How’s Your Situational Awareness?
Situational Awareness (SA) was already talked about in the book, “Way of the Concealed Carrier“, but I just wanted to take it just a little further and plant a few extra seeds for you.
How good is your SA? Are you able to keep track of everyone and every movement going on in your surroundings?
When you’re at a restaurant, having dinner with family, you notice a couple of booths across from you that are empty. You continue to have a conversation with those at your table and a few moments later, you take another look around the establishment. You notice that those two booths are now occupied, and the head count is about eight people you just missed seating themselves. So what happened?
People move quickly and it only takes a few moments for someone to enter the door and be seated in a booth or table. When a place starts to get crowded, it becomes more difficult to keep track of people and what they are doing. It’s impossible to predict people’s moves and their intentions. So what do you do?
It’s not just about watching your surroundings, but also using your other senses also. Maybe you smell something burning, maybe an indication of a potential fire. Maybe there’s a conversation that is getting heated just on the other side of you. There is also that gut feeling. This has saved my ass a few times. If your senses are tingling and you feel like you’re in danger, then do something about it. If you’re wrong, no big deal. No harm, no foul. But if you’re right and you didn’t do something, then you have to find a way out of the situation since it is escalating.
So you must continue to practice your situational awareness. Fine tune it. You can’t be a super ninja and know exactly what’s going on all the time, but looking around more frequently, listening to the tones of people, watching for suspicious activity, etc. You can incorporate all of this by looking around and using your senses, then return focus on those around you. Then do another scan around your environment, then readjust your focus to what’s going on in front of you. Do this as frequently as you can.
I mentioned tones of conversations. You don’t have to listen to their conversations and try to interpret every conversation on the floor, but you will be able to distinguish if someone is louder than others. The tone of the conversation is louder and when you focus in that area, you will be able to determine if it’s a possible threat by the expressions and any aggressive animation by those people. You can be on the other side of the room from these people, not understanding the conversation but the loudness of the voices and any hostility seen can make a determination of staying or leaving. But remember, this can also be a distraction and their buddies might be going into action. So continue scanning the room for any other signs.
Having others around you who understand and use SA can assist you. Having more than one person scanning can increase your groups radar. As long as one person is scanning and its going back and forth between people can make all the difference. If your group starts prairie dogging at the same time (head popping up and looking around), than something has gained the attention of the group and your level of situational awareness will jump one heightened level to determine if there is a threat or not.
So use SA daily, wherever you go, and practicing the ‘What If” game will help increase your awareness of your surroundings, including the ones you are most familiar with. No matter where you are at, at a new location, one you are familiar with, or any room in your house, you must maintain some level of awareness in your environment. These can change quickly at any time and without notice.
Be safe out there, be the responsible firearm owner and always follow the “Concealed Carry Creed“!!!