Situational Awareness – What Is It & Why It’s Important


During times of crisis, it’s inevitable to see the level of crimes increase.

Forming your awareness will not only help in decision making but it will also help in your ability to see a potential threat before they happen.

History will show us that whenever there are riots or other dire scenario, criminals and participants will grab the chance to create chaos and grab whatever they can.

A criminal is a person who takes prays on the weak or ill-prepared.

Participants in riots are not using their intelligence they are blinded by mob mentality.

They do not question their actions in these times.

These types of individuals are opportunity-driven and only interested in a good outcome for themselves.

They use the cover of darkness, strike when you least expect it, or when natural disaster and public panic is already high.

Your knowledge of these types of criminals and their behavior will allow you to protect yourself, your family, and potentially individuals around you for a better outcome.

It’s during times like these that you must be on high alert and ready for anything.

In this article, you will learn why situational monitoring is paramount when it comes to self-defense and your security.

Examples Of People With This Mindset

If you are struggling to think of what this is and who is good at it think of these types of people in this space.

  • Law Enforcement Training
  • Individuals with Military Combat Training
  • Especially Combat Operators in the Special Forces
  • Combat Aviation fields tend to have the same qualities. (Air force)
  • Individuals with an intelligence or surveillance background. (FBI, CIA, NSA)
  • A person with attention to detail personalities

This can be trained into any individual who focuses on studies of behavior and threats.

Most of these types of people process normal activities differently to control their security.

Why This Is Important

This is important because having it will lead you to make better more informed decisions quicker than people who do not have it.

These skills are usually crafted in stressful incidents or moments.

As a result the more of this that happens the more confidence will be established.

It allows you to gauge the behaviors of people in your immediate environment or space.

You can form a level of risk management ahead of time before something happens.

Most crimes or accidents happen in the blink of an eye.

This situational awareness can be built over time based on previous experiences or knowledge of the events and behaviors of individuals.

This skill can be used at

  • Home with your family
  • While out to dinner or the movies
  • In your workplace no matter what field you work in
  • When in traffic driving your car down the road
  • While playing sports
  • In survival or dangerous situations

Literally, every single thing you do daily you can use this skill and developed it more daily.

Lack of Situational Awareness

girl not aware of her surroundings
girl not aware of her surroundings

This is when an individual is not paying any attention to what is going on around them or the potential hazards.

This is a pretty apparent thing to pick up on.

Next time you are out to dinner or at the mall sit down and people watch.

Watch how everyone nowadays just walks around with their head down looking at their cellphones.

That is a lack of situational awareness.

Watching people bump into other individuals or running into stuff as they walk.

This is exactly how people wreck into other drives now by looking down at their phones or messing with the radio.

Or how people and kids come up missing almost daily it feels like.

Lack of situational awareness.

Key Things To Pay Attention To

For a virtual training you can check out Sheepdog response!

Situational Awareness As A Skill

Just like any skill you are trying to perfect or make better you have to practice.

One trick I like to do is call movies or a show my wife is watching.

Apparently, my situational awareness is so sharpened she claims I have watched literally anything we are watching before even if it is brand new.

I do this literally any time there is an individual involved.

While driving and watching people maneuver through traffic or try to.

While watching my kids run around the yard or house.

I watch new people on the rifle range practicing and try to tell what they are going to do.

Just watching the body language of people and gauging what I think they are about to do or think about doing.

All these types of things I listed are boring examples of practicing sharpening this awareness.

Develop Situational Awareness

Develop Situational Awareness

This is simply using your previous knowledge, perception, and comprehension in real-time to process the risk to have a better ability to control your actions in a given event to ensure your safety or security.

Focus and attention to detail are two requirements in decision making.

The other requirements are building your knowledge and comprehension of what criminals or people do in given events.

This is why law enforcement personnel have systems they are trained to go through in traffic stops.

This is why first responder personnel has systems when coming up to a vehicle collision.

They have previous knowledge of other events and what happened in them.

This gives them the ability to know what actions they need to take that will give them a more desirable outcome.

Knowing Your Environment and Threats

girl walking down dark tunnel
girl walking down dark tunnel

There are usually only two ways most attacks occur.

Either your assailant takes you by surprise and tries to knock you out or they approach you threateningly and demand that you hand them your belongings.

The same applies to events such as housebreaking and robbery. It’s always either by surprise or intimidation.

Knowing your environment and the behaviors of people looking to hurt you or someone you love will likely change your decision given new knowledge of the environment around you.

Form a makeshift space around you and your family that no one can enter.

These types of attaching usually only give you a 30-second window or less.

It’s not paranoia, but preparation at that point. 

Being unaware of your surroundings is the biggest mistake you can make in life or death situations.

I will leave this section with a quote 

“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”- James Mattis, Retired Marine Corps General (source)

Mission Readiness

Mission Readiness

This is the second step in the process.

When you’re aware, you must also be mentally ready to react.

Allowing an enemy or potential threat to get even closer to you is cutting your time in half.

My first piece of advice is if you know something is wrong get out of there.

One of my favorite sayings is “No one wins in a fight”

Both people will likely be feeling it after the fact.

If you can not flee and you are left with fighting then do what you have to do.

Every time I did not listen to my gut feeling I have deeply regretted it after the fact.

Trust your gut instinct.

The moment you feel uncomfortable, do something about it.

Do not try to plead with them but most importantly do not be the victim.

Be fast, be determined, and be unrelenting until you can escape with the ability to fight another day.

Mission Mentality

Focus on developing a survival mentality and attention to detail.

You have to be able to make accurate decisions to ensure your survival.

Your mind has to be on the behavior and factors that will come into play to be able to have a level of risk management to ensure your safety by taking action.

Your health and the health of your family or group is the most important aspect.

You need to have the mentality that bad things could be a possibility and you should not question yourself to death.

Decision making and action will keep you alive.

Conclusion

Situation Awareness Analysis done in real-time can have a huge impact on your future.

Turning your mind into a sensor to know what an impact will do and the possible outcomes.

Understanding different aspects and factors of your private surroundings and things in your public environment can be stressful.

Be an observer and watch the activity of people in your day to day life. 

That along with keys from this article will lead you to success in this space.

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