Situational Awareness 102
Updated: Jun 2, 2019
Situational awareness is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their future status.
Time & Space... just the things I want to gain in any bad situation. Whether it be a school shooting that seem to be on the rise lately... or any other violent situation I may find myself in.
The statistics are there;
So a simple explanation of what situational awareness is, “the ability to see things before they might happen and putting one’s self in a better position to effectively change the potential outcome”...
It’s really not rocket science or voodoo pseudoscience. It’s just paying attention to what’s going on around you and making small adjustments based on what you see coming and already having a plan to handle what you may or may not know is coming...
If you take the time to look around and think like a bad guy. When would I be most vulnerable? Do I see the guy that keeps looking my way? Do I look back at him or do I look down and hope he doesn’t keep staring?
Predators are actually predictable, they get fixated on their target and lose site of what is going on around them. Have you ever watched a cat chase a mouse, or a lion on one of those nature channels chase a gazelle? They mirror their preys movements until they get close enough to strike.
Sometimes... the lion gets surprised by the larger mother gazelle that jumps out and uses her horns to defend her calf.
Someone looking at you as prey, usually does the same thing...
They looks for easy prey, someone they can get close enough to take by surprise. They mirror your movements. You cross the street, they cross the street. Each time getting just a little closer, hoping your not noticing. Hoping that you don’t pay attention...
Sometimes they can be scared away by just looking up and letting them know you see them and you're ready for them.
Other times just by looking up and making eye contact you can confirm whether or not they are a threat. If they still look at you and get that fixated stare, that’s usually a sign they still think you are good prey and they’re ready to attack.
So if you notice them from a distance you've gained a little more time to defend yourself. Just that little bit of time may be the difference between getting away, getting help or getting yourself in a better place to defend yourself.
If I’m walking to my car at night, what do I know?
1. It’s most likely dark and I won’t be able to see a threat coming possibly.
2. “What if” something happens ? Am I in a position to potentially deal with it?
1. Low light
- I parked close to limit my time on target
- I parked in a well lit area so I could see threats coming
- I have a small flashlight on my key chain just for such a situation
- I have a friend or a few friends that can walk me to my car
2. Planning for the unplanned
- I may have a tactical pen or other defensive device in hand just in case I’m attacked
- I have a flashlight to better see what’s coming my way
- I asked friends to walk me to my car, safety in numbers
- I call a friend and have them on the phone while I’m walking to my car, letting them know where I am and what’s going on just in case something happens. (Be careful not to draw too much attention though.)
As you can see, it’s not that hard to plan for something if you just think about the situation first. Your limits, your vulnerabilities and how your situation is changing over time.
Are you in a better position or are you potentially putting yourself at risk?
What can I do to make the situation I’m in "better” and can I ensure survival?