Situational Awareness is something most people have a lack of on a normal daily basis. With everything going on in our daily lives and the introduction of text and smart phones most people are so focused on whats going on with their social media sites or other time consuming tasks that they no longer worry about whats happening around them. Also somewhat a sense of false security and safety.
Being a Ex State Correctional Officer where I worked was basically a city filled with criminals. Situational awareness became a daily way of life. I also came from a City in Louisiana where you constantly had to be aware of everything around you at all times or you may possibly be putting yourself between a gang shootout or a victim of a carjacking or the person pulling up next to you at a stoplight brandishes a weapon at you with an evil grin. So I personally have a heightened awareness because of my life experiences and the type of work I performed, but unfortunately most do not.
What Could Possibly Happen?
Simply paying attention while walking through a parking lot or down the street. Put away the phone facebook and twitter can wait! You need to pay attention to your surrounding as you traverse the landscape.
Personally while I was sitting at a red light in Shreveport, Louisiana waiting for traffic, I hear gunshots to my left and one guy was chasing another down the street while shooting at the person running away. Running directly toward me as he’s firing a pistol running my direction. Needless to say I looked both directions and blew the red light. If I had been blaring my music or texting in a message I may have been oblivious to what was happening around me and possibly been shot or had the person running get in my vehicle to escape the shooter.
There are so many scenarios where people are just not paying attention to whats going on around them. A person texting or catching up on facebook while walking down the street could walk right up to a person waiting for them. And criminals look for those type of people oblivious and unaware. You could be abducted, mugged, raped, beaten or in todays world have a hatchet in your head without even knowing what happened. Then there is also the knockout game!
Watch for people that are acting nervous or agitated they may be about to commit an act that you don’t want to be apart of or anywhere near. Look for people who look out of place or who seem to be paying special attention to you. You may be entering an apartment building, but there is a shady character waiting by the steps who you have never seen before. Why is he there? Make people aware that you have seen them! This may be enough to deter them and make them nervous enough to leave knowing that they have been spotted. A criminal wants the advantage to have you at a disadvantage, so make sure you let them know their gig is up by letting them know that you have noticed them. The most important thing is to know whats happening before you accidently stumble into something and the only way to have that advantage is to pay attention!
Situational Awareness On Your Own Home Turf
You may feel safe in your own home. But when you come home at night after a long day at work do you look for things out of place? Most people don’t. Look for things that have changed. Maybe there are vehicle tracks leading up your driveway that were not there before or a item on your porch that was moved or a light that was working that is now out. It could be as simple as the bulb burnt out, but what if it isnt! Criminals like the darkness. Did you notice a car parked down the street near your house that you have never seen before. I’m not saying be paranoid but instead be aware. Are your pets on edge or nervous when you come in? Why? You come home and your door is unlocked and you knew you locked it, Don’t just blaze in and assume you must of forgot it. Your gut instincts are normally going to be right! Enter slowly and look around as you enter looking for tracks at the door or items out of place or call a friend and have a them enter with you if you have any doubt or notify law enforcement if things are out of place or ransacked as you enter. The culprit could still be in there. So if you walk in and notice disturbed items leave immediately! So many people blaze in and don’t realize until its too late.
When your leaving work look for people that don’t belong. Pay attention to their reaction to you or if they are watching your every move. Look for vehicles that don’t belong. Once again pay attention to your gut feeling! Keep watch as you unlock and enter your vehicle. Don’t get tunnel vision and not see who else is around.
The number 1 place women are abducted are Grocery store parking lots
The number 2 place is parking lots and garages
The number 3 place is public restrooms
Even if you have to BS them by acting like you are on your cell phone and looking directly at them and making direct eye contact with them may be enough to scare someone off. They may think your reporting them to police.
Unfortunately this seems to be becoming a regular occurrence in our time in history. Listen for disturbances. People screaming or running or things being slammed around, this may be your only indication before gunshots that may give you a heads up. Put distance between you and the shooter! A moving target will be more difficult to hit. Find a hiding spot in another room or exit the building if possible. Barricade or lock the door and turn off lights in an adjoining room. The shooter will more than likely pass over a door that they cannot open quickly and move on. They will be on the move to create as much chaos and destruction as quickly as possible before authorities arrive or someone else stops them first such as a armed citizen. So become the greyman and disappear and bring as little attention to yourself as possible you may be passed over. Dont try and be the hero!
Watch and listen to everything happening around you! Watch people, vehicles and anything out of the norm. Put down the Smartphone and watch everything. It may save your life!