Situational Awareness: What to Do
Being aware of your situation will help you recognize potential conflict situations so that you can hopefully avoid them. You can practice situational awareness by taking these three steps.
- Pay attention to your physical surroundings. This includes the following.
- Check out the area before you park your car. Make sure it is a safe place with enough lighting for you to see what’s going on around you.
- Look around before entering a location to check that everything seems to be safe and nothing suspicious is happening.
- Know where the exits are located in case something does occur and you need to leave the location quickly.
- Pay attention to the people around you. To help with this, here are some questions to ask yourself.
- Is anyone just loitering about or wearing seasonally inappropriate attire, such as wearing a coat during warm weather?
- Can you hear any conversations that seem to you to be threatening in nature? Pay attention to not only the words being used but also the tone of voice of the speaker.
- Is anyone displaying any signs that make you feel uncomfortable? These would include:
- Clenched fists
- Rapid or deep breathing
- Excessive sweating
- Be safety conscious at all times. Ways you can do this include the following.
- Keep your car doors locked.
- Avoid getting into a single lane at a drive-through so that you don’t get boxed in and cannot get away if you need to do so.
- Be careful at ATM locations.
- Use the buddy system so that both you and another person can watch out for anything that seems suspicious.