Preparation and Security: Identifying Safe Havens

by: Spencer Coursen, Coursen Security Group

A Safe Haven is a location which will provide food, shelter and communication for you and your family to spend an unknown period of time in conditional safety with reasonable comfort. For most of us, the best Safe Haven will be our homes. However, whenever we are more than running distance away from home, it is good practice to identify alternate locations which can suit your needs as early and as often as possible.

Restaurants serve as excellent venues of opportunity. They are easy to identify, they are accustomed to hosting large groups, of people, they will have food and water, shelter, and hard-lined communication equipment like phone lines and internet to communicate with friends and loved ones should cell towers no longer be working. Police Stations, Fire Stations, Public Libraries, and if overseas US Embassies are also a great options to explore.

If you and your family are on vacation visiting a local attraction, identify a restaurant near your area of exploration and ensure that everyone in your family knows the name and location so you can all regroup at a known location should you be separated by natural occurrence or crisis.

When tragedy struck Boston after the Marathon Bombing, the city was full of people visiting town – far from their homes. Almost everyone who could run away did so, but very few knew to where they were running.

When the threat of violence presents itself, it is important to know where you can go to be safe. Knowing where to go, and knowing how to get there is of vital importance to increasing your chances for survival.

Take some time away from your home to identify places in your everyday environment which could provide safety – especially those potential Safe Havens in close proximity to work and school. Include these Safe Havens in your Family Emergency Plan.

Learning something new today, may save you from tomorrows questions of crisis.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that identifying a safe haven is an outstanding idea.  I have spent the majority of the past 40+ years traveling and working overseas and would caution US embassies as a haven.On April 28th of 1975 I left wonderful S. Vietnam via the embassy which was overrun shortly thereafter. 34 years ago I was in Iran and decided that the embassy was not a good option as the occupants at the time were the guests of the local hosts and would remain so for another 300 plus days. I had arranged travel to the turkish border (gold/dollars and a Rolex watch ensured transport and “visa” fees) I have recently been gallivanting in North Africa and based on the fondness for embassies as gathering places I would avoid them as the party sometimes gets out of control. Make sure you have a getaway kit (monies-hard and paper-Gold/Euros/Dollars,precious stones, etc.) and find some relatively reliable local with wheels who can get you to the nearest border before it gets shutdown. Beauty of third world is willingness to accept presents for just about anything. 
    Just a little grist for the mill.

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