The Safety Trap: A Security Expert's Secrets for Staying Safe in a Dangerous World
By Spencer Coursen
St. Martin's Publishing Group; hardcover, 368 pages; $28.99; available today, Tuesday, May 18th
Spencer Coursen is a nationally recognized threat management expert, with an exceptional record of success in the assessment, management, and resolution of threats. He is the founder of the Coursen Security Group (CSG). The expertise he has made him a reliable resource for organizations needing help in conflict resolution, as well as employee termination, expert witness testimony, policy authorship, protective intelligence, and vulnerability resolution.
Coursen has developed and led security plans for numerous major celebrities, sports stars, and corporate executives. The one lesson he wants everyone to retain, regardless of your status, is this: you are never more in danger than in those moments when you feel you are safest. That is the root of his incredibly detailed new book, The Safety Trap.
The first thing you're going to ask is, what is a safety "trap?" It's a false sense of security that occurs when fear has abated but risk remains. The world we exist in has never been more dangerous and our well-being more precarious.
In this excerpt, from a part entitled "Seeing the Patterns of Safety," Coursen writes: "It's funny how some patterns are so clear yet others elude us. We don't fear the patterns we know well. We don't shy away from being aware of the things we are prepared to handle. But we are tragically fearful of those things we experience the least and are most ill prepared to manage.
"Let's describe a scenario where you would be forced to race through an open space in a heavy box with a limited field of view. You would then have to manually maneuver this box from point A to point B while dozens of other boxes zig and zag around you. This would be a terrifying ordeal for anyone to endure. Imagine if this were your first time: your pulse would rise, your hands would sweat, your vision would narrow, your breathing would be shallow, your fine motor function would deteriorate. You would basically be in a state of complete and total panic. Unless we called it driving. Then we would spend our entire childhood waiting for the day we were old enough to get our driver's licenses and finally get out onto the road.
"Think about it: there are thousands of automobile accidents every single day, but most of us aren't afraid to drive, because we are aware of the risks we are most likely to face and we are capable and prepared to safeguard against them. We know the pre-incident indicators to look for: the brake lights up ahead, the flashing lights of emergency responders, the orange cones of construction, the yellow lights of yield.
"What if I told you that almost everything in your life that could harm you also has the same pre-incident indicators? What if I told you the same signs that warn you of a potential car accident could also warn you of a school or workplace shooting? And what if I told you that if you chose to not be aware of these warning signs, you would be just as likely to be caught in the cross fire of workplace violence as you would by ignoring your rearview mirror - where an irrationally careless and speeding driver is swerving in and our of lanes and coming up fast behind you."
Coursen will make you aware of realistic risks, and how to be prepared for them. In essence, it means to not take anything for granted or let your guard down, and to be safe, don't feel safe. This book will provide everyone from all walks of life with the necessary survival strategies an tactics needed to live in this hostile world. You don't have to be a "name," or a celebrity/athlete/global business leader to find yourself in a frightening situation, but you do have to be prepared to protect yourself and be safe.
What happens when an athlete or celebrity stirs up a media frenzy? The boundaries of family, friends, and the work place then become blurred and rumors run rampant. The celeb must verify those around them as well as trust others. For a politician, one of the worst things they can hear is "I used to be your biggest fan." More than mere words, the politician has to assess if it is a threat versus just an expressed opinion. People working in international diplomacy are mostly in foreign lands with non-permissive environments, and if things go badly, the diplomat has to surround themselves with proactive intelligence.
There are many practical steps everybody can take and be aware of, including: Do you have a family readiness plan?; Are you skilled in CPR/first aid?; Have you taken a firearms familiarization course?; Google yourself - you might be VERY surprised at what you find; Do you take different routes home from work/school/errands?; Do you have a safety plan at home for when you're alone?; Do you know the difference between a "travel alert" and a "travel warning?"; Do you regularly check the tire pressure in your car's spare tire?; What are you doing to reduce risk of violence to yourself?; Do you create dual authorization on your electronic devices and accounts?
The Safety Trap is one of the most essential books you can have in your home in these uncertain times, and you will be sure to implement a lot of these methods in a timely fashion.