Welcome to the Hump Day Reading List! Here are what I believe to be the three most important articles for you to read this week.
This week in Defense and Training:
A favorite criminal tactic: asking questions
This is, in many ways, a companion article to last week’s entry, which talked about the need to use verbal commands in the early stages of a criminal “interview”. This week’s article, from Greg Ellifritz, looks at some common questions criminal use in their interview.
These questions are designed to do a couple of things: first, to distract you — to get you to do something else (look at your watch, try to find a lighter, etc.) rather than pay attention to what they’re doing. Second, it puts you into a habit of compliance. This is the same tactic used by good salespeople when they get you to agree to something — anything — to set up a mood of agreement and make you more receptive to their pitch. It works, too.
I’ve personally encountered all of the questions Greg talks about, and they all get a canned or “pre-recorded” response. While the words are coming out of my mouth automatically, I pay very close attention to the person’s body language and visually sweep to my sides to see if someone is coming out of my blind spots. It’s really quite amusing to see the person retreat when he or she realizes that their well-practiced tactic isn’t working!
This week in Security:
One of the issues when traveling is being singled out for crime — from the petty to the serious. Many of these crimes occur because the local crooks know that tourists are more compliant, generally well-heeled, and are very unlikely to be carrying any sort of weapon. In short, they’re easy marks.
Tourists also stick out like a sore thumb, making them easy to spot and set up. A good security tactic, then, is to look as much like a local as possible. Don’t call attention to yourself, particularly attention that says “this guy isn’t from around here”.
Here are some tips for being the “grey” man or woman while traveling. Much of it, such as dressing like the locals, requires some pre-trip research on your part and is well worth your time investment.
This week in Preparedness:
Prepping and disabilities
Being prepared takes on new meaning if you have a disability. It can actually be overwhelming, since so much preparedness literature assumes that the people involved are all well-abled.
What about prepping for those people with mobility issues, or those with other physical infirmities? While prepping may be more difficult for them, it’s also probably more important.
This is one of the few articles I’ve seen which talks about the prospect. While it’s short on “nuts and bolts” advice, it’s a good look at some of the considerations — and fears — that the differently-abled need to face.
– Grant Cunningham
P.S.: I’ve written books on a number of these topics, and I’m sure you’ll find something in them to help you in your own defensive preparedness. Check out my bookstore, where you’ll find both electronic and good ol’ disaster-proof paper versions!