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October as Crime Prevention Month
In 1984, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) designated October as Crime Prevention Month. Every year since then, government agencies, civic groups, and organizations have used this month to educate the public and provide resources to help communities address crime trends locally. October is the official month for recognizing the importance of crime prevention practices, and bringing awareness toward significant matters such as victimization, volunteerism, and community safety. In honor of Crime Prevention Month, we will be sharing new themes each week corresponding with the NCPC, each with relevant information and insight into pressing crime prevention issues. Now is the best time of year to discover new strategies, safety and prevention tips, and safety recommendations for your home, workplace, and community.
Week 4: Gang Prevention
As we near the end of Crime Prevention Month, we will discuss the importance and relevance of Gang Prevention. NCPC provides training and strategies aimed at reducing gang presence, promoting safe environments, and re-directing youth away from gang activity. Though some regions in the country are more affected by gang crime than others, it is more widespread of an issue than most people realize. Larger cities and suburban communities are the primary sites of gang activity, but smaller cities and rural communities can be affected as well. In 2012, there was an estimated 850,000 gang members a part of nearly 30,000 gangs across the country. They often share a common purpose, such as engaging in criminal or violent activities, drug dealing, property crime, and gun violence. There are factors that are likely to lead to gang involvement, including emotional disorders, school failure, low socioeconomic status, and early involvement in minor crimes. Youth in particular primarily join gangs for protection, respect, or money. It is necessary for communities and law enforcement agencies alike to work together to prevent gang violence and protect the communities affected by it.
The NCPC provides comprehensive resources with information regarding gang violence and prevention. They made seven strategies that integrate gang prevention education and positive alternatives to gangs:
Educate young people about the costs and consequences of gang involvement.
Keep youth in school and enrolled in positive activities when the school day ends.
Raise awareness among parents and students of the signs of gang activity.
Provide students with opportunities to practice refusal skills.
Make sure your school is designated drug-free zone and that your students are aware of this status.
Engage students in community service or service-learning projects.
Encourage youth who want to leave a gang to talk to an adult they trust.
Integrating these strategies along with other resources within a community can be helpful in preventing crime, helping affected individuals, and stopping the problem at the source. If gang violence is an issue in your area, consider working within your neighborhood and greater community, contacting local law enforcement agencies, and seeing how you can involve yourself to better protect the place that you live. One of our most popular products is our Gabriel Compression vest, an ultra-concealable and lightweight base-layer vest that can be worn under clothes, or as a stand-alone shirt. Like all of our products, the Gabriel is equipped with NIJ IIIA bulletproof material, making it the most concealable piece of body armor on the market today. Its custom built design provides uninhibited mobility throughout the day, ensuring comfort during long-term wear. The vest is available for both men and women in two colors. It is an ideal garment for any individual who wants to take proactive measures in protecting themselves while at work, at school, travelling, or simply on the go.
Though Crime Prevention Month nears its end, the importance should not be understated. Its themes and strategies should be implemented not only through the month of October, but also throughout the year. Working with your neighborhood, greater community, law enforcement agencies, and organizations to help combat crime of any type is an important way to involve yourself directly in preventing crime and helping to make a difference in the place you live.
Week 3: Living Safer, Being Smarter
Many individuals in the 18-24 year-old range are generally not concerned with crime prevention or aware of its incidence. But time and time again, research has shown that young adults are being victimized by crimes like credit card fraud, identity theft, burglary, and assault at alarming rates. The NCPC has dedicated itself to teaching young individuals about crime prevention, and equipping them with specific prevention strategies to use throughout their life. Luckily, there are steps that young adults can take to help prevent them from becoming a victim of crime in their workplace, social atmosphere, and on the internet.
Secure your valuables by keeping your belongings close to you or locked in a drawer at all times.
Be aware of your environment: report any doors that don’t lock properly, broken windows, or any other hazard if you see it.
Be discreet: don’t advertise your social life or outside plans to people visiting/calling your place of work.
Don’t drink & drive: though it may seem like common sense, have a designated driver if you plan to drink.
Call for help: If there is a threat or suspected threat of violence, call the police immediately—don’t wait for someone else to make the call
Always be aware of your surroundings: know where you are and who is around you. Remain alert. Stay with your group and never leave a social function alone.
Choose a strong password & protect it: do not use the same password for multiple sites. This leaves you at a high risk of your password being hacked across multiple sites. Change your password every few months and make sure it is not easy to guess.
Review financial statements regularly: look over your credit card & bank statements every month. If you notice any unusual charges, immediately report them to your credit card company or bank.
The NCPC developed a more comprehensive list of prevention strategies on their “Living Safer & Being Smarter” Campaign website. The campaign emphasizes the importance of using crime prevention strategies throughout all aspects of your life. At BulletBlocker, we offer physical protection solutions to keep you safe while at work, school, travelling, or on the go. For young individuals who are gaining independence and beginning to branch out on their own, it is increasingly important to stay proactive in personal safety strategies. Our NIJ IIIA bulletproof backpack panel inserts are an ideal solution for individuals who want to add a level of discreet protection to their backpack or bag. The panels come in multiple shapes and sizes, ensuring that they will fit into any pre-owned bag with ease. They are lightweight at only 10-20 ounces to maintain comfortability for all-day wear. The insert offers a convenient solution to young commuters, students, and travelers who want to stay discretely protected without sacrificing on concealability or comfortability.
October Week 2: Safe Firearms Storage
According to the NCPC, the second week of National Crime Prevention Month focuses on safe firearms storage. Responsible firearms owners use their firearms safely and understand the need to prevent them from getting into the wrong hands. But even still, 1.4 million homes have firearms stored in a way that makes them most accessible to about 2.6 million children. According to Business Insider, criminals steal nearly 250,000 guns from legal American gun-owners every year, exemplifying the severity of the crime. The problem is exacerbated by legal gun-owners who fail to secure their firearms, making it easy for thieves to steal them. As gun theft increases across the country, violent crime increases as well. When guns get into the wrong hands, it can lead to tragedies on both a community-wide and national scale.
Firearm safety should be a priority in order to better protect our children, prevent avoidable injury, and keep our communities safe. There are a variety of different locking and storage solutions available to firearms owners. If you own a gun, consider the following to better protect your home from accidental misuse or theft:
Trigger lock: a trigger lock can be used to keep someone from being able to pull the trigger. They are available in a variety configurations, from basic key lock options to ones that require combinations to open.
Cable lock: These can be used on most firearms, commonly place through the gun barrel. The locks generally impede loading and firing of the gun.
Storage case: The cases come in various sizes and styles, and can be used for both storing and locking of a firearm. The case can be locked, but often the lock must be purchased separately.
Lock box: a lock box is similar to a small safe that allows you to safely store your firearm via a key or combination lock by a digital keypad. This prevents unauthorized access.
Locking safe: Safes come in a variety of sizes to accommodate long guns such as rifles and shotguns, and also include space for handguns as well. Similar to the lock box, safes have the option of a combination lock or digital keypad.
At Bullet Blocker, we offer a wide variety of tactical gear for storing and transporting your firearms and ballistics. In addition to our tactical backpacks and range bags, we also offer a NIJ IIIA-level Bulletproof Pistol Case. The case was designed to meet the needs of shooters, featuring enough storage space to securely carry three handguns, while also giving you an anti-ballistic advantage. The fully-padded interior guarantees maximum shock absorption and safeguards weapons from damage during transport. The case features sewn, reinforced handles, and a lockable zipper. Practicing safe firearms storage by locking up your guns not only eliminates the threat of a child or burglar accessing your firearm, but is also a great way to protect your 2nd Amendment rights by demonstrating responsible gun ownership. If you own a firearm, consider taking steps this month to better protect your home from gun theft or misuse.
October Week 1: Fraud & Identity Theft
The first week of Crime Prevention Month focuses on Fraud and Identity Theft. When most people think about crime, violence or robbery typically come to mind—but identity theft is more commonplace of a crime than many think. According to an online survey by The Harris Poll from this year, 60 million Americans reported that they had been affected by identity theft in their lifetime. In 2014 alone, nearly 18 million Americans suffered incidents of identity theft. Many well-known corporations fall victim to data breaches, which expose millions of sensitive records in the process. Just last year, there were over 1,500 data breaches, which altogether left 179 million records vulnerable to fraud. Many people feel safe on the Internet and trust that their personal information will remain confidential. But criminals have been able to adapt to advancements in technology, allowing Internet crime to evolve and grow. Once identity thieves have access to your information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or receive medical treatment on your health insurance. Obviously, this type of crime is common and not one to be taken lightly. The NCPC maintains that anyone can become a victim, but how can you better protect yourself?
How to Prevent Identity Theft
Secure your Social Security Number. Don’t carry it in your wallet or give it out, unless absolutely necessary
Enable the security features on your mobile devices
Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender
Store personal information in a safe place
Shred receipts, credit offers, account statements, and expired credit cards
Review your credit report once a year to be certain that it doesn’t include accounts that you have not opened
Warning Signs of Identity Theft
You don’t get your bills or other mail when you usually do.
There are withdrawals from your bank account that look unfamiliar
You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report
You receive a bill for a service you didn’t use
You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you have an account
As you can see, identity theft and fraud are serious crimes that anyone can fall victim to. Because of this, it is necessary to take the steps to better protect yourself and loved ones. We offer multiple products to store and keep your information protected from thieves. Our Passport Wallet is a great option for individuals looking for a way to keep their documents safe while traveling or on the go. The wallet features several micro-mesh slots to hold identification cards, credit cards, and your passport. It also has a document holder with RFID-blocking technology to prevent unauthorized access to personal information. In addition to having ample storage for your documents, currency, and credit cards, the wallet is also equipped with a NIJ IIIA bulletproof liner to use in the event of an emergency to protect yourself. We also offer portfolios and tactical organizers, all of which are NIJ IIA-level bulletproof and a perfect place to store and transport your important documentation.
★Featured Article: Stay Prepared during National Preparedness Month★
Throughout this past year, disasters have inflicted damage and adversity upon communities nationwide. Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods, and volcanic eruptions are among the many natural disasters that have affected our states and territories. The hurricane season last year included three catastrophic storms that occurred within a month, followed by a series of destructive wildfires in California. These disasters collectively affected nearly 50 million people, displacing people from their communities, destroying homes and businesses, and injuring thousands of people. With over 3,000 estimated deaths, 2017 was reported the deadliest hurricane season in history. As communities continue to recover from these disasters, and others anticipate the effects of another hurricane season, we are reminded of the importance of preparedness. As you may already know, September is recognized as National Preparedness Month, a time dedicated to focusing our attention to the significance of preparing our families, homes, and greater communities for disasters that threaten our lives and national security. During this month, we also honor the men and women who selflessly respond to the disasters and render aid to those in need. These tragedies that have occurred over the past year are somber reminders that preparedness is both a personal and collective responsibility to ensure readiness nationwide.
During emergencies and natural disasters, immediate aid is never guaranteed. As the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains: you are the help until help arrives. This illustrates the need to not only learn life-saving skills, but also to be prepared within your home and greater community. We have continually expressed the importance of making an emergency preparedness plan, which you can read about here. You can also download an emergency plan template from FEMA that can be individualized to your home, business, or community.
In recent years, as the threat of emergencies and natural disasters have become increasingly imminent, the “prepping” phenomena has become more popular. Despite an abundance of misconceptions surrounding it, prepping is simply the process of preparing for the future by acquiring necessary supplies, learning requisite skills, and building a strong community. With the rise in popularity of prepping, the demand for bug-out gear has increased as well. A bug-out kit typically includes a 3-day supply of food, water, and other safety tools, which altogether gives you the ability to evacuate quickly in the event of an emergency. The supplies can vary by individual need, but in general should include a first-aid kit, fire sources, a flashlight, and blankets, in addition to non-perishable food and water.
When creating our newest product, the Bug-Out Vest, we used information gathered from a focus group of preppers to ensure its design would meet their unique needs, while also maintaining concealability to wear discreetly while traveling, during outdoor activities, or when “bugging out.” The vest offers a revolutionary new way to stay prepared. It was designed to pair perfectly with your other bug-out gear, ensuring you can easily slide the vest on and evacuate during an emergency situation. Its 10 pockets ensure that you will have ample space to store your flashlight, gun, medical kit, important documents, and other bug-out necessities. The vest’s lightweight and breathable material ensures you will be comfortable during extended wear, and the non-slip shoulder pads keep your backpack in place throughout the day. Like all of our products, the vest is equipped with two NIJ IIIA anti-ballistic panels, making the vest a perfect option for safety-conscious preppers.
We have always expressed the importance of preparedness, aiming to give you the latest safety tips and news. In a nation prone to disasters, the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to maintain preparedness well in advance. Emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time--sometimes when you least expect it. Each year, September reminds us of the importance of both individual and nationwide preparedness. This month, and throughout the year, we encourage all Americans to take proactive action in their personal and community-wide disaster preparedness.
September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month, otherwise known as Preptember. This month is the ideal time to review your personal, home, and community safety practices, and make the necessary changes to better protect yourself and those around you. Preparing for any type of emergency is important regardless of the time of year, but we encourage you to use this month as a way to start if you have not already. As September begins, we look forward to bringing you a month of preparedness and safety strategies.
Week 4: save for an emergency
Throughout the month, we have provided you with tips for making an emergency plan, learning life-saving skills, and checking your insurance policies and coverage. For the final week of National Preparedness Month, we will focus on the importance of saving for an emergency and planning financially for the possibility of a disaster. Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency occurs. During these circumstances, it is crucial to have access to financial, insurance, medical, and other records in order to start the process of recovery quickly and efficiently. Preparing in advance and taking the time to collect and secure these records will both give you peace of mind and will also ensure that you have the necessary documentation in the event of an emergency. Here are some tips from FEMA this week:
Gather financial and critical personal, household, and medical information.
Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that can be used in a crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a safe place. Keep small bills on hand because ATM’s and credit cards may not work during a disaster if you need to purchase necessary supplies.
Obtain property, health, life, and flood insurance if you do not have them. review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is enough for you and your family for a variety of emergencies.
Store important documents either in a safety deposit box, or an external drive for ease of access during an emergency.
Household identification documentation includes: photo identification of household members, birth certificates, social security cards, pet ID tags.
Medical Information includes: medications, immunization records, copies of health insurance information, physician information.
We offer a variety of backpacks that will meet the needs for a basic emergency kit, spacious enough for important documents and supplies. Our Guardian and Everyday backpacks both offer NIJ IIIA Bulletproof protection and have the storage space available to create an efficient emergency supply kit for the workplace, household, or vehicle. Additionally, our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Survival Pack and Safety Kit is a great option. The backpack has both a well-stocked first aid kit and a basic survival supplies kit with a 5-year guaranteed shelf life. The first-aid kit contains enough supplies for 25 people, and includes bandages, gauze dressing pads, antiseptic towelettes, cold compresses, and gloves, among other essentials. The basic survival supply kit includes water, blankets, a flashlight, crank radio, a whistle, tools, and tissues, among others.
As the end of National Preparedness Month nears, stay safe and be prepared. The best way to prepare for any emergency is to practice regularly, stay informed, and be equipped with adequate supplies and resources in your household, workplace, and community. Being proactive in emergency preparation could save your life!
Week 3: Check your coverage
When a disaster strikes, the last thing you want to worry about is a financial emergency. Insurance is your first line of defense; that’s why this week is dedicated to learning more about your insurance coverage. About 80% of households impacted by Hurricane Harvey last year did not have flood insurance. During natural disasters like floods and hurricanes, many individuals can lose their home and belongings. Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Luckily, flood insurance can give you the financial protection you need to get back into your home easier, and it allows communities and families to recover more quickly and more fully.
FEMA recommends that everyone visit theFloodSmart website to learn more about buying and renewing flood insurance, understanding their risk, and how to reduce policy cost. As they mention, no home is completely safe from potential flooding—more than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones. Just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage, and without flood insurance, most residents have to pay out of pocket or take out loans to repair and replace damaged items. The average flood insurance claim is nearly $30,000, and does not have to be repaid. You can also look ata flood map, which shows flood zones defined by FEMA according to varying levels of risk and type of flooding. Everyone lives in an area with some risk of flood—it’s just a question of whether it is a low, moderate, or high-risk area.
At BulletBlocker, we feature a variety of products that can be used in the event of a disaster or emergency. Our bulletproof Tactical Organizer is a great place to store your emergency plan and additional necessary documents and supplies. The NIJ IIIA Bulletproof organizer is waterproof and lightweight, with six separate storage compartments. Additionally, our Defender Notebook Folio is a great option for retaining emergency plans and documents, with ample pockets for storage and supplies, both of these products will also act as a ballistic shield if it becomes necessary to protect yourself or your family. Our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Tactical Backpack is an ideal choice for your bug-out-bag or when you are seeking a safe place for emergency supplies and tools that also will aid you in defending your friends or family. This backpack features multiple storage compartments, mesh pockets, and thickly padded straps, and is large enough to store essential supplies for the whole family.
This week, consider checking your coverage and updating your insurance policy if necessary. Insurance is both financial protection and peace of mind in the event of an emergency.
Week 2: Learn Life-saving Skills
This week of Preptember will focus on the importance of learning life-saving skills. Prior to an emergency, it is necessary to stay up-to-date on relevant safety information, and prepare yourself for a variety of situations—whether it is a natural disaster or man-made. Not only should you prepare yourself personally, but you should also ensure that your home, workplace, family members, and greater community are prepared as well. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) put together a comprehensive list of safety measures to take this week to ensure your preparedness is up to date:
Put smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them monthly, and replace them when them after 10 years.
Learn basic home maintenance to protect your family and home. Learnhow to protect your home against flood damage, or protect the impacts of earthquakes.
Turn off utilities (like natural gas) in your home.
September 15th is a National Day of Action. Consider hosting a preparedness event within your community and bringing greater awareness toward the importance of National Preparedness Month.
As we discuss in this month’s newsletter, consider making an emergency supply “bug-out” kit. This kit should prepare you to last for 72 hours, and be stocked with adequate food, water, medication, and other necessary supplies for you and other household members.
Learning life-saving skills like the ones above can be an asset and advantage in the event of a disaster. Taking a local CPR/First Aid training course is an inexpensive way to ensure that you are prepared. These classes teach basic life support and practical skills that can be utilized while waiting for external support. Volunteering to help local emergency responders is another great way to get involved in your community and better prepare yourself for emergency situations. Unfortunately, most people are not as prepared for disaster as they may think they are.Research shows that 40% of people do not have emergency household plans, 80% have not conducted home evacuation drills, and about 60% do not know their community’s evacuation route. Many individuals rely on their neighbors following an emergency, especially the frail, elderly, and disabled, so additional considerations should be taken for individuals requiring special care. Organizing and facilitating community meetings among your school, workplace, faith-based organizations, and neighborhood is the best way to ensure that all members are prepared and equipped with knowledge on how to respond to various emergencies.
This month, consider taking proactive steps in your safety by learning life-saving skills, and encouraging those around you to do so as well.
Week 1: Making & Practicing your Emergency Plan
This week, we will discuss the importance of making and practicing an emergency plan within your household, which can also be extended to your workplace, school, or greater community. According to the CDC, about half of all adults do not have an emergency plan in place, or the proper resources needed to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Implementing a plan and preparing in advance can make emergency situations less stressful for you and your loved ones. Many people may think it is not necessary to make a plan, but the last thing you want in an emergency is to be unprepared and in need of help. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, you should consider the following 4 questions when making your plan with your family, friends or within your household:
How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings? Consider signing up for various emergency alerts and warnings through your phone. There is a list of relevant alert systems that you can sign up for located here.
What is my shelter plan? Taking shelter is appropriate when conditions require that you seek security outside of your home when disaster strikes. Shelters could include a family or friend’s house, commercial lodging, or a mass care facility.
What is my evacuation route? A variety of emergencies may cause an evacuation. Sometimes you have a day or two to prepare, while other situations may call for immediate evacuation. Planning a comprehensive evacuation route ensures that you can leave quickly and safely at a moment’s notice.
What is my family/household communication plan? How will you stay in contact? Where is the specific meeting place for all household members? This is important to prepare for well in advance of any emergency.
In addition to these four questions, it is also important to consider specific needs in your household to tailor the plan to your unique situation. Are there specific dietary needs of any individual? Medical necessities including prescriptions and equipment? Pets or service animals? Disabilities that require special devices or attention? Once you have considered these things, create your emergency plan by making your own, or downloading a template to use as a guide. The final and arguably most important step is to practice your plan. There is no use in having an emergency plan if only one household member knows about it, or if it is never properly practiced. It is necessary to run through the emergency plan multiple times to ensure efficiency and readiness in the event of an emergency.
At Bullet Blocker, we offer a variety of safety solutions to add to your preparedness. Our NIJ IIIA level bulletproof products can be a great addition to any individual’s safety solutions. Among our most popular products are the bulletproof backpack panel inserts that fit inside pre-owned backpacks. The inserts conveniently come in different shapes and sizes, and even have the option to be customized to fit the unique dimensions of your bag. Weighing in at only 10-20 ounces, the panels are a lightweight way to make your bag safer without sacrificing on comfort or concealability. The panel is versatile and can easily be swapped into a variety of bags and other small items, ideal for students, business professionals, and those who travel frequently. As you begin to make your family emergency plan and better prepare your household for emergency situations, consider purchasing panel inserts for the whole family.
The Survivalist Blog - An independent blog with some pretty good articles, including quick tips on assembling your own "Grab And Go Survival Pack" also known as a "bug out bag".
Urban Survivalist Blog - This would ordinarily be too small and inactive to include in this list for having only three articles. They focus on short-term disaster preparedness, quick and easy.
You can save money with BulletBlocker by getting our Bullet Proof Panels and Inserts and fitting them to your existing backpacks, briefcases, or just about anything. We can also make custom-made panels to fit whatever you need at just $ .92 per square inch.
Updated July 27, 2018
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