With Spring just a few days away arriving on March 20th, 2023, people are starting to get excited about the upcoming season.
Longer days, warmer weather, and more vacations are on the horizon for many people who have been hibernating in the winter.
But before we all rush off to the parks, beaches, and airports, let's understand that Spring time also brings with it many dangers.
Good citizens are not the only ones who have been stowed away in their warm homes during the winter - thieves and criminals are also thawing and planning their next illegal activities.
Not only does Spring time bring forth more crime, but our country is in a state of disrepair. Many states are dealing with increased unemployment rates, the stock market is trending low these days, the middle class continues to disappear, and legislation continues to give a slap on the wrists to criminals enabling unlawful ventures.
With every crisis comes solutions, and crime is not a new one. From Bonnie and Clyde to joggers being attacked, crime has always been present, and the good people in this world have always fought back.
In this article we will go over 7 Fundamental Principles that you need to remember to keep you safe this Spring. And most importantly, share these tips with your friends, children, and loved ones so they can enjoy Spring without falling victim.
1. Situational Awareness
One of the most important ways to stay safe this Spring is to learn, practice, and embody situational awareness. Situational awareness is knowing where you are and what is going on around you. It's also knowing what the various elements in your environment mean (for example if it's a hot summer day in a park and there's a man dressed in a heavy trench coat, that should indicate something may not be right).
Situational awareness should become a habit and should be used and applied in every situation of your life. When you open your apartment door and enter the hallway, you should be aware of your environment. When you get on the subway to work, you should be aware of the other people in your subway car.
Even in mundane situations, your situational awareness should be on and it should never be off.
Situational awareness allows you to recognize when something seems off. You can then avoid the danger, flee the danger, or prepare to confront the danger if you have no choice.
2. Arm Yourself
Arm yourself with a self defense weapon. It doesn't have to be a gun or a knife. There are so many new innovations in the self defense product industry, that you can find the product that fits your needs.
Today we have non-lethal options like self defense alarms, flashlights, and whistles if you prefer weapons that don't inflict physical harm to the other person.
If you want to take it up a notch, we have less-lethal self defense weapons such as Kubatons, Cat Ear Keychains, and Monkey Fist Balls if you want a handheld weapon to give your punches an extra umph.
One step up would be things like pepper spray and stun guns, which can effectively incapacitate an attacker and render him inoperable.
Lastly, there are the more lethal options such as guns and knives.
Whichever weapon you choose, remember that it's your right to bear arms and protect yourself from an opposing threat.
3. Physically Prepare
The mind is only half the battle. You might be able to identify a threat, but if you are physically unable to flee the scene or defend yourself, then identifying the threat is useless.
Physically preparing means taking care of your body including your health, diet, exercise, strength, and stamina. You don't need to run marathons or participate in strength competitions, but staying active and healthy will make a huge difference if you ever find yourself in a sticky situation.
Most doctors recommend exercising at least 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes per workout. The workouts can be anything from cardio to strength training to even yoga or other fitness classes.
4. Play The Part
Do you know how some people sort of "look like victims"? Perhaps their head is glued to their phone, or they look like their heads are somewhere else. Would you be surprised to know that criminals look for these types of people? Criminals very rarely act on impulse - normally they case the scene and find specific people to target. That's good news for you, because you can learn to play the part of someone who will not be a victim.
Walk confidently, with your head up, your shoulders back, and at a brisk pace. Keep your arms free and swinging by your sides with your gaze straight forward. Stay nonreactive and keep your facial expressions indifferent.
If you have strong confident body language, most criminals will choose someone else who looks like an easier victim.
5. Use Technology
Tech is a blessing and a curse. But in the case of personal safety, it's a blessing. There are tons of apps and programs to help keep you safe whether that's locating your whereabouts via GPS, acting as an emergency button to call law enforcement, or tracking your itinerary and schedule.
Something as simple as enabling the "where's my phone?" on your smart device will allow certain friends and family that you select to be able to track your location using GPS. These apps are great when you're going running or hiking and want to leave a digital map of where you've been.
There are also apps that act as a quick 1-press button to call law enforcement if you're ever in trouble or held captive and need to quickly contact the police.
Lastly, using simple programs such as Google Sheets, Google Maps, and Google Docs to record your itinerary, schedule, and plans, will allow other people to know your whereabouts.
Are We Safer Than Before?
The short answer is yes, in 2023 we are safer than we've ever been. With new self defense products, access to more information, and the use of technology, we have never been safer.
However, criminals and safety are part of the same circle of yin and yang. As safety measures increase, criminals will become smarter and learn how to beat the system. It's a never ending cycle that only creates better criminals.
But we should be happy that overall we are more secure in today's modern day society than ever before, and if you follow the 5 principles above, you will keep yourself as protected and safe as possible this Spring 2023!