Here at GPJ, we travel for work. Some of us quite a lot. And we love it. But let’s be honest, it’s not always easy, and although we never expect anything bad to happen, it’s best to be prepared.
We’re fortunate to have Todd Kment, GPJ Director of Safety and Security, to help ensure the highest level of safety at our events, and also to provide guidance on personal safety while traveling and at home. Todd has over 20 years of experience with security leadership roles at Knightsbridge Metal International, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Canyon Ranch and Target. He started his career serving in the Army National Guard. After completing the Criminal Investigator Training Program with the U.S. Department of Justice – U.S. Marshal Service, he then joined the department within the Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service and served nine years as a special agent, where he was responsible for the protection of U.S. Embassy personnel overseas.
As our busy fall season will soon morph into the holiday season, here are some tips from Todd on precautions that we can all take to become more aware and alert as we travel throughout the world and move about at home as well.
Personal Protective Measures: Traveling and Anytime
- Use the “Buddy System.” Walk with someone and/or let someone know where you are.
- Keep your backpack/purse securely fastened to your body to avoid the quick “snatch-and-run” type robbery. Tip: Keep it tethered using a carabiner.
- When in public: pay attention: use your eyes and ears. Do not wear earphones or look down or at cell screen. Look UP and OVER the shoulders of people around you.
- Look and listen for anything out of place:
- Unusual clothing for time of year (summer and someone wearing heavy jacket/multi-layers)
- Odd body language: someone looking nervous/excessive sweating, someone constantly looking around/scanning area
- Unattended packages/luggage
- Monitor your routes: Uber and Lyft drivers should not deviate from predetermined routes.
- Check reflections in store glass fronts, use the reflection off the gloss of car paint, use side mirrors of a car if you think your being followed.
- Look at people; people know when you have seen them; they know you are alert and will look for an easier target.
- React immediately to any threat and move away, orientate yourself to the danger, where are other people moving?
- If you sense/feel threatened: DO SOMETHING! Check behind you, cross the street, join other people, enter a safe location/store: then reassess your situation. Get out of danger.
- Trust your instinct: if something does not feel right it probably isn’t.
Stay Tuned for Part 2 – Tips for Travelers