Preparing for California Wildfires


It is a story Southern California knows all too well, wildfires.  The smell of smoke and the dark clouds rising from the brown, dry land scape.  Triple digit temperatures are fueling several fires currently and threating homes near LA.  Some people have already been evacuated and others have volunteered to do so. This is not an unusual occurrence, California has wildfires almost every year. Therefore, residents should be prepared for this situation and have precautions on hand or at least know what precautions to take.    It is important to have things ready before there is an actual emergency so you know how to react.CA-homes

Two years ago, fires popped up in a number of locations in Southern California.  One of the first fires was in Fallbrook and threatened my kid’s school. It took over two hours for the buses to leave the school because parents were panicked and trying Read more »

Child Abduction

Child Abduction - Kidnapping aviodance - Aegis AcademyThis week we received a few comments and emails about protecting children from kidnappers, most likely sparked by the brazen attack in Encinitas, California last week by two men who attempted to force a seventeen year old girl into a van. Regardless of what the media chooses to report, the actual number of cases of child abduction are exceedingly rare. Far more often, child abduction is the result of disputes over custody. Exponentially topping that number is the number of runaway/throwaway children who end up exploited at the hands of human traffickers. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provides detailed data on all of these occurrences.
Aegis Academy - Child Abduction - Missing Children StatisticsDespite what Hollywood, Nancy Grace, and the local media would have us believe, child abduction like that depicted in the movie Taken, or nationally popularized cases like Hannah Anderson, Elizabeth Smart or Jaycee Dugard’s are exceptionally rare. That is probably … Read more »

Resilience – The Key to Personal Security

Resilience - Aegis Academy - Corporate Events

Resilience ~

 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress

: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

When we look at business, psychology, or sociology the concept of ‘recoverability’ is a key component in measuring the health and effectiveness of an organization, an individual, or a society. In dealing with unpredictable or unexpected events, the most successful organizations, people, and societies are those able to adapt and create novel solutions to novel circumstances. Elements of the successful actors are creativity, commitment, confidence, experience, and talent but in the case of shocking events the most common term for this collection of traits is resilience.

The black swan is the typical example of a completely novel event. European explorers had never seen a black swan, as that genetic mutation did not exist in Europe, … Read more »

A Semester Abroad: Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance, Part 4

st-basils-aegis-academyNearly a quarter million American students embark upon study abroad programs each year, and while most programs result in positive experiences and an expanded understanding of our world there are many study abroad programs that have a much grimmer and more costly ending. A 2010 article titled 7 Student Travel Nightmares paints a gruesome and vivid picture of how study abroad programs can go terribly wrong. From kidnappings to abandonment to murder cases, students have experienced an array of security disasters that have left families broken, higher education institutions writing big checks, and diplomatic agencies in a scramble. No country is without its share of security threats, no city is 100% safe, and no student is immune to becoming the victim of a life-threatening situation.
In the last three articles of this series, “ Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance: What a Student Traveling Abroad Ought to Know“, I have candidly … Read more »

A Semester Abroad: Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance, Part 3

The arrogance that accompanied my 21st year of life led me to ignore most safety considerations for the entire six months of my study abroad program in Moscow, Russia. In fact, despite enduring and surviving a rather scary piano-bar attack, towards the end of my stay in Moscow I was more confident than ever in my “guaranteed” security; and more prone to apathetically going about my final days in the city I had grown so fond of.


In my previous article of the series, “ Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance: What a Student Traveling Abroad Ought to Know“, I told  the detailed story of the attack I encountered at a piano-bar on one of my first nights out on the town in Moscow. After having time to process the occurrence, and truly evaluate the role I played in increasing the potential for security threats to become a reality, I determined … Read more »