We understand that this is a traumatic time for you and your family, so if you are not mentally prepared for this process we completely understand. We promise no judgement, only encouragement and compassion. If at any time you are not comfortable with any aspect, then please communicate that to us.
We at FYO believe your participation is crucial for your long-term safety. The more invested you are with the process then the more empowered you will feel. The psychological benefits of designing your own security strategy can be enormous and we will be with you every step of the way.
Possible equipment provided: Intrusion alarms for doors/windows, door security bars, interior locks, motion activated lights, doorbell cameras (need to be somewhat close to WiFi Router), doorstop alarms, SMART GPS activated Pepper spray, and other measures that may be required.
Step one: Exterior of Home
Sketch out your home on a piece of paper to the best of your ability. Conduct a walkthrough of the exterior of your home and make note of any security vulnerabilities. For example, you may notice someone could easily hide behind some bushes or a wall without being detected or the approach to your home is very dark at night. If you drive, where do you normally park and how far is it to your door? Think of ways to make that path from car to home safer to the best of your ability.
Next, walk around your house and make notes of any possible access points for an intruder. Ensure you have not left anything outside they could use to get inside such as a ladder, key, brick to throw in window, tools, etc. Make a note of any possible access to second floor windows (if applicable). Is there a garage opener remote they still have? Is there a window broken and can easily be opened?
Make notes of any possible escape routes or feasibility of getting help from neighbors. Children will obviously be a consideration.
After walkthrough, sketch of exterior, notes of vulnerabilities, and possible escape routes, you should then make a note of which security measure may work for each vulnerability. For example, if there is a dark area you can put down “motion light”. Think of areas the camera could possibly go (being mindful of WiFi router).
Step Two: Interior of Home
Conduct walkthrough of the interior of your home. Write down how many doors there are plus windows they could access. If you have a basement, see if there is a way to get inside and think of possible security measures to prevent that. Check each window and ensure it locks properly. Try and identify possible rooms you could barricade inside. Think of a tentative plan of action in an emergency. If you have children, think of ways you can get them to quickly follow your lead in the event of any emergency.
Step Three: Other Security Considerations
Write down other security concerns. For example, if they know where you work can you ask someone to walk you to your car each day? If you pick your children up at daycare is there a way to be safer at pickup or drop-off? Do they have friends that they use to keep track of your movements? Can they call the school and get your children? Any special notes or considerations that you feel is important make a note of it.
If you start to feel overwhelmed, then STOP immediately and take a break. We want this part of the process to be empowering for you…not to cause anxiety. Also bear in mind that the final safety plan and security measures may differ from your original plan after we discuss our options. But having that initial plan is a great starting point and is the first step towards you and your family being safer.
Your mindset is the most important tool in all of this. Try following “Cooper’s Color Codes” to help you stay as calm as possible. Ideally, you want to be in condition Yellow most of the time. If you spend too long “in the Red” your mind and body will experience too much anxiety to be aware.