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.