1.Have several “force options” at the ready. Police training recognizes these options as Presence, Dialogue, Control Alternatives, Protective Alternatives and Deadly Force, but you need not go through each of them, you can skip up or down as the situation dictates.
You want to be prepared to make the best immediate response given the situation
2.Stay alert and aware. You should always be aware of your 360-degree world, observing and reading people, noticing what stands out about people, and asking yourself questions such as: Does this person fit in? Is he behaving in a suspicious manner? Does this person look uncomfortable? Is he paying me undue attention?
It is preferable to blend in with the crowd and the environment so that you can go about your business unnoticed. At that same time you should notice who notices you. Also, you would do well to practice noticing details so you can give a description later if you need to. Observe people’s gestures and body language.
Observe their display of respect or lack of respect for personal boundaries.
Notice verbalisms, slang, and voice tone. Look into people’s eyes. The eyes are truly the windows to the soul. If you see no soul, consider yourself in trouble if you have to deal with the person.
3.Be prepared to communicate, move, shoot, and fight. Practice verbalizing convincing phrases in a commanding manner to disengage and terminate interactions that, if allowed to continue, can only go downhill. Practice issuing warnings with a command presence.
When a situation appears to be dangerous, keep moving. Always look for escape avenues. It is better to move and do something than to freeze.
4.This is not a sometimes deal. If you are going to live the armed lifestyle and carry a firearm, you should carry as often as is legally possible. Your weapons are like your insurance. You shouldn’t drive without car insurance. You shouldn’t own a home without homeowner’s insurance.
You can never know when you will need your insurance. That is why you must have it. Having insurance doesn’t mean you expect to have an accident, but it means you are prepared just in case. Likewise, you shouldn’t venture forth into the world, or be at home, without a firearm that is rapidly accessible.
The one time you go out unarmed might be the day that the convenience store is robbed at gunpoint and the armed robbers force everyone into the freezer.
5.Being prepared means having the right mindset to assertively, aggressively engage or surreptitiously disengage as the situation dictates. It means you are willing to do whatever you must do to survive. It means having the training to do whatever you must do to protect yourself and your loved ones, and it means having the right emergency rescue equipment on you or immediately accessible to you. Being ready means you are all set to go. You are geared up, equipped mentally and physically, and you have a plan for how you are going to act to counter an ambush.
Bruce N. Eimer, Ph.D.,