Personal Security

Whether as a function of family status, the nature of our work, local crime issues, position in the community, or our duty to protect others from the foreseeable risks of crime, terrorism and even natural calamities, personal security has been drawing the attention of more ordinary citizens of all ages and from all walks of life over the past few years. Most people now agree that having a plan in response to an act of terrorism or a violent act of nature is a form of insurance for surviving violent events, and with the help of government agencies and private aid organizations such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army we have been assembling survival kits to keep us going after a destructive event occurs.

For others, the notion that we must be prepared to survive assaults on our security is not enough; many individuals, organizations, and communities are now seeking information, education and training in preventing violence from occurring in the first place through proactive crime prevention programs at home, at work, in our schools and neighborhoods. Still others among us are learning self-defense techniques which include training in avoiding violence when possible, deterring attackers from choosing them as targets and protecting themselves if attacked. This latter training is being provided for adults of all ages including the most vulnerable amongst us, and even for young children. As our sensitivity to the risks of crime and our vulnerability to attack becomes heightened as the result of world terrorist events and the string of violent acts of nature including hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, and earthquakes which have produced so much chaos around the world, the public has been seeking help in preparing themselves for any such eventuality. Whether a personal loss is the result of a weapon of mass destruction, an ice storm in which all power is disrupted or the criminal act of another against our children, ultimately prevention and survival become personal issues calling for preparation and training on a personal level.

Because individual life styles differ, personal security against violent acts takes on different meanings for each of us. For a homeowner, protecting her property may mean having a vulnerability assessment done to ensure that the property and those within are reasonably protected. For a teacher working in school where there is a high threat of violence, being prepared to protect the children in his charge may be a paramount concern. For those who travel, staying safe on the road and in touch with others back home in time of emergency, calls for planning and preparation. Whether our vulnerability comes from age, handicap or exposure, we all at times experience concern for our personal security or for that of another sufficient to cause us to act in response to it.

In this section, FRAC will address many issues of personal security analyzing potential risks to ourselves, our property, and our families in light of our general exposure to violence as well as from risks unique to our personal situations. FRAC will present protocols, training and technologies available to the public to help reduce personal vulnerability to violence from different sources, and offer guidance in locating private and public organizations offering useful insights into personal security programs with guidance in how to best select a program based on individual circumstances.