Individual Protective Actions You Can Take
This section gives a quick look at some measures which an individual can use in their daily routine whether at their home station or at a TDY location. If implemented and routinely practiced, these protective measures can significantly reduce the chances of a service member or their family members from becoming victims of a terrorist attack. These measures are normally cost free and take very little time. There will be times when a particular measure is not feasible to maintain. When this occurs, try to implement another measure which can help.
As we have seen in the past, U.S. Government civilian, military and civilian contractors are often targets for terrorist activity. In recent years the targeting has redirected the stage from "over there" to within our own borders. This shift has created an environment where we must exercise more care and increase our awareness for our own protection and the protection of DoD assets. Remember to report all suspicious activities to POM PD at (831)242-7851 or your local law enforcement agencies.
This page will give you some general awareness and some more specific information broken down into five categories:
Remember to share these tips with your family!
- Vary your routes to and from work.
- Enter/exit buildings through different doors when possible
- Vary the times and locations that you eat and shop
- Exercise at different times during the day or evening. It is best not to exercise alone.
Be prepared for unexpected events:
- Get in the habit of "checking in" with friends.
- Know how to use the local phone systems.
- Know the location of civilian police, military police/forces, government agencies and if overseas know where the U.S. Embassy is and other safe locations.
Maintain a Low Profile: (when traveling abroad)
- Avoid wearing distinctively American clothing like cowboy hats, oversized western belts or clothing adorned with American flags or other national symbols.
- Avoid wearing military style clothing
- Don't flash large sums of money, expensive jewelry or luxury items
- Show respect for local customs.
Be Aware of Suspicious Packages: (things to look for)
- Is addressee familiar with name and address of sender?
- Package/letter has no return address
- Is addressee expecting package/letter? If so, verify expected contents
- Improper or incorrect title, address, or spelling of name of addressee
- Title but no names
- Wrong title with name
- Handwritten or poorly typed addresses
- Misspellings of common words
- Return address and postmark are not from same area
- Stamps (sometimes excessive postage, unusual stamps) versus metered mail
- Special handling instructions on package (i.e., special delivery, open by addressee only, foreign mail, air mail, etc.)
- Restrictive markings such as confidential, personal, etc.
- Over-wrapped, excessive securing material such as masking tape, string or wrappings
- Oddly shaped or unevenly weighted packages
- Lumpy or rigid envelopes (stiffer than normal, heavier than normal, etc.)
- Lopsided or uneven envelope
- Oily stains or discoloration
- Strange odors
- Protruding wires or tinfoil
- Visual distractions (drawings, unusual statements, hand drawn postage, etc.)
(Please be advised that this is only a general checklist.)
- Do not hide spare keys outside the house.
- Make it a habit to activate the deadbolt when locking doors
- Family members should answer the telephone politely but should provide no information as to the name and rank of the occupants.
- Vary routines in your daily activities.
- Examine all mail delivered to the home.
- Be alert to the presence of strangers around your home.
- Be alert to parked or abandon vehicles or unusual utility work.
- Install adequate outdoor lighting.
- When approaching your vehicle, look for wires, electrical tape etc. Anything that looks out of order.
- Before getting in, take a cursory look around the vehicle, to include the wheel wells and the undercarriage.
- Be familiar enough with the undercarriage of your car to be able to spot "new" items.
- While driving, stay away from civil disturbances or large gatherings of people. Especially in an overseas environment.
Behavior of drivers:
- Extreme smell of fuels, i.e. ... diesel
- Call the police by dialing 911.
- Describe to the dispatcher:
- The exact location of the vehicle
- A detailed description of the vehicle
- A detailed description of the indicators which are cause for your suspicion
- Establish and support an effective security program for the office.
- Ensure all persons working in an office are trained to be alert for suspicious activities, persons or objects.
- Ensure access control procedures are observed at all times. An example of this would be keeping control of your identification cards and special access passes and badges.
- Access to executive offices should be limited.
- Do not post unit rosters, manning boards where they can be viewed by visitors.
- Avoid working alone late at night. If late night work is necessary, work in conference rooms or internal offices where observation from the outside is not possible.
- Placement of office furniture directly in front of exterior windows should be avoided.
- Be alert to anyone loitering near the office.
- Most importantly DO NOT assume that acts of terrorism "can’t happen to me".
- One of the easiest and most important things is be prepared to travel.
- Make adequate financial and personal provisions for your family.
- Prepare at least a one-week supply of medications, plus instructions for their use.
- When possible and where appropriate travel in groups.
- Attempt to use military or military contract flights.
- Consider using a tourist passport
- Use your drivers license or passport for identification, do not use your DoD issued identification.
- Remove all baggage claim and destination tickets from luggage.