The failed attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines Flight over Detroit should serve as another wake-up call to average citizens around the world. Once again, a tragedy may have been averted by the actions of passengers and crew acting to subdue the terrorist. We see the same spirit that led the passengers of United Flight 93 to overcome the hijackers – averting further disaster, and the actions of the passengers who stopped the shoe bomber.

In the days to come, I expect the investigation to find out how explosives were smuggled on to two flights. The lesson here is that we will never be 100% safe. No matter how much security is in place anywhere, there is always a threat. Not every flight will have air marshals on board, not every TSA screener will be 100% alert, machines and procedures are all subject to flaws.

Your chances of becoming a victim of terrorism is miniscule. However, your chances of becoming a target of violent crime is fairly high. Home invasions, carjackings, workplace violence –  are all crimes which have similar characteristics to terrorist attacks. Police and emergency responders are highly trained professionals who are very good at their jobs, but they cannot be everywhere. Ultimately you are responsible for your safety and that of your loved ones.

You should train in self defense or combat oriented martial arts. You should learn how to use a knife and a gun (even if you never plan on carrying or owning either). You should learn how to use improvised weapons. You should analyze the safety of your home and vehicle, and teach your family what to do in case of home invasion or carjacking

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