Secure Dad 101: Situational Awareness for Families Part 1

The following is an introduction to a very complex and multifaceted process known as situational awareness. The following is formed from my opinion from study and experience.

I learned that my safety was my own responsibility after the tragedy at Columbine High School. Even though I lived half a country away, it made a big impact on me. I began to take notice of my surroundings and how people were acting. I began to make plans for how to exit any room in an emergency. What I didn’t know was that I was developing my own method of situational awareness. I’ve used it every day since. It has become part of my normal thought process and on a few occasions it has helped me out.

The overall goal of situational awareness is to keep you safe by recognizing danger before it happens.

There are many great books and articles on situational awareness out there for you to read. I recommend the book Left of Bang and a video from from the blog, The Capable Civilian as a great place to start. Most material on this subject is aimed at keeping military and police safe in their daily work. Though these lessons can apply to any civilian.

My focus on this topic will be on how families need to practice and use situational awareness to stay safe. We will discuss what to look for when you are public, how to listen to your intuition and what to do if something goes wrong. I will boil down the information and give it to you in terms of keeping your family safe. I use these same methods every day to keep my family safe.

When you Google “situational awareness” you get a Wikipedia definition as follows, “Situational awareness or situation awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event.” But the US Coast Guard says, “More simply, it’s the knowing what is going on around you.” Thanks Coast Guard!

The overall goal of situational awareness is to keep you safe by recognizing danger before it happens. This occurs by identifying and focusing in on a potential threat before things get bad. This gives you time to get away or fight if you must. And simply being alert to your environment will make you less likely target for some types of crime. I can say this as worked for me in the past and I’ve integrated it into my thought process.

Situational Awareness for the family will be discussed in six, easy to understand parts:

- Why Do I Need Situational Awareness?

- What Am I Looking For Anyway?

- Pre-Event Indicators

- Now What Do I Do?

- How Often Do I Practice Situation Awareness?

- So Should I Never Leave My House???

In the next part of this series we will look at why there is a need for your family to practice situational awareness.

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