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Lesson 3-3 Personal Contingency Planning
As a Marine and a representative of the U.S. Armed Forces, you are a potential hostage even in low and negligible threat areas. You must prepare for your own personal safety, prepare your family, and prepare for the potential of becoming a hostage and the ensuing captivity.
Although nothing can fully prepare you for the experience of becoming a hostage, knowing that the following issues have been addressed will lessen the trauma on you and your family:
e Your will is current and your family knows its location.
e Appropriate powers of attorney are given to a spouse, relation, or trusted friend.
e Your family knows who to contact for assistance.
e Family finances are settled so they do not suffer financially during your captivity. Family members should have access to money, airline tickets, credit cards, insurance policies, etc.
All family members should assemble a personal history/information sheet, preferably in their own handwriting, which can be used as an aid to law enforcement and intelligence officials in the event of an incident. This sheet should contain the following information items:
Name and nicknames.
Place and date of birth.
Home address and telephone number.
Secondary address and telephone number
Precise physical description (e.g., height, weight, scars, tattoos, dentures, etc.).
Other identifying characteristics (e.g., birthmarks, physical handicaps).
Prescription for eyeglasses used.
Special medications and instructions for their use.
Vehicles (types and license).
School (type, class, address, teachers).
Recent information on educational qualifications and hobbies.
Information about friends residing in diverse locations and their phone numbers.
Preparing a brief family member oral history on a cassette recording may be helpful. This can be used to help identify voices on recordings mailed to authorities in the event of a kidnapping. Samples of handwriting taken under various conditions (e.g., writing on the hood of a car, writing on bare ground), may also be helpful.
Your family also needs to know how to react if you are taken hostage. Typically, terrorists carry radios so they can listen to the news and monitor the world’s reaction to the hostage-taking and to receive further instructions from their superiors. Your family should not grant interviews to the media. If confronted by the media for a statement, your family should say that they hope the terrorists will release the hostages, and that the ordeal will be over soon. You should advise your family not to express fear for your safety, identify you as a Marine, or provide the terrorists with any information that will help the terrorists select you as a victim or endanger the lives of the other hostages.