How to be Prepared, Not Scared

Bill Stanton is a security expert, private investigator and executive bodyguard and former safety and security contributor to NBC’s Today show and ABC’s Good Morning America. He is the author of Prepared Not Scared: Your Go-To Guide for Staying Safe in an Unsafe World.

These are some of his tips:

Think like a burglar.

To know how a burglar might approach your house, get inside their head. Walk around the outside of your home once or twice with the mind of home invader. Think: “If I’m a burglar, which windows look easy to break or climb through?” Then look through the windows. Can you see expensive items that might tempt a thief? If so, you’ve got some rearranging to do.

After doing your homework, make sure each of these windows has locks, and curtains or blinds that can be drawn when you’re not home.

Invest in a security bar for every sliding door.

Security bars ensure that sliding-glass doors can never be opened or jimmied without breaking the glass. They will thwart burglars and, in an attack scenario, buy you time to call for help. And they’re fairly inexpensive, too: One 20-gauge steel one, from Sabre, is just $20 on Amazon Prime.

Secure your garage door.

A closed garage door is about as difficult to breach as a flimsy screen door. Burglars love to pry open a garage door, or even open it (easily) using a factory-setting opener button they can buy online. So, always lock the door between your home and your garage.

Create a “crisis package.”

Say there’s a medical emergency or someone in your family goes missing. In the case of these kind of emotional crises, would you know where to go to get critical information that would help? Create a “crisis package” for everyone in the family and keep them together in an easy-to-remember location. The package should include the following:

  • Recent photo
  • Fingerprints
  • Emergency contact information
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Pertinent information on any medical conditions, allergies, or immunizations
  • List of medications

Read more of his tips here.

Published by Peter Cavicchia

Peter Cavicchia is a retired U.S. Secret Service Senior Executive, now Chairman of the security consulting firm Strategic Services International LLC.

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