Public Preparedness for Every Occasion

The big wide world can be a scary place sometimes. Even a trip to the corner shop can quickly turn into a disaster scenario due to climate-induced flash floods, violence, or car accidents.

Preparing for every situation is impossible. However, you can improve your ability to respond to every occasion by learning core skills that will help you stay safe and protect others. This approach will alert you to growing threats quicker and may help you live with greater freedom.

Public preparedness can help you feel at ease, too. It’s much easier to take an impromptu road trip when you know how to fix a flat tire, and you’ll feel more confident when camping, backpacking, or hiking if you know essential first-aid skills. 

Guest post by Katie Brenneman.



It’s easy to feel as though the world is becoming increasingly violent and dangerous. However, in reality, violent crime has fallen dramatically since 1990. Today, around 2 in 100,000 people commit violent crimes. This is significantly lower than in nations like the USA, where 6 in 100,000 people commit violent crimes.

However, Statistics Canada has identified a recent uptick in crime since the pandemic. This is reflected by a 4% annual increase in the Crime Severity Index (CSI), which tracks the type of crimes committed by Canadians. Statistics Canada has also reported a slight uptick in hate crimes, a national increase in homicide, and a rise in sexual assault.

The recent rise in CSI is concerning. However, long-term and comparative data reflects the reality that Canada remains an incredibly safe nation. The CSI has fallen sharply since 1998, when records began, and total crimes have fallen from 10,342 per 100,000 in 1991 to 5,668 per 100,000 in 2022. Similarly, Statistics Canada reports that property crimes and robberies have fallen at an impressive rate in the past 30 years.

While these statistics shouldn’t dissuade you from taking your safety seriously, they do highlight the fact that Canada is one of the safest countries in the world today. 


If you love camping, kayaking, mountain biking, or running, you need to learn core first-aid skills. First aid can make a world of difference when you’re in an emergency and can help you stay calm under pressure. If you’re new to first-aid, start by learning from simple tips and first-aid hacks like: 


  • Wounds: Learning to make and apply tourniquets from belts or cuts of cloth can stem the bleeding and buy folks time when they suffer a major wound. 
  • Injuries: If you don’t have an ice pack or a hot compress, consider using household items like frozen peas or microwaving a clean sock filled with uncooked rice. This can help with issues like cramps, sprains, or sore muscles. 
  • Antiseptic: If you don’t have access to antiseptic cream, you may be able to create a substitute using water and a few pinches of salt. 


These first-aid hacks are suboptimal but may save a life. Few people carry around a first-aid kit 24/7, meaning you may need to make use of quick-thinking to create tourniquets and sterilize wounds. Understanding the foundation of first-aid can help you respond quickly to minor injuries like rolled ankles or bruises. This will improve your quality of life and help you get back to fighting fitness quicker. 


The best form of self-defence is de-escalation. This means that, rather than trying to fight when tempers flare, either use your words to calm folks down or flee. There’s nothing wrong with running from a fight, as even the most experienced self-defence gurus and MMA fighters can be caught out by the unexpected. Choosing to leave the scene when a fight breaks out can help you steer clear of legal issues and call for help.

That said, you may find yourself in a situation where you cannot run or call for help. While physical conflict should always be a last resort, you can put yourself in a stronger position by learning self-defence martial arts. When researching self-defence schools in your area, consider factors like: 


  • Body Type: If you’re significantly smaller than the average person, you may find implementing striking arts like boxing or muay thai hard. Instead, consider grappling-oriented classes like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), judo, or wrestling. 
  • Environment: Most people come into contact with conflict when in tight spaces like bars or clubs. Learning a martial art that helps you move in tight spaces may be prudent if you enjoy your nightlife. 
  • Tools: Some self-defence classes will teach you how to use tools like pepper spray, taser, and stun guns. While you should not arm yourself with the intent to hurt someone, knowing how to use self-defence tools can help when you’re in an unavoidable conflict. 
  • Goals: What goals do you have for yourself? If you want to get in shape and improve your balance, coordination, and general fitness, you probably want to opt for a more intense class like kickboxing, MMA, or BJJ. If you want to destress while improving your well-being, a class like Tai Chi may be appropriate. 


When attending self-defence classes, consider whether or not you want to practice fighting. Sparring is a key component of martial arts classes like BJJ and Muay Thai and should be included in every class you attend. Regular sparring pressure tests your skills and ensures you’re actually able to draw on your knowledge when under stress.

It’s also worth considering whether or not you’ll enjoy the classes that you’ll attend. For example, MMA classes provide the most “life-like” experience for self-defence but will require you to get used to getting punched, kicked, grappled, and submitted. If this is a little too intense for you, consider trialling different classes to find an art that suits you.


Defensive Driving

Millions of people use the road every day. As such, it’s little surprise that many of the worst accidents you’ll see IRL involve motor collisions. According to Transport Canada, there were 1,768 in 2021 alone (a 1.3% increase from 2021).

Rather than rolling the dice when you get behind the wheel, take proactive steps to improve the safety of your car. Keep an eye on your tires and maintain your tire pressure to improve grip and fuel efficiency. Check your tread on a regular basis and replace your wheels when you’re approaching the minimum required depth. You should also take your vehicle in for regular services to ensure that everything is running correctly.

If you find yourself coming close to collisions often, you may want to change your driving style. Rather than trying to get everywhere as quickly as possible, consider defensive driving instead. The Canada Safety Council reports that defensive drivers are safer and offers a range of workshops to help you better maneuver your vehicle.

These same principles can be applied when riding a motorbike. Plan safe and enjoyable motorcycle breaks by testing your vehicle before you embark on a road trip or take a Sunday drive. This will help you account for potential hazards like changing road conditions and may help you plan a more efficient route.


Being ready for every occasion requires significant planning and preparation. You’ll have to learn some first-aid skills if you want to respond properly to accidents and injuries, and you should consider practicing a martial art if you’re worried about bar fights. Just remember to de-escalate conflict when possible — including when you’re behind the wheel. This will minimize the risk of injury and help you make the right decisions when under pressure.



Mark Munroe is the Creator and EIC of ADDICTED. He's ADDICTED to great travel, amazing food, better grooming & probably a whole lot more!