SOFREP is THE Special Operations Report, providing our readers with news and analysis from former military and Special Operations veterans. There are times when our analyses are directly relevant and very important to our ‘civilian’ readers. Especially when it comes to your personal security.

Special operators travel, they have families, homes, they go to Costco, Disneyland and In-N-Out, just like the rest of us. But what makes a special operator at home a little bit different from Joe Citizen is their mindset. They think in ways that keep them alert to their surroundings, they prepare their travels with escape in mind, they probably even train their families to think like an operator.

Our good friend at Escape The Wolf has written some great articles for SOFREP readers about your personal security. Today we’re going to revisit three of his posts that are especially important: How to Travel Safely in Foreign Countries, Travel Safety for Women and What To Do If You Encounter An Active Shooter or Terrorist.

As you read these tips, some of the methods may seem extreme to you. Just remember that this is not an exercise – this YOUR life and YOUR safety. Read and share this with your family and friends.

How to Travel Safely in Foreign Countries

Here are some pointers I provide to those who travel from home to work or Dulles to Cairo… Enjoy and pass to those who will benefit!

  • Invest in good local interpreters recommended by the embassy, local being the most important word.
  • Established, personal relationships go a long way. Where possible, have someone on the ground maintain ongoing working relationships in underdeveloped parts of the world.
  • Women Travelers should have at least one male with them at all times – preferably a local. The more people in your entourage, the better, as long as they are the right people.
  • Know the culture of the area you are working in and understand the local customs, especially those pertaining to gender. Try to fit into the local culture where possible, especially where dress is concerned. Cultural and personal awareness are critical to avoid attracting undesirable third party attention.

(Continue reading How to Travel Safely in Foreign Countries)

Travel Safety: Personal Security Tips for Women

  • Limit the amount of information shared about your travel plans – before and during the trip.
  • Use covered luggage ID tags and remove upon arrival.
  • Dress and behave conservatively, as appropriate for the local culture.
  • Observe local customs as much as possible and try to learn unintended implications of your personal behavior, mannerisms and dress. For example, smiling, making eye contact or touching males can be misunderstood in some cultures.
  • Keep alert for anyone who seems to be following you or takes special interest in you.
  • Vary your daily routine. Never take the same route to or from your hotel and vary the times of your comings and goings. This will make it more difficult for someone to target you for an assault or kidnapping.
  • Carry your handbag on the side away from the street to avoid grab-and-run attacks.
  • Stay at reputable hotels and avoid rooms by elevators, hallways or terraces.
  • Choose a room above the ground floor but not higher than the seventh floor for fire safety purposes.
  • You are at your most vulnerable arriving and departing from your hotel. Don’t linger in the public space around the hotel, the parking lot or indoor garage.
  • Use a door alarm, carry a whistle and keep a self-defense weapon near your bed (a fishing weight wrapped in a handkerchief makes a great weapon).
  • Consider carrying pepper spray or spray deodorant.
  • Carry a high lumens flashlight. Brandon recommends the Surefire P2X Fury Dual Output LED.

Travel Safety: Tips to Prevent Sexual Assault

  • Wear clothing that is hard to remove. Avoid tight-fitting clothing and make-up.
  • Consider wearing a wedding or similar ring, even if you aren’t married.
  • Remember, assaults can also be at the hands of acquaintances, so choose fixers, interpreters and drivers carefully.
  • Avoid wearing anything that could be grabbed – jewelry, ponytail, etc.
  • In case of a sexual assault attempt, yell loudly and smash or break items. Tell the attacker you’re pregnant or have AIDS.
  • Urinating or soiling yourself in the event of an impending attack may be a deterrent.
  • Carry a condom…it may prevent you from getting AIDS if you can’t fend off the attacker.

(Continue reading Travel Safety for Women)

What immediate actions should you take in the event of a terrorist or active shooter attack?

Tactics: Immediate Actions: RUN, HIDE, FIGHT!