While this month marks the start of a new presidency, the security issues we have been facing as a country – and throughout the world – still remain. Active threat events are becoming increasingly common, and that number is only predicted to rise in 2017. In the past 20 days alone, we have seen tragic incidents in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Columbus, Cancun, Acapulco, Melbourne and more.
It is more important than ever that every individual knows how best to protect themselves from active threats. The most important part of protecting yourself from an active threat is exhibiting situational awareness.
Simply stated, situational awareness is knowing what’s going on around you. Situational awareness has long been seen as a critical component of aviation, ship navigation, healthcare, emergency response and military operations because it can help decision makers in these fields quickly spot anything outside the norm, including potential threats or obstacles. What works for pilots, soldiers and doctors can also help you spot potential threats to your safety in the modern world.
You can start practicing situational awareness in your daily life by:
Be present: We all walk around with our cell phones attached to our hands and our eyes glued to the screens. Put down your phone and pay attention to the world around you. This will help you determine what actions, people and surroundings are “the norm” in your life so that if anything strays from the norm you can spot it immediately.
Note the exits: Part of examining your surroundings includes developing an exit plan. Know where all entrances and exits are in case of emergency.
Do your research: Heading to a new city? Venturing out to a new area in your town? Do your research ahead of time to learn about crime patterns in that area, like robberies or car jackings. Knowledge of crime patterns can help you develop a plan to avoid threats and protect yourself.
In an active threat situation, a few seconds can be the difference between life and death. Maintaining situational awareness in your everyday life can help you make smart and quick decisions that could save your life, or the lives of those around you.
You can learn more about situational awareness and how to protect yourself, your business and your community from active threats with our in-person or online training courses. Click here for more information on our trainings.