Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Take ten

One of the things I learnt during my time in the Foreign Legion was that time spent gathering intel was very rarely wasted. It's a lesson I teach my students and people who attend my personal safety presentation.

When you exit the house, pause at the door and take ten to fifteen seconds to observe your surroundings. Does everything look ok? When you exit the mall, same thing, pause for a few seconds, work out where your car is parked, study the path between you and there a group loitering, is there a van parked next to it with the engine idling, is there a gun fight going on between gang bangers? Most people are so absorbed with their purchases that they neglect to do this and next minute they're victims.

This tip saved my neighbor in Wilmington. She'd attended a presentation I did for a group of business women and a few weeks later she came home and did the fifteen second observation routine from her car while sitting in the driveway. She noticed a window open and scuff marks from feet up the front wall of the house. She drove away and called the cops - smart girl - who came and found evidence of an attempted break in. She told me later that prior to that lecture she'd have waltzed inside and possibly turned a break in into a murder by surprising the intruder and causing him to panic.


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