Things are a little crazy right now. A lot of people are worried and there are lots of unknowns.
Today it’s COVID-19, shortages of supplies, and societal unrest things are piling up. But tomorrow it could be something else.
One thing you can do is to take control of what you can and pay attention to what’s going on around you.
We are going to break down certain tips on how you can become more aware of your surroundings and get ahead of anything bad that could potentially happen.
Put on your tinfoil hats ladies and gents!
Table of Contents
One of the simplest things you can do to prepare yourself is to know your exits. Scanning for exit signs when indoors is quick and painless.
When out and about, keeping your eyes open and processing the data that is coming in is important.
If things go sideways when indoors, knowing your exit strategy ahead of time can be paramount. Crowds stampeding can be a very real danger.
Especially if you are with your family and have children. Knowing the most direct route to potential safety can save lives.
For all the men and women with little children, all this requires is recalibration. If you are like me, you probably try to figure out where the bathrooms are when in a new place.
Toddlers, or even my pregnant wife tend to take bathroom breaks like a drunken tiny roommate. This is the same thing. Mind your exits.
In an outdoor setting, this can be easier. A large group of people that may fear for their lives are still a danger, but typically there will be much more room for movement and better visibility.
But here is a clue. Stay away from large groups when possible.
One of the biggest things to steer clear of are large groups of people.
Everyone considers themselves to be upstanding individuals. The problem is when things get bad a mob can swell. At that point, normally upstanding people can sink into chaos and anarchy.
During this COVID-19 crisis currently in 2020, we don’t have to worry much about large groups. At the time of this writing, most states have declared some form of quarantine or stay-at-home order.
I feel it is still important to talk about the mob mentality, though.
When society crumbled with Hurricane Katrina, mobs of people moved through neighborhoods looting homes and businesses.
During the LA riots, shop keepers took to their rooftops to protect their livelihood. Societal breakdown makes people do crazy things.
This doesn’t have to be an extremely large group either. For example, while hiking with my two small children I have run into other hikers. Pandemic or not, I get my kids to close ranks when near groups or around strangers.
When out and about, it’s smart to be aware of your surroundings and above all where your family is.
Be a Hard Target
This can be one of the harder things to accomplish for some people. For some, it’s not in their nature to be defensive, especially if you are an extrovert or outgoing.
The goal isn’t necessarily to be a jerk or to have people hate you. Being a hard target involves a little “flexing” and using proper body language.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, proper stance and body language have a huge role in being a hard target. It’s been a part of animal nature even before we were walking on this planet.
Looking big, aware, and ready to handle anything dissuades predators and predatory behavior.
Now for people, we can’t necessarily walk around with our hands up and growling at everyone that walks by. You can try it, but it may backfire with someone punching you in the face because you’ll look like an idiot.
You also don’t need to look like a “Tactical Timmy” wearing your favorite Gruntstyle t-shirt with MultiCam pants.
I learned a lot about body positioning while in the Marine Corps as a military policeman. The same stance while interviewing people is a smart approach when dealing directly with a person.
Open hands at chest height with legs shoulder-width apart is a solid platform while also maintaining readiness and defensive positioning.
Proper stance and body position can say a lot about someone. Stance should be upright with your head up. You can’t see what’s coming when you are staring down at the ground.
Earbuds need to disappear as well. Properly hearing what’s around you is important to awareness.
Spidey Sense Tingling
The most important thing to rely on is your gut. If something feels wrong, act accordingly. Intuition, a sixth sense, or whatever you want to call it can save your life.
When you open your other senses, your brain can take in a lot more data.
That data can be used to predict what may happen next and what steps can be done.
I am not saying you are a psychic by any means. This is all done by your conscious mind as well as your sub-conscious. The point is you need to unplug from typical creature comforts.
That means eyes off your phone and stop listening to music. The next time you take a walk start training to be more aware of your surroundings.
You might be amazed by how many people float by without paying attention to what is going on. Don’t be a sheep. Be the shepherd.
Being situationally aware must be a full-time job. But it doesn’t mean you have to be at 100% all the time.
It is a spectrum that you can slide through given your specific circumstances and assessment of danger or a threat.
You don’t have to be a paranoid hermit. You just need to know when to flip that switch.
Have you ever been in a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation where your situational awareness helped you stay safe? Have you ever taken any training on situational awareness? Let us know in the comments below!
For some really detailed information on the defensive mindset, check out some of our selections for Best Firearm & Shooting Books. You may also be interested in the Definitive Concealed Carry Guide or for some non-lethal options the Best Stun Guns.