Posts from — December 2011

Resolve to Prepare in 2012! No Really We Mean It!

As 2011 prepares to exit stage-left and 2012 walks-on stage right, now is an excellent time to be considering those New Year’s resolutions. In support of the FEMA Resolve to be Ready program, we would like to suggest that becoming prepared or improving your personal, organizational or family preparedness in 2012 is a worthy resolution to consider.

Across our great nation, we experienced more billion-dollar disasters than any other time in recorded history. Through November of 2011, 97 major disasters were declared.  Such facts are surely a wakeup call for all preparedness-minded citizens everywhere, or perhaps not?. Once the event (whatever that event may be) has occurred – the time for preparation has passed.  Now is the time to prepare.  Reaching out to those for whom we are responsible in our personal or professional lives in an effort to encourage individual preparation can be challenging.  FEMA has released several online tools to help that process along.

Frank earnest discussions about disaster preparedness should not be like the Peanuts character Charlie Brown and Lucy talking “All His Faults”!

Facta non Verba

December 29, 2011   1 Comment

Merry Christmas 2011 to the Men and Women of the US Military Armed Services

Every year members of our staff select a unit from one America’s Armed Services deployed to a combat zone to send Christmas Care Packages. This year we were made aware of a Marine Corps Scout Sniper Platoon deployed down range and a courageous Marine currently at the Warrior Transition Battalion in Bethesda MD. that we wanted to share Christmas with!

Although we are sure these Marines would rather be at home for Christmas, we hope our gifts make this platoons Christmas holiday just a little bit brighter!

We as Americans owe all of America’s Warfighters our eternal gratitude for the sacrifices they and their families make to protect our great nation! American Warfighters hold a special place in our hearts and we appreciate the difference they make for freedom on the field of battle everyday!

We pray that these Marines, and every other American Warfighter stay safe and return home to your families. May God bless you, your fellow Scout Snipers and the United States of America! Please show your support for our brave men and women in the US Military now during the Christmas Holiday season and throughout the year.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 23, 2011   No Comments

Personal Operations Security During the Holidays

The holidays bring out the best in people, and frankly, sometimes the worst. There are many out there looking to prey upon busy holiday shoppers and homes filled with holiday gifts. As you enjoy the holiday festivities, be sure to pay attention to your own personal operations security (known in the world of defense and security as OPSEC).  Here are some tips to help you and yours be safe.

Shopping

  • Many credit cards today are including RFID (Radio Frequency Identity) scanning capability.  Such technology makes checking out at the register fast and easy, but it also makes theft fast and easy.  It is a simple process for a thief to walk past you with an RFID scanner and pick up your RFID-enabled credit card information – right from your wallet or purse without any physical contact at all.  Protection against such theft, however, is quite simple. If nothing else, simply wrap your cards in aluminum foil.  Of course there are a number of very inexpensive solutions on the market if you want a slightly more elegant solution than aluminum foil.  Whatever your choice – protect that RFID card!
  • Women should avoid carrying a purse if possible. A waist pack (or fanny pack) which you can secure under clothing will serve you best and help keep your cash, credit cards, and identification from being lifted off your person.  If you have to carry a purse, always hold it close to your body and always keep it zipped.  Never put your purse in a shopping cart. Men should keep wallets in a waist pack as well or in deep front pockets and not in back pockets.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check, credit card, or debit card when possible.
  • ATM machines are prime targets. Be sure you are using one in a well-lit and well-populated area.  While using an ATM, be extra aware of people around you.
  • Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if they become separated. They should never go into the parking lot alone.
  • Choose your parking spot strategically.  Select a spot close to the mall or shopping area and always part in well-lit areas. Know exactly where you parked your car so that you do not have to wander looking for it.  Leave the mall well before closing time. This way, there is greater assurance you will walk out with other people. There is safety in numbers. Never hesitate to ask mall security to escort you to your vehicle.
  • Avoid shopping until you are exhausted. You are more alert when you are less tired.
  • When leaving, be aware of your surroundings. Have your keys in your hand and ready to use.  When approaching your car look around, underneath and inside your car for anything suspicious. Hiding in the parking lot is a common practice for criminals.
  • Keep your packages stored out of sight in the trunk of your car.

At Home

  • Make sure that your gifts are not readily seen from an outside window.
  • After the big event and all the gifts have been opened, pay particular attention to how you dispose of your trash.  How many times have you been driving down the street in a neighborhood and seen an empty box for a new 52” plasma high-definition television sitting at the curb waiting to be picked up by the trash service? Breakdown such boxes which advertise expense electronics or other household items and dispose of them in black plastic bags.
  • The holidays is a prime time for solicitations from many charitable organizations.  Be extra careful, however, since criminals are looking to take advantage of holiday generosity. Consider donating to well-established and well-known sources.  Be extremely wary of door-to-door solicitations.  If giving to a door-to-door solicitation, ask for identification, ask how funds are to be used and ask for a receipt with pre-printed information about the organization to which you are donating.  If you are suspicious about the answers or how they behave, contact law enforcement.

Social Media

With the explosion in popularity with online social media such as Facebook and Twitter, people are sharing voluminous amounts of personal information without much thought at all, it seems, to blatant security risks.  There is a saying that comes to mind: You don’t gotta tell all ya know. Specific information about holiday travel plans or expensive gifts you have received or expect to receive have no place in social media – unless of course you want to open yourself up to theft.

Facta non Verba

December 13, 2011   No Comments