Archive for the ‘be prepared’ Category

One of the most common questions about crime prevention is about neighborhood watch.  Many people want to know how to start one.  This is a great question.  I think many will be surprised how easy and fun it is to start a neighborhood watch.

First, check out a great website about getting started.  It will give you an overview and some things to think about.

  • Determine the area you want to organize (the larger the better).
  • Talk to surrounding neighbors and find out how many want to assist and participate (8-10 households is a good number).
  • Set up a free neighborhood watch website to coordinate your efforts.

Here are five basic steps to get you started and motivated:

1. Contact your local police/sheriff’s department to schedule speakers for your neighborhood watch group.  Make sure you pick a location to accommodate your group and presentation (grange, hall, school, etc).

2. Invite your neighbors.  Get a name, phone number, and email list.  Send out flyers about two to three weeks before your presentation meeting and then follow up with a “reminder” a couple of days before.

3. Prepare a neighborhood map.  This map should have the houses, names, and phone numbers of each household.

4. Benefits of the presentation.  You will learn how to develop a plan of action, crime prevention techniques, personal safety, how to report suspicious activity, meet your neighbors and develop a communication network, order neighborhood watch signs, and recruit your coordinator and block captains.

5. Maintaining your neighborhood watch plan.  Keep your plan on track with meetings, neighborhood outings, and a monthly newsletter, website or blog.

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind  Silent Partner  Screenwriting


Emily Stone is definitely a woman who would stand up and fight no matter what she encountered. However, in real life each person must decide on their own how they would react to a potentially dangerous situation.

What would you do?
It has been stated from various representatives of law enforcement that victims are often hurt by the “startle factor”. Victims were not paying attention to their surroundings or they were engrossed in a phone call when they were approached by the criminal element. Those individuals who responded well remained calm, collected, and logical. They basically kept a cool head and weighed their options. Some individuals are feistier than others and have averted a potentially dangerous situation that could have gone either way.

I have personally experienced a situation where I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings in a dark, deserted parking lot. An unscrupulous individual scoped me out and planned on assaulting or robbing me, or even worse. He also had a weapon in his hand and he intended to make someone a victim. The good news, I was actually letting my dog out of my car for a quick break and the “would be” assailant didn’t notice this large black, muscular dog in the shadows that caught wind of his criminal intent. The dog put himself between me and my “would be” attacker, and then perpetrator turned and ran for his life. I learned quite a bit that night that I would never forget. Pay attention to your surroundings! Dogs are a great deterrent!

To stay calm and logical during a potentially dangerous situation, there are several things to keep in mind. Here’s a helpful list of the face-to-face factors to consider:

1.Your Wariness
How are you presenting yourself in a situation alone? Don’t be a target because you’re daydreaming, using your phone, or being timid and unsure. Use your self-confidence and alertness.

2.Your Willingness
What are you willing to do in a dangerous situation? Would you truly fight for your life and never give up?

3. Your Abilities
Ask yourself what your strategy would be if you were in a dangerous situation. Run some scenarios through your mind.

4. Your Personality
Everyone is different. Are you more of a passive or aggressive person? If you’re more of a passive person, can you step up and “fake” being assertive?

5. Type of Assailant
Quickly study the type of assailant that has approached you. Is this persona scared, confident, a lunatic, or somewhere in between?

6.The Location
Location is important. Is it an area that you know well and frequent? Familiarity and populated areas generally intimidate any potential assailant.

7. Presence of Weapon or Accomplice
You might not see any weapon or accomplice at first, or the assailant might use his weapon immediately. Weigh the situation carefully, but quickly before you react.

The most important thing to remember is to stay alert and vigilant to your surroundings. I know it seems like I keep repeating myself, but it’s extremely important. Stay informed and read through the list above and plan what you would do in certain situations. Being prepared will only further help you to stay calm and logical if any dangerous situations were to arise. As the old saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Emily wants everyone to stay alert and be safe. Check out her harrowing adventures in “Compulsion” and see what she would do certain dangerous situations.