoob. “Whether it’s travel during bad weather, or having to go to someplace you didn’t really want to be, have an exit plan. It’s true of business trips, vacations, blind dates, and work assignments you had to accept when you didn’t want to.”

The idea of always carrying some form of flashlight also topped Ayoob’s list for maintaining one’s alertness while traveling. “Always carry illumination! Criminals tend to favor darkness. You want to be able to see the danger, avoid the danger and perhaps even dazzle or blind
the source of that danger,” says Ayoob. “Today’s flashlights are better than ever—so small and so powerful that you can carry two, even in a business suit.”

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To read the full article on Condition Yellow, check out the Spring 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, available on newsstands April 15, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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