This guest post was written by former Navy SEAL and JSOC operator Clinton Emerson. Visit his site Escape The Wolf for more tips. Clinton is also the author of the NY Times bestseller 100 Deadly Skills.

They were business travelers, colleagues, students, daughters, sons, fathers, and mothers with so much life ahead until their ordinary evening in Paris was shattered by predators.

Sadly, our world isn’t getting any safer. How can a normal person be prepared for monsters and an unpredictable terrorist attack? You can get inside the bad guys’ heads. If you understand what might happen, then you can take action to be prepared. Highly skilled operatives, or “violent nomads,” possess knowledge that can’t be divulged without severe risk to public safety. But they also possess plenty of lifesaving information that can be shared. Let’s take a look at the basics.

Research. Know where you’re going and what you’re getting into.

Learn as much as possible about where you’re going in advance. Conduct research on the Internet. Ask contacts, friends, and others who are based at your destination. Up your total awareness. Determine how safe the overall situation is. Research the local culture, social protocols, and cultural etiquette. Make sure your personal mannerisms and gestures allow you to fit in. Understand the third-party threats.