Ask Me Anything - College: Is Your Kid In Danger?

Pete Canavan
Sep 13, 2018

Cyber and Personal Safety Black Belt Pete Canavan has your student covered...online and off.  Ask Pete what you can do to keep your child, their possessions, and their identity safe during their college years and beyond.

Threats today that didn't exist just a few short years ago in the digital world include identity theft, email phishing and social engineering attacks, cyberstalking, and cyberbullying. 

Offline threats in the physical world can come from sexual predators, active shooters, campus riots and terrorist attacks.  Pete's latest book, "The Ultimate Guide to College Safety" (available on Amazon, B&N, libraries, etc) covers every possible threat to your child with information and actions to reduce those threats from becoming reality.  The book has a companion web site that is constantly updated with posts and a Q&A section as well as other resources all designed to help improve the safety of college students - so their parents can get some sleep at night!  Check out https://CampusSafetyUniversity.com for more info and a FREE online safety checklist.

Pete will discuss the best ways to protect your student from many of these threats as he shares valuable, simple and actionable tips that he has learned in over 20 years as an IT consultant and over two decades as a self-defence instructor. 

Pete has also worked as a university public safety officer and event security professional and is well qualified to educate you on the best ways to improve your personal safety and security both online and offline.

For more information about Pete including his full bio, media kit, a listing of Keynote Speeches & Workshops and more, visit https://PeteCanavan.com.  You can follow Pete on Twitter @pjcpete and check out his many videos on safety, self-defence and personal development on his YouTube channel.

"The time to prepare is before the need arises."

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Many college campus' are known to cover up illegal activity on their campus or ignore it. How can these schools be held accountable to help keep students safe?
Sep 15, 7:12AM EDT0

Unfortunately it has been shown than many schools do not accurately report illegal activity or crimes on or near their campus. The Cleary Act is designed to force schools to disclose and report these things, but creative reporting and the ability to define certain crimes at certain distances to school property does allow a certain amount of latitude on the part of the school to downplay certain statistics. For example, a sexual assault at an apartment building that is not campus property, yet houses students of the college may be omitted from reporting due to the fact that it is not owned by the college or because it is a certain distance away from other campus buildings. The fact that it was perpetrated by students of the college is not the only factor, and so it allows these numbers to be "adjusted" as a result.

Schools are held accountable for covering up crimes on or near campus and civil penalties are imposed by the US Department of Education – up to $54,789 per infraction and can suspend institutions from participating and receiving student aid. This is the biggest incentive to schools to accurately report crimes, but there is the ability to read into how the act is written as to how to respond to it.

Could more be done? Probably. In my opinion, the way to "tighten" up the act is to define certain aspects more clearly. For example, force campuses to report ANY felony crime within 2 miles of any campus building. This is very specific, and would enable all campuses to have a defined perimeter that they can use. It doesn't put all campuses on the same level playing field, however, since there will undoubtedly be more crimes near a city college such as Temple University in Philadelphia, PA than Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA.

Last edited @ Sep 16, 1:53AM EDT.
Sep 16, 1:52AM EDT0
Online risks keep changing as culprits become more creative.How can college students ensure they do not fall prey to new antics designed to lure them to danger?
Sep 14, 10:59PM EDT0

This is so true, and is a huge risk to not only college students, but the general population at large. The most critical first step is to educate yourself on what risks exist, and the best way to do that is by using a comprehensive source such as my college safety book, "The Ultimate Guide to College Safety." This book covers many different online threats and can help you secure your online accounts, identity, and financial assets by using the information contained in the book.

One thing to keep in mind is that any correspondence that says you must act "immediately" or says that you are at risk of causing other problems to other systems as a result of your "infected computer" and non-action should be viewed as highly suspect. The tactics of hackers and of phishing emails is to get you to believe that there is an immediate problem that you must act on right how or there will be massive, negative consequences. This is simply a ploy to get you to do something – click a link, call a phone number, etc. so that you are tricked into performing an action that will benefit the criminal.

Staying on top of current threats means periodic research and reading about what threats exist online in order to educate yourself on how to prevent problems. Ignoring the problem, or failing to recognize that a problem exists are the worst things you can do, and play right into the hands of the criminals.

Sep 16, 1:33AM EDT0
What kind of solutions should colleges have in place for those who do participate in these illegal activities? What has been proven to work?
Sep 14, 10:06PM EDT0

I'm not sure what you mean by "illegal activities." If you mean those caught on campus stealing, dealing drugs or underage drinking, typically the campus public safety department is the first point of contact before getting the local police involved. If the college has its own internal police department, then they would determine what charges to bring and then the illegal activity would be handled like any other crime, or at least, should be.

Regarding solutions to crimes, that's the $64,000 question, isn't it? If there were some way to prevent illegal activities, it would already be implemented. What "can" work are strong deterrents. For example, not many college students are aware that if they are caught with any sort of illegal drugs, prescription or other, they could lose any scholarships and that of course could cause them to have to drop out of college without alternative methods of paying for it. Since most students depend upon financial aid, they risk jepordizing their aspirations of becoming a college graduate and any future employment opportunties based on their need for one. This is a life-changing choice for those choosing to break the law.

Other than strong deterrents such as the potential loss of a scholarship or jail time, I don't know what else can be done apart from educating students on what the risks are if they choose to particpate in illegal activities.

Sep 16, 1:20AM EDT0
How can a college student exercise caution without being overtly paranoid?
Sep 14, 2:58PM EDT0

This is a question that I get a lot – people want to improve their safety, but don't want to be paranoid to the point where they are always assuming the worst. That is definitely not a good way to live – in constant paranoia or fear.

That said, the absolute best way to find that balance between complacency and paranoia is to first define what your safety concerns are. I go into detail in my college safety book on this. Once you are able to define the specific concerns you have based on your individual situation (where the school is located, rural or inner city, for example) then you are able to figure out exactly what things you should be concerned with. This allows you to focus on the concerns unique to you, and then formulate possible solutions to deal with those concerns. You need to define both your online and your offline safety concerns.

Is your greatest concern online having your identity stolen? It should be! It is the number one crime in America, and approximately 10 million people in the US have had their identity stolen so far this year. How do you prevent this from happening? Stop using unsecure wifi networks for one. Stop saving your credit card information on e-commerce shopping sites for another. Refrain from entering personal information on your social media accounts like your address, dog's name, favorite food, favorites sports team, etc. These are all pieces of the puzzle that can be put together to steal your identity.

In terms of your offline concerns, The easiest thing to do is to stop being distracted by technology to pay attention to your surroundings – the people, the places, and the objects around you. Distractions from technology prevent you from paying attention when you should. It amazes me how many people cannot put their phone down for 5 minutes! Look around you when you are out and about – how many others have phones in their hand and their faces and attention glued to the screen. It is so easy to see how these people could be surprised by any number of events. Put the headphones in, and you've just lost another sense. There are so many people out there that can't see a threat and can't hear a threat, that it boggles the mind. Nothing is so important that you cannot look up and around as a habit so that you cannot be surprised and show a perpetrator that you are not someone they can sneak up on.

The bottom line is that you must first define your own unique concerns. Then you must educate yourself on ways to reduce the likelihood that they will come to fruition. There is ton of additional information in my latest book, "The Ultimate Guide to College Safety" and I highly recommend it for not just college students, but anyone who is concerned about their safety in both the digital world and the physical world. Stay safe!

Last edited @ Sep 14, 4:20PM EDT.
Sep 14, 4:19PM EDT0
How can rules be introduced in college, for safety reasons, while at the same time make the students feel like they are in college and not primary school?
Sep 14, 12:36PM EDT0

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "rules" but essentially there are student handbooks with various policies outlining how students are expected to act. These handbooks also detail what the consequences are if students do not abide by the rules or policies they define. The problem with this is that most students don't read the student handbook, or if they do look at it, only read part of it. Handbooks contain the "rules" that must be followed by all students in order to maintain a safe and productive learning environment for everyone.

Now, having said that, I do believe that there is room for improvement in the exact definition of certain rules or policies that relate specifically to safety. For example, a great safety policy would be something like, "No student shall grant another access to a secure area, building or dormitory regardless of if they are known to be a student to that person or not." Why is that important? Simple – if a student enters a building that requires secure access without being granted that access, no one knows if they are in that secure area. If something were to occur, say an expensive piece of lab equipment is stolen, and the only student who was "swiped in" during that time is the student who let the other one in, how is that student going to prove that they didn't steal it?

This is but one example, but the most imperative of these safety rules or policies should be reviewed during orientation and specific reasons given to them such as the scenario I just outlined. This shows them that there is a definite and serious reason why they need to follow any given policy/rule. They will better understand without feeling like they are just being fed more rules to follow.

Let's face it - most of us don't like rules, but when we understand why rules exist through the use of examples, it makes those rules easier to adhere to and they are more likely to be followed – especially when they involve safety or valueable property.

Sep 14, 3:54PM EDT0
College students tend to be quite vulnerable and tend to be too trusting. How important is it for one to follow one's instinct without allowing one's naivety to take over?
Sep 14, 12:10AM EDT0

Most students are definitely vulnerable for one simple reason – they are just not aware of all the threats to their personal safety that exist – both online and offline. Kids who go off to college are typically 17 or 18 years old – and they are still kids, even though most of them think they "know" anything you try to tell them! Legally, you are an adult at 18, but really you are just getting started in life.

The trust factor is something that more people, students and adults alike, are beginning to be aware of in terms of being "too trusting" with what others say. I credit a lot of that to the unfortunate incidents that occur on a daily basis at colleges and elsewhere all around the world. The problem is that most people in general never feel that "it" will happen to them – whatever "it" happens to be. It could be identity theft, hacked financial accounts, robbery or an act of terrorism or an active shooter situation. Unless and until every one of us acknowledges that these thing CAN happen to anyone, including YOU, the vulnerability factor remains.

With regard to following your instincts, I firmly believe that if you "feel" that something just isn't right, it probably isn't. Being aware of how you feel initially when faced with a situation is your perceptive self telling you that something just isn't right and you need to listen to that inner voice. The worst that can happen is that your concern turns out to be nothing – and that is great! However, the best that can happen is that your concern ends up being validated and by acting on your instinct and intuition, you were able to avoid a bad situation.

Being naive simply means that you don't know or understand a given situation due to a lack of experience. By listening to your instincts and learning about the risks you will face – both in college and in life – will keep you safer than those who fail to learn or fail to listen that their inner voice. When the hair on the back of your neck stands up, you better believe it is doing that for a reason! Whether or not that reason ends up being a valid threat or not is really besides the point. Overreacting and staying safe is a much better alternative than not reacting and becoming a victim.

Sep 14, 3:39PM EDT0
Do you see reluctance among college authorities to discuss safety-related talks with parents? Why do you think that is the case?
Sep 13, 11:55AM EDT0

While I believe that colleges can no longer ignore safety as it relates to students (such as with the unfortunate recent deaths from hazing and bullying), I have personally found that some colleges I have contacted believe that they are doing "enough" when pressed. It is staggering to me that many of them are arrogant in thinking that they are covering all the bases with their students. There is simply no way they are educating their students on all the threats that college students need to be aware of in both the digital world and the physical world because I know they don't know!

I've been working in IT for over 25 years, and have been a martial arts & self-defense instructor for over 20 years. I think I may know a bit more than they do! Of course, I don't pretend to know everything, but in compiling my latest book on staying safe in college, I spent two years researching and writing it – it is by far the most comprehensive book written to date on the subject of online and offline safety for college students.

The only reason why I can think of is that either a) they truly believe that they are educating students adequately when it comes to online and offline safety or b) they don't want to acknowledge that there is a big problem – either because they simply don't know, or don't think it will affect them.

Sep 13, 1:02PM EDT0
What are some examples of emergency situations that could occur at college and what can students do to respond to them?
Sep 13, 5:16AM EDT0

By far the two biggest are alcohol-related incidents and sexual assault – and the sexual assaults typically involve alcohol.

From a pure drinking standpoint, new college students have access to essentially unlimited amounts of alcohol for perhaps the first time in their lives. If they have never experienced it, or have never been educated on the effects certain amounts of alcohol can have on the body, they can get into serious trouble. Students who observe other students – friends or others – who have obviously had too much to drink (can't speak, can't stand, passed out and cannot be revived) should contact their college's public safety office or 9-1-1. The officers can make the determination as to whether they feel the student needs medical attention and make arrangments if that is the case. Alcohol poisoning can occur the very first time you drink – many people don't know that. If it occurs, you may need hemodialysis – basically dialysis to remove the alcohol from your system. Alcohol poisoning is a very serious medical issue; never leave the person unattended – they could choke on their own vomit and die. Place them on their side and call 9-1-1 or your campus public safety office immediately. The person may need to be given oxygen or intravenous fluids consisting of glucose and vitamins. Of course, there are also long-terms risks to excessive alcohol drinking, but there is way too much to go into here. Get my book for all the info!

Regarding sexual assaults, it is unfortunately a very common occurrance among college women, although with the increase in LGBTQ population it can occur to both men and women. Approximately one in four college women will the victim of some sort of sexual assault during their college career! That is a staggering percentage and illustrates just how widespread the problem is. It doesn't matter what college or university you look at – the numbers are basically the same nationwide.

If you suspect that you are the victim of sexual assault or perhaps your friend has been, it is imperative to NOT clean up or go to the bathroom. If you must go to the bathroom, capture the urine in a container since it may provide evidence of date rape drugs (some are out of your system in hours!) as well as DNA evidence. Do not disturb the crime scene – leave everything intact. Contact your school's public safety office or call 9-1-1 immediately to report the crime and file a police report. For all the details, get my book!

Sep 13, 1:22PM EDT0
What ideas do you have that would make college campus' a safer place for students?
Sep 13, 5:06AM EDT0

Many colleges have taken proactive measures to make campus' safer including hiring extra public safety officers, installing "blue light" poles around campus (emergency poles with a blue light), campus safety apps, emergency call boxes on the exteriors of all buildings and adequate lighting. Good quality video surveillance systems that are monitored 24/7 are a must.  If there is video in place, but the cameras cannot give a good level of detail, an investment in better cameras should be made.  However, there is still more that can be done. Having a "safe place" to conduct online transactions is one that was recently implemented at a local university after a student was robbed when meeting someone online to sell something. The more focus and attention is put on campus and student safety, the more creative and effective it will be.

I had a recent conversation with someone who has created a pretty incredible product that allows students, faculty, officers, vendors, and contractors to have their location monitored with different colors indicating who is where on campus – to within a stunning amount of precision with regard to the location.

Technology can and should be harnessed in any way possible so that colleges are able to know who is where they should be as well as who is where they should not. This new technology (contact me for more info if interested) is revolutionary for not just monitoring the location of people, but other types of assets as well. I was very impressed when I was shown it and think it should be implemented on every campus – school campuses, medical complexes and corporate buildings – to monitor the location of all assets in real-time with precision.

Last edited @ Sep 14, 12:40AM EDT.
Sep 13, 1:34PM EDT0
College students tend to be quite demanding when it comes to their privacy. Are the measures you suggest in your book based on safety as well as privacy?
Sep 13, 12:59AM EDT0

We all want a certain level of privacy – college students as well as everyone else. I don't know if students are any more demanding than anyone else I have dealt with; I have not seen that personally. That said, there must be compromise between privacy and safety. While attending college, part of the responsibility of the institution is to provide a safe learning environment for their students. In order to provide that safe environment, students must expect to give up a certain level of privacy. I think that video cameras in the hallways of dorms is fine, but not in the actual dorm rooms themselves.

Video surveillance of the campus grounds as well as inside buildings where classes and labs are held is also a good thing for many reasons. For example, knowing exactly where a fire is in a building such as a lab room based on a video feed is a lot better than simply having a fire alarm go off in that building and not knowing where that fire is. It saves time, plus it can save lives and minimize property damage.

The safety measures I cover in my book are based on safety. Keeping students safe from the various threats they face on a daily basis – both online and offline – is of paramount importance. Yes, privacy is important, but it is not as important as ensuring the safety of our children when they are away from home and our protection.

Sep 13, 1:46PM EDT0
What safety criteria should design and construction teams consider when planning a project for an active school or university campus?
Sep 12, 6:29AM EDT0

When I worked as a PSO (public safety officer) at a local university, there was always some type of construction going on to the buildings, grounds, walkways, patios, etc. One thing I noticed was that access wasn't always made difficult, meaning that students could merely step over a small fence or walk around a deterrent that was not really hard to thwart.

In addition to signage forbidding access to the area for all non-workers, making access to those areas very difficult such as through the use of temporary METAL fencing and locks is much more effective – especially to keep away curious students who may just want to "check it out" and see what is going on in the construction area.

Last edited @ Sep 12, 11:40PM EDT.
Sep 12, 8:40PM EDT0
What are the most dangerous situations college students tend to find themselves in?
Sep 12, 3:09AM EDT0

By far the two most dangerous would be the ramifications of what they do/have at parties and the aftermath of that, and walking alone at night from the library, friend's dorm, etc. There are also other situations that could be dangerous, such as allowing a non-student/predator/thief into a dorm or otherwise secure building by them "piggybacking" on your swipe (entering the building when the door is open from another student swiping in).

Unfortunately you can't know everyone, and so it is uncomfortable to challenge someone if you only think they may not be a student. However, allowing a non-student into a building that they shouldn't be in can be very dangerous. Again, during my time as a PSO, this exact situation occurred, and someone who was not a student got into a dorm. They were escorted out once we were alerted, but it could have ended badly regardless of if they stole something valuable or had they physically assaulted a student.

Last edited @ Sep 12, 11:41PM EDT.
Sep 12, 10:34PM EDT0
What kinds of conversations should parents have with their children before they go to college?
Sep 12, 2:52AM EDT0

I would say that using my book as a guide would be a great first step because it draws attention to dangers that both parents and students may not be aware even exist. For example, the dangers of mixing alcohol and energy drinks, or the dangers associated with large consumption of caffeine from coffee and/or energy drinks to stay awake in order to study or work on a project.

The most serious conversations should revolve around personal responsibility, awareness and safety. Students who go away to college have a great amount of freedom, but this is not always good. Parents need to drive home the point that although they expect the child to have fun and experience new things, they need to remind them that they will not be there to wake them up for class, look out for them, do their laundry, cook, clean, etc. That is why personal responsibility is one of the most important areas for discussion.

This of course also ties into party safety and sexual responsibility. No parent wants their child to become an alcoholic or become pregnant and drop out during their time in college. It is a time to explore, but not irresponsibly.

Last edited @ Sep 12, 11:41PM EDT.
Sep 12, 10:43PM EDT0
How can the Ultimate Guide to Safety help students be prepared for all types of threats in and out of college?
Sep 12, 12:29AM EDT0

College students, and most teenagers for that matter, think they either know it all, or think that something won't happen to them. Both are equally dangerous, and so as someone who has worked as a university public safety officer, I drew upon personal experience in addition to exhaustive research in compiling this book. I have dealt with many drunk students, some who were a danger to themselves. I have dealt with students who were sexually assaulted. These interactions were enlightening, to say the least!

In addition, as an IT consultant since 1995, I know what it takes to protect computers, phones, networks, accounts and web sites.

Finally, as a self-defense instructor, I have trained both young and old who were bullied or physically assaulted, so I know what it takes to deal with physical threats.

This combination of personal experience and two years of research helped me create the most comprehensive guide to personal safety and student safety ever written.

Last edited @ Sep 12, 11:43PM EDT.
Sep 12, 8:02PM EDT0
What, in your opinion, is the easiest way for the college students to improve their personal safety?
Sep 11, 10:14PM EDT0

The easiest way is to have them read my book.  It is designed with them in mind and it talks to them.  That said, the ONE THING that they must do is be constantly aware of the people, places and objects around them no matter where they are.  It is even more imperative when they are out and about in places that are unfamiliar to them - and they all will be until they get to know the campus and building layouts.  Not recognizing that a problem can happen because they are in denial is a dangerous thing.

Last edited @ Sep 12, 11:43PM EDT.
Sep 12, 10:47PM EDT0
Is the most immediate threat to personal safety online or offline and what are the reasons for your answer?
Sep 11, 2:57PM EDT0

The most immediate threat at this point in time is online in my opinion. There are threats that bombard all of us on a daily basis via email phishing attacks that can cause our identities to be stolen, data to be encrypted via ransomware and others who may be watching what we do on social media.

Offline threats are no less dangerous, but are less likely – especially for those who are "armed with awareness©" and pay attention to their surroundings and are not distracted by technology when they should be noticing potential problems and threats during the course of their daily travels and interactions.

Last edited @ Sep 12, 11:32PM EDT.
Sep 12, 8:38PM EDT0
Are schools and universities required by law to have some sort of training for their students that covers safety, both online and offline? And if they do, how can they make sure the people/organization they select to teach the kids are reputable ones?
Sep 11, 2:35PM EDT0

Colleges are NOT required to have safety training, although they should!  I have made it my mission to do all that I can to make it a requirement! There are simply so many threats that can affect both students and the college, both online and offline, that safety training would go a long way toward making the experience safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

Students don't want to be robbed of their possessions, for example. If every university supplied each student with a UV pen to mark their valuables like cell phones, video game controllers, televisions, laptops, etc., then that would have a positive effect on theft around campus. If students knew that other people's valuables were "marked" they would be much less likely to steal them.

This is but one simple example that almost no one talks about, let alone implements! Yet, the ramifications could be - and should be - dramatic on reducing theft on campus.

Bringing attention to things such as "piggybacking" when entering secure buildings and areas could dramatically reduce the liklihood of someone gaining access to an area they should not be in. The list goes on and on...

Last edited @ Sep 12, 11:44PM EDT.
Sep 12, 10:56PM EDT0

How different is women's self-defence training when compared to general self-defence?

Sep 11, 2:19PM EDT0

Since women are typically the victims of sexual assault more than men, that is the main difference when training women versus men. Techniques such as how to escape from headlocks, choke holds and being pinned to the ground are emphasized more. Although self-defense techniques for all of these scenarios could also be applied to men, the chances of them occuring to women are much greater.

In addition, I teach what has been called "verbal self-defense" which is training women (and men) how to try and talk someone down who is visibly agitated and may become physically violent. If the doesn't work, then the next progression is to establish assertiveness and not show fear or anxiety to this person who may decide to attack you any second. When you reach this level of conflict, you better know what you are going to do BEFORE something happens so you can act decisively and with total commitment. Anything less will not be effective against a person who is bent on physical violence or sexual assault.

When alcohol or drugs are involved, this situation can get very ugly because aggressors who are on certain drugs or alcohol may be unaffected by your initial defensive moves. You need to have the "warrior mindset" (see YouTube for my complete explanation of this) that I teach to get yourself into a state of complete and total committment without fear of loss in order to escape the situation and survive.

Last edited @ Sep 12, 11:44PM EDT.
Sep 12, 11:13PM EDT0
What advice do you give to parents sending their children off to college?
Sep 11, 2:05PM EDT0

I would say that using my book as a guide would be a great first step because it draws attention to dangers that both parents and students may not be aware even exist. For example, the dangers of mixing alcohol and energy drinks, or the dangers associated with large consumption of caffeine from coffee and/or energy drinks to stay awake in order to study or work on a project.

The most serious conversations should revolve around personal responsibility, awareness and safety. Students who go away to college have a great amount of freedom, but this is not always good. Parents need to drive home the point that although they expect the child to have fun and experience new things, they need to remind them that they will not be there to wake them up for class, look out for them, do their laundry, cook, clean, etc. That is why personal responsibility is one of the most important areas for discussion.

This of course also ties into party safety and sexual responsibility. No parent wants their child to become an alcoholic or become pregnant and drop out during their time in college. It is a time to explore, but not irresponsibly.

Last edited @ Sep 12, 11:45PM EDT.
Sep 12, 11:14PM EDT0
Do you think dangers from potential natural disasters should feature in the decision of choosing a college?
Sep 11, 1:16PM EDT0

The very first chapter in my book, "The Ultimate Guide to College Safety" is all about defining your concerns – from both man and nature. The threats from nature are very real, and therefore I believe should undoubtedly factor into the college decision-making process. Some of these we cannot control such as a CME (coronal mass ejection) from the sun, or an asteroid striking the Earth, for example. We can most definitely act to mitigate other types of risks such as from flooding.

Quick story - I went to King's College which is literally across the street from a river, the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I did NOT know before I went to college there that in 1972 a devastating flood from Hurricane Agnes basically wiped out the Wyoming Valley (look it up, it was crazy!) Now, would I have not gone to college there had I known that another major flood could happen in the future? I honestly don't know. But, what I will tell you that when my wife and I bought our first house, my one and only requirement that I was unwilling to budge on was that I would not buy a home in the flood zone. My wife's family had lived though it, and so she was absolutely on board with that decision.

Since we bought our home, there have been several scares that came dangerously close to another major flood. The last time, we had 2 families who are friends of ours stay with us for almost a week when they had to evacuate their homes in the flood area. One group stayed in our finished basement, the other in our mobile home / travel trailer along with their pets! You just never know, so in my mind if there is a way you can limit your exposure to risk, you should do so.

Another couple of quick examples – flooding along the coast during hurricanes (look what is happening as I write this with Hurricane Florence getting ready to deal serious damage to the Carolinas!) or wildfires on the west coast or major snow storms in the mid-west. There are risks from nature everywhere – you should look at all options and weigh all the risks before deciding where to send your precious child!

Last edited @ Sep 12, 11:29PM EDT.
Sep 12, 11:29PM EDT0
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