American Survival Guide - - CONTENTS - BY BRIAN MOR­RIS

Ter­ror­ism not only af­fects tar­geted Amer­i­can in­fra­struc­ture and in­ter­ests, it also tar­gets Amer­i­can cit­i­zens in their ev­ery­day lives. That is why it is so im­por­tant for the av­er­age Amer­i­can to un­der­stand what the ter­ror­ist threat looks like, both at home and abroad, and how to pre­pare and em­ploy sit­u­a­tion-based mea­sures to re­duce their per­sonal vul­ner­a­bil­ity. It is also im­por­tant that peo­ple rec­og­nize what the proper re­sponse is when faced with a threat and un­der­stand how to im­ple­ment per­sonal security mea­sures. Most Amer­i­cans are not what one might re­fer to as “the tip of the spear,” ei­ther cog­ni­tively or phys­i­cally, when it comes to the on­go­ing bat­tle against fa­natic ex­trem­ists in the Global War on Ter­ror (GWOT). In fact, for the ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans, the GWOT has ab­so­lutely zero im­pact one way or the other when it comes to the way they live their day-to-day lives ... that is, of course, un­til they have to travel. Does this mean that ev­ery time you travel away from home there is a high prob­a­bil­ity you will be killed? No, of course not. What it means is that for those of us who tend to walk through life with our eyes glued to our smart phones, this is the time we need to look up for a minute and turn on our sit­u­a­tional aware­ness. What is “sit­u­a­tional aware­ness,” any­way? Sit­u­a­tional aware­ness is noth­ing more than stay­ing alert, be­ing aware of your sur­round­ings and un­der­stand­ing the pos­si­bil­ity and/or pres­ence of threats that you could face in any given en­vi­ron­ment or sit­u­a­tion. An in­di­vid­ual with good sit­u­a­tional aware­ness never takes any­thing for granted, de­ter­mines ap­pro­pri­ate plans and ac­tions for a va­ri­ety of sce­nar­ios and makes security a part of his or her rou­tine—ev­ery­where. In or­der to mit­i­gate risk, you must first try to an­tic­i­pate threats and haz­ards in your home base or the area in which you plan to travel. By tak­ing these steps, you are sure to en­hance your per­sonal security and the safety of oth­ers with whom you are trav­el­ing. It is pos­si­ble to re­search ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity by read­ing lo­cal news­pa­pers on the In­ter­net or mon­i­tor­ing po­lice re­ports in the prospec­tive area of travel. A great re­source for over­seas travel is the United States Depart­ment of State’s Travel Ad­vi­sory web­site:­tent/travel/en/trav­e­lad­vi­sories/trav­e­lad­vi­sories.html. Ad­di­tion­ally, it is im­por­tant to un­der­stand the tech­niques, tac­tics and pro­ce­dures of ter­ror­ist and crim­i­nal el­e­ments in ar­eas in which you plan to travel to en­able your­self to have the high­est level of sit­u­a­tional aware­ness and to best re­duce your risk of be­com­ing a tar­get. Once you are able to iden­tify the threat, it is less prob­lem­atic to take the ap­pro­pri­ate security mea­sures to lower your over­all risk of be­com­ing a tar­get. Plan to avoid high-risk ar­eas while trav­el­ing, or con­duct ap­pro­pri­ate safety pro­ce­dures in the event that these ar­eas are un­avoid­able. Also, pay at­ten­tion to the cal­en­dar and pub­lic sched­ules of events for your in­tended des­ti­na­tion to iden­tify pos­si­ble so­cial trig­gers for demon­stra­tions, vi­o­lence and other haz­ards. It is im­per­a­tive to re­main vig­i­lant at all times. Af­ter more than 17 years of war, the United States and its cit­i­zens still re­main vul­ner­a­ble to ter­ror­ist at­tacks at home and abroad. Our ruth­less and relentless ene­mies are in­tent on in­still­ing fear in their tar­gets and dis­rupt­ing our way of life. It is es­sen­tial for all Amer­i­cans to re­main com­mit­ted to vig­i­lance—par­tic­u­larly when trav­el­ing away from the fa­mil­iar­ity and rel­a­tive safety of their home. With ded­i­ca­tion to be­ing aware of ever-chang­ing sit­u­a­tions, ap­pro­pri­ate plan­ning and proper ex­e­cu­tion, we can still con­duct our busi­ness and en­joy our trav­els with con­fi­dence and safety.

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