Situational awareness is the process of being observant of your surroundings and identifying potential threats and dangerous situations. The main element in establishing a situationally aware mindset is to recognize that threats exist. Ignorance or denial of a threat make a your chances of recognizing a threat and avoiding it more unlikely. Denial and complacency can be deadly.
In a dangerous situation, your best defense is always avoidance. Without a situationally aware mindset, you will be less likely to avoid dangerous situations. Take driving your car for instance. If your mind is on something else and you are distracted, you are more likely to fail to avoid an accident.
First and foremost, it needs to be noted that being aware of one’s surroundings and identifying potential threats and dangerous situations is more of a mindset than a hard skill. Because of this, situational awareness is not something that can be practiced only by highly trained government agents or specialized corporate security countersurveillance teams. Indeed, it can be exercised by anyone with the will and the discipline to do so.
Levels of Situational Awareness
- Tuned Out
- Relaxed Awareness
- Focused Awareness
- High Alert
This video from The Best Defense shows how being tuned out can get you into a bad personal safety situation:
Be aware and stay safe.