Situational awareness, what is it really?
We were taught as kids to look both ways before crossing the street. As we grow up, among other things, we learn to drive.
How to improve situational awareness
We, as a society, have lost a lot of our hunter, gatherer instincts. We all live in communities and have the illusion that we are protected. Just because a bear isn’t trying to eat us while we are walking home, doesn’t mean there aren’t threats. So how do we fix the glitch?
Use Your Eyes
For starters, it’s getting your face up and looking forward, not staring at your phone or tablet when you’re walking or out and about in the world. Take your earphones out and look where you’re going is goal number one. Cutting off two of your most important senses for detecting danger is a bad idea. If the assailant is close enough to taste, smell or touch, it’s too late to do much about the situation.
A while ago I read about a guy who had a loaded .45 on a train and held it out for all to see. The thing was, no one saw it because everyone was zoned out looking at their phones and tablets. They were totally oblivious until he started shooting.
Always be Analyzing
Have you noticed how keen your senses are when you feel a threat is near? You do things a little bit differently when you’re in a situation where you feel unsafe, don’t you? You look around more. You pay attention to street signs or landmarks just in case you need to call for help. Being able to assess your situation and know your options is key to everyday survival.
Awareness and Concealed Carry
Being aware of your surroundings and what’s going on is important when you are carrying a weapon. Avoiding a potential incident where you might need to fire your weapon is ideally what we all want. Crossing the street when an unsavory looking group is in your path, keep looking around and notice where lights are on in houses or which businesses look like they are open. Any bit of information you might be able to use if you need to run for it.
Just because you have a gun does not mean you need to use it in every possible situation.
Practice? Yes Really
Something simple you can do to practice is to go outside in your backyard and close your eyes. Listen to the noises and try to determine what they are and where they are coming from. This may sound kind of dumb to some people, but it can really help to hone your hearing. Imagine being in the woods hunting. Many times you can’t see the target right away, you need to listen to the noise it’s making and try to determine its location. You also need to gauge whether it is coming toward you or leaving the area.
Having a watchful eye and an ear listening to the world around you is the first step in being aware. The reason for improving your situational awareness is not solely to better react to a situation gone wrong, it’s also about trying to avoid the situation all together.
Do you have a story where situational awareness helped you? Leave a comment below and let us know.
About The Author
Trevor Dobrygoski has been a freelance copywriter since 2009. He has written about many different topics over the years. His 9-5 is outfitting police and other public safety vehicles with all of the equipment the law enforcement and other first responders need to save lives. When not working and writing, he is coaching, refereeing and playing soccer.