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Surviving violent environments?

October 10, 2016

So, I was questioning some life-choices this month as I pulled out my books relating to security in violent environments. I thought I’d give you a run-down (in no particular order) on my favorite guides to not getting murdered, kidnapped, or have your day ruined in some other way.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-10-10-40-amOperational Security Management in Violent Environments – Humanitarian Practice Network

The revised (2010) edition of the classic ‘GPR 8’ is the standard manual for INGO security in the field. It’s heavily policy focussed, but should give you a good idea of how organizations manage safety and security strategies, and what to expect from an organization that you might be working for. It does contain some useful tips on personal security as well. You can download the PDF free from the HPN website – I couldn’t find any print copies at reasonable prices, although there are always tons of them kicking around INGO offices.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-10-08-08-amStay safe – The International Federation’s guide to a safer mission – IFRC

Another classic work, this time from the IFRC, who have a slightly different take to most agencies. This is a pretty good mix of theory and personal safety tips, again a free download.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-9-57-57-amHow to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone: The Essential Survival Guide for Dangerous Places – Rosie Garthwaite

While it focusses on some of the most extreme cases, this is a very practical book, with a lot of advice for independent travelers and people wanting more information on personal security. It’s an interesting read that I would recommend to anyone regardless of their travel plans.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-9-58-39-amCome Back Alive – Robert Young Pelton

While some of the content in this one is hyperbolic, some of it inaccurate, and some of it not relevant to prospective aid workers, it has enough useful tips to make it onto my recommendation list.


I’ll leave you with a nice BBC article that is focussed more on journalists here, and please let me know if there are other books or resources that should be on the list, and stay safe out there!

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