What is Situational Awareness and Why Should You Care?
Simply put, situational awareness is protecting your personal safety by knowing what is going on around you. It is paying attention to the details and how people are behaving in your environment.
For example, if you are somewhere everyone seems very happy, and someone obviously is not, you should pay attention to that person. If it is warm outside and someone is wearing a heavy coat, give that person more attention. More than likely, you want to avoid interaction with someone who is not behaving normally.
Why does this matter?
People with harmful intentions are looking for easy targets – someone who is not paying attention. Why? It is easier to steal a bag from someone who does not seem aware of what is happening around them. If you are situationally aware, you are the opposite of an easy target. People with bad intentions may sense that you are paying attention and look elsewhere. In short, stay aware and stay safe.
Situational awareness is more of a state of mind than it is a skill. You should always practice situational awareness, wherever you leave home. For example, if you are alone in a secluded, unfamiliar place, walk with your head up and scan the area. Do not wear headphones or keep your eyes glued to your phone. In a public place, sit with your back to the wall where you can see the entrance/exits. Make sure you can see what is going on around you. If something seems out of place or you feel uneasy, trust that instinct, and find a way to get out of the situation.
You may never be in a place where your situational awareness protects you. But it may deter someone looking to do you harm. If you want to know more about situational awareness – how to do it and when – a quick Google search can lead you to resources. Here are some of my favorites:
When you try to practice situational awareness in your everyday life, it can help you feel more secure. You can also make sure you’re prepared to protect yourself in an unexpected situation. Explore Mace® Brand pepper spray, stun guns, and personal alarms to enhance your personal safety.