M4S 002: How to Create a Risk Profile
To identify the greatest threats you may face, you need to know how to create a risk profile.
So, how do you develop your own risk profile? You simply ask yourself the following questions and create an honest assessment of your vulnerabilities.
How to Create a Risk Profile #1) What Do I Have to Protect?
You ask yourself this question, so you know what your most important assets are based on your situation.
- People – Family, friends, etc.
- Hard Assets – Home, car, stereo
- Animals – Pets, livestock
- Consumables – Food, cash, etc.
- Intellectual Property – Wi-Fi, Computer files, etc.
The list of things to protect will be different for everyone.
How to Create a Risk Profile #2) What Do I Need to Protect It From?
You’ll want to protect your assets from either Mother Nature (natural disaster) or human threats (intentional and unintentional actions).
What are the natural disasters that are most likely in your area? For example, you may want to install hurricane-resistant glass, create a storm cellar, or look into securing your belongings better in an earthquake-prone area.
When you create a risk profile, you’ll want to research your local crime statistics, so you understand the current threats in your area. When looking for this information, check with the local police or on the web. The website CityData can be an excellent resource for this type of research.
How to Create a Risk Profile #3) What Do I have to Protect It With?
There are many possibilities for keeping the people and things you are protecting safe from the threats that you have identified while you create a risk profile.
Depending on your risks, consider:
- Installing storm shutters
- A dog
- Fencing your property
- Building a storm shelter
Also, consider CPTED – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.
This is the use of natural and visually appealing man-made features to provide security options. An example of this is all of the planters around federal buildings. While they are nice to look at, they are meant to keep vehicles from attacking the building.
The Next Part of How to Create a Risk Profile Focuses on Solutions.
Focus first on the threat. What does the threat want from you? Does the threat want to harm you? Steal from you? Kidnap your child?
Your research and threat assessment can aid in identifying this. For example, you own a blue Honda, and the local police tell you thieves are stealing blue Hondas. This gives you a specific target to protect.
Define Your Perimeter
Your perimeter is not necessarily the outside skin of your home. You may have to expand your “perimeter” past your house or even past your property line to deal with actual threats.
Your threat assessment and research will help you determine where your security perimeter should begin.
Physical Security Protocol
The 5 Ds of home security are Deter, Detect, Asses, Delay, Respond, and they are the basis of a physical security protocol.
You can deter criminals by making your neighbor’s home look like a more natural target. No, you’re not putting up any signs pointing to their house. You do this by making your home look like it’s more trouble than it’s worth breaking into.
Some visual deterrents are alarm signs, dogs, motion lights, a car in the driveway, lights on in the house, etc. Don’t go so far overboard with the visual deterrents that a thief looks at it and wonders, “Wow, what are they protecting? It must really be something expensive or important.”
Early warnings allow you more time to assess and react to the situation.
When someone or something enters your property, you need to assess its intent and possible course of action. Is the person a UPS worker, someone who is lost, a random deer curious about your garden, or somebody coming to cause you problems?
This assessment will help you to determine the next step in your course of action.
Use items or technology designed to slow down a threat. A simple rubber doorstop can add precious seconds to your ability to respond appropriately. A door set in a solid frame takes longer to break through. Glass can be covered with a product that makes it nearly impossible to break.
When you have no other option, respond with the appropriate level of action.
Remember, physical confrontation over money, computers, and other home items may not be worth the effort and trouble. Things can be replaced.
Confronting the threat, if it’s a person, is not always the best course of action. If you do confront a person, try to pre-plan that your most precious assets, family members, heirlooms, etc., are behind you and your defensive measures. If your risk assessment tells you that you are in a position that danger is likely, you might even consider adding a safe room to your home for vulnerable family members.
When confronting a threat, never forget you could be liable both legally and civilly for your actions. That means you could be on the hook for paying the bad guy millions of dollars and going to jail. Remember, when the bullet leaves the barrel, you own it and all of the consequences that go with it.
The Bottom Line on How to Create a Risk Profile
Understanding how to create a risk profile accurately can help keep you, your loved ones, and your property safe. Regardless of the measures you institute, don’t forget to focus on situational awareness. Always work on improving your understanding of the development of ongoing situations. This will allow you to be a better, more accurate problem solver.
Stay safe, secure, and prepared,