In the Spring 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, author Leroy Thompson explained several urban survival tips for safely navigating urban environments like parking lots, parking garages and one’s daily commute. Thompson first looked at the dangers inherent to outdoor parking lots, offering several self-defense measures one can take to minimize one’s exposure to an attack. “I prefer to park away from other vehicles when possible so I can see anyone that might be lurking. Moving between closely packed vehicles in a parking lot can be conducive to an ambush,” says Thompson. “I generally situate my car so I can pull directly out of a space, whether that entails backing in or pulling to the foremost of two spaces that adjoin. That way I can aim better if someone jumps in front of me with a weapon!”

Moving indoors, Thompson relayed similar tactics for use in a parking garage, where the enclosed space creates a higher potential for an ambush. “Since lighting is usually poor throughout, I prefer a space closer to the stairs or elevator to limit exposure. If I can board an elevator with other people who don’t set off my ‘radar,’ I do but still stay alert,” notes Thompson. “Be especially alert on the enclosed staircases in parking garages. ‘Cut the pie’ when turning corners and look up and down frequently. Be very alert to sound because the enclosed area will normally magnify it.”

Driving habits were another area that came under Thompson’s urban security focus, including tips for vehicle placement in traffic. “I am always aware of what’s going on around me and alert to anything that strikes me as potentially bad. I make every attempt to always have a way out by turning, reversing or going into four-wheel drive onto a sidewalk,” says Thompson. “I normally try not to pull even with other cars, but to stop halfway between them so that it’s harder for someone to shoot or throw something directly at me. I am especially aware of any attempt to box me in.”

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

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