Situational Awareness (SA) is a key factor in your daily survival. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of what that means.
Situation Awareness is simply paying attending to what is going on around you. Sounds easy enough right? No, not really. Situational Awareness includes: time of day, where you are, who is around, what is around you, etc. There are many different elements in play at the same time when talking about this term, but it is important to know...
As women, we need to make sure that we are always aware of our surroundings. I realize most of us will say that we do our best to make sure that we are not putting ourselves in potentially dangerous situations but that is not always true. We put ourselves in unguarded positions, without even realizing it. Some of our daily habits can prove to be distracters.
We, as a society are obsessed with electronics. Most everyone has a smart phone and/or tablet that we use on a regular basis in public. These electronics are distractions from what is currently going on around us, which can make us easy targets. We cannot allow ourselves to be exposed and defenseless for predators to take advantage of.
Think about all the times you have walked out of your home, work, school, grocery store or mall and you were either texting or talking to someone on your phone. How about walking to your car and fumbling through your purse to try and find your keys? Or focusing on placing a child in the backseat of your vehicle? Now let's take it one step further and add doing these things at night. These small distractions can be the perfect opportunity for a predator to make their move.
One of the most important things to remember in keeping yourself safe is to be prepared. Being prepared is the first step in practicing situational awareness. If it happens to be in the late evening or early morning hours, make sure you have your keys already in your hand and put your electronic device away until you know you are able to use it without being distracted. I know this isn’t the first time you have heard this tip, but how many of you actually practice this? Are you prepared prior to walking outside?
Our senses were given to us for a very good reason. Our senses; sight, sound, smell, touch, etc are all there to aid us in survival. Make sure you are able to hear what is going on around you. This is just another little tip you can use to help increase your safety. Having ear buds in while listening to music or talking on your phone can increase your vulnerability, especially during the darker hours of the day. A good way to practice SA is to go to a crowded place like the mall or a park and just start listing off the things you are observing. Ask yourself these questions:
- Who are the people around you?,
- What are they wearing?,
- What do they look like?,
- What do your surroundings looks like?.
- If you had to describe that person to the police, could you do it with just a glace?
- What about that suspicious car next to yours, do you remember the license plate or color?
You can do this alone or with a friend; either way, the more tuned in you are to your environment the easier it is to stay safe. So get out there, play the “who, what, where” game and sharpen those survival skills. Make your Situational Awareness your first defense.
- Instructor Belle
Alpha Pack Member
Photo Credit and additional resource: http://www.fitsugar.com/How-Run-Listen-Music-Safely-Outdoors-20078028