Stay Prepped – Don’t be phone alone
By Serach Yael Ben Lev 19/08/2014
Israel is full of movement, scents, sounds, motion and opinions. It’s not unusual to hear someone telling another what they are doing wrong. The other day is a fine example. A young girl was walking along a sidewalk in the Gush area toward a road crossing while deeply involved in her smart phone. As she walks up to the crosswalk she doesn’t even glance up from her phone before she starts crossing. The car in front of me stops at the cross walk and yells to the girl ”Hey! What are you doing??? We are at war! People are out to kill us! Stop looking at your phone and pay attention to what’s going on around you!” That got her attention. She quickly put her phone away and looked around herself nervously. Heck, that got my attention. I mean, we really are at war! I go along everyday like everything is normal because normal for us is being surrounded by people who want to kill us. Most the time that knowledge is tucked away somewhere where it doesn’t interfere too much with daily life but right now you know what? We are at war. We have to be prepped for everything.
Okay now that I am paying attention I thought about how much I really do(don’t) pay attention to the movement, scents, sounds, and motion around me (yeah, I skipped opinions). I mean, I don’t want to be obnoxiously paranoid and I don’t want to be stupid smug either. So, let’s look at what we might want to pay attention to here in Israel as we go about our daily lives. As an example I will use my daily routine.
- Really look at and speak to those that you are hitchhiking with.
First thing in the morning I take a bus or hitch hike out of the Yeshuv. Yeah, that’s right, I hitchhike. This is an Israeli tradition. It’s not irresponsible or showing lack of care for your family members, this is our tradition. The fact that those that want to kill us have started wearing the uniform of certain Jewish segments is not the point. The point is that this is part of our lives and to stop doing so means a lot of people won’t make it to work, school, places and stopping would be just plain old giving in to terrorist.
- Look for any items left unattended at bus stops.
Whatever form of transportation comes, I will get dropped off at a bus stop. Take a look at who else is waiting for the bus. Anything kind of lying around? If you do see something out of place or left alone don’t get near it. Look for police or if you don’t see police dial 100 on your cell phone (okay you can look at your phone for a minute).
- Be aware of who is on the bus.
Before davening or looking at your phone take a good look at who else is on the bus. Anything unusual such as a bulky winter coat in the middle of the summer or a religious Jew davening with their siddur upside down. Maybe a huge man with crazy eyes muttering to himself with a purple backpack on his lap? The purple backpack guy is probably okay since I work close to a school for the handicapped. The point is that you have to be aware of what daily normal is and what deviates from that.
- Walking from the bus stop to work/shopping/friends homes.
I take the same route to work most of the time and see the same people standing around, sitting around, walking around and outside of the building I work in. I have started making sure I avoid groups of strangers and make slight alterations to my destination. It’s a good idea to stay in busy areas instead of taking the scenic route through alleys and parking lots.
- Know who comes into your work place.
We have a security system that shows who is ringing at our door for admittance. Most people don’t even look at the camera shot available on their computer and just buzz them in. I started setting up the camera on a few basic computers and got with the Director of Operations to put up signs stating that doors to the outside are to be locked at all times. And yeah, I check those doors a couple of times a day.
We don’t need to be neurotic but we do need to be prepped for everything and these simple precautions are easy to make part of our lives. I also have a suggestion for your smart phone. It makes a great mirror to see what is behind you as you walk down the street.
As always, to preppers in Israel and all over the world, happy prepping.