What Is Situational Awareness?
Situational Awareness ability to observe your surroundings and to be able to assess the ever evolving situation before making a decision. It simply means knowing what is happening near you. By its definition, it sounds very simple, right? However, acquiring situational awareness requires a lot of practice, in fact, some superhuman abilities.
You may think that the skill should only be learned by James Bond, Jason Bourne or soldiers, but civilians, especially those who conceal carry weapons should master this art. It may be of help in dangerous situations. You may be aware of an incident a minute before it happens and have time to react or better year avoid a lethal situation all together.
How To Gain Situational Awareness
Know Your Environment
Living or visiting certain areas means you should identify what’s there that can help or hurt you in the event of an incident. By that I mean will that toxic waste vat across the street affect you if it ruptures? If it does, will taking the alley down the block get you out of the area faster than jumping in your car?
Luke Trust Your Feelings
The force, your guardian angel or your gut feeling is something you should not ignore. For some reason your body can sense dangers before it actually happens? When you have an awkward feeling that something bad may happen then, you should act fast before it happens or at the very least put your ears up and sniff the air in an effort to figure out what’s going on.
Get Some Sleep
Fatigue reduces your ability to notice possible dangers.
Watch Other People
Keep an eye on what people around you are doing. If you get that gut feeling that the guy at that end of the bar is about to act up, leave the area and alert the authorities. Check out their eyes, they are truly the window to ones soul.
Think On What Could Happen
At work, I keep a window break tool and trauma kit in the desk. Why, because you never know what your co-workers are going through and where they are mentally. For all you know the person 3 cubes over may have just lost their home, called to HR to sign garnishment papers right after they were told their mate wants a divorce. Today may be that day
Having an idea of what could happen can help you develop situational awareness and a way to overcome a sudden situation.
Fight Normalcy Bias
It can happen to you. You could be caught up in an earthquake, a fire a mass shooting, riot or some other horrible event. Thinking otherwise is a condition known as normalcy bias. This condition is one the causes a person to think that just because something has never happened in their world it couldn’t happen. Crappy things happen, don’t think they can’t happen to you.
You should look at every disturbance as a threat. This will help you to stop assuming everything and start assessing a situation and the possible risks. People may mistake this to paranoid, but that will save you from very many dangers.
Avoid Practicing The Obvious Things In Transitional Areas
You can text or call while sitting on a chair in your house or while lying on your bed. However, texting while walking to your car from your office is wrong. Doing this will affect your concentration on your surrounding that may cost your life. Unless it is urgent, try to keep your focus in these areas.
Developing awareness can be hard. In fact, at the beginning, you feel like an awkward paranoid nut. Hell, your family and friends may feel the same way as you demand to sit facing the door in a restaurant, count the exits at the theater.
How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne
There’s a scene at the beginning of The Bourne Identity where the film’s protagonist is sitting in a diner, trying to figure out who he is and why he has a bunch of passports and a gun stashed in a safety deposit box. Bourne also notices that he, well, notices things that other people don’t.That superhuman ability to observe his surroundings and make detailed assessments about his environment? It’s not just a trait of top secret operatives; it’s a skill known as situational awareness, and you can possess it too. Read More…
I have spent a fair amount of time over the past several years trying to define and refine my understanding of the term “Situational Awareness.”
Most of the written material deals with very technical definitions, that for me hold little real world application. As I tried to make them fit my own experience with awareness, I realized that the academic approach was impractical. So here’s how I defined “situational awareness.” It is: “paying attention to what is going on around you.” How’s that for practical? It’s more than that, but the basic definition is the ability to scan the environment and sense danger, challenges and opportunities, while maintaining the ability to conduct normal activities. In other words, to pay attention to your surroundings while not appearing to be paying attention. Read Full Post…
For the past three weeks we have been running a series in the Security Weekly that focuses on some of the fundamentals of terrorism. First, we noted that terrorism is a tactic not exclusive to any one group and that the tactic would not end even if the jihadist threat were to disappear. We then discussed how actors planning terrorist attacks have to follow a planning process and noted that there are times during that process when such plots are vulnerable to detection.
Last week we discussed how one of the most important vulnerabilities during the terrorism planning process is surveillance, and we outlined what bad surveillance looks like and described some. See More…
The ability to recognize a developing and possibly dangerous situation is a skill anyone who carries a gun should posses. To have a nice shiny gun in your wast band isn’t enough. Personally, I would rather get my family out of a dangerous situation before it happens rather than try and fight our way out.
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