Situational Awareness, it’s not just about an active shooter

Situational awareness isn’t just about the ‘bad stuff,’ either. You won’t notice the good things around you if you aren’t paying attention to what’s going on, remember the old adage and song “You got to Stop & Smell the Roses”?

Situational Awareness is A term with its roots in WWI regarding a pilot’s knowledge of immediate threats around them. Today, the term is regularly used to encourage people to always be aware of their surroundings and react accordingly to increase their safety. Unfortunately, most people have not a clue about it. Even if they recognize what it is, they’re too busy answering texts or e-mail to care before walking into a water fountain or traffic pole.

Nowadays it’s most often used in relation to active shooter threats during a workplace or school violence incident (WPV/SV), it should be used for everyday safety…everywhere, by everyone.
Why do we need more scales, charts, analysis, and those items to be fully aware of our situations that unravel around us is unknown to me. I have, from my late teens, known what was going on around me and took pains to avoid it. Didn’t always work, but I’m hoping I mitigated the damage to myself and others with my awareness.

It’s the term that people use and respond to, when discussing being aware of what is around them. Just as many, including professionals, ignore other terms that are used for situational awareness and dismiss as a myth & fallacy. Terms like precognitive, visions, and other such terms. Are they as unlikely as situational awareness? Try walking down the street and being fully aware of literally everything going on around you…it isn’t quite that simple, is it? Many blind people do it every single second of the day, why can’t a sighted person?
Most people, including security professionals, especially at the field level, ignore, or are told to ignore and dismiss it as being childish, paranoid, delusional, or just plain out and out stupid. Situational awareness isn’t just Bullshit, déjà vu, or coincidence, it does truly exist, if you can train your brain to ignore the naysayers and begin to understand what your mind & body are trying to tell you.

Listening to your gut instinct with situational awareness can help keep you safe from innumerable calamities. When you get that indistinct sensation in your stomach or that niggling feeling in the back of your head, listen to it. It is trying to tell you something, whether you perceive it outwardly or not.

There will always be something, usually, in your mind or body that will tell you something is wrong with the surrounding world. Whether that is a robbery, workplace violence, or just something comical in the mall such as walking into the water fountain.

In these days of terrorism, active shooters, and many maladies that may befall us, the company, or our relaxation, it’s good to be hyper vigilant. I, myself, am a self-described paranoid security freak. I distrust all noises I don’t recognize, cars, people, and etc. especially when I’ve never been to that place before.

Do I recommend that for you? I would want all of you to remain at the alert level at the very least. After this pandemic virus, active shooters, terrorism increasing, hostile countries infiltrating the United States, and our own back-biting & back-stabbing politics…it never hurts to keep your situational awareness high.

Here’s a small exercise you might try…and no faking it. Tie a blindfold around your eyes and sit and listen to the noises, not to mention the smells, tastes, and other such things, around you. You’ll notice barking dogs, screeching cats, people walking by smoking & body odor, cars screeching down the street, horns, toys, and literally dozens, possibly hundreds of items going on around you. Which ones are a danger and which aren’t? Small movements around you, yelling, and running feet. Do you pay closer attention to those things or just let them go by with nothing to worry about…except the beautiful sunny sky and rainbows coloring your world?

It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Any Where… For any Reason

I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear

Permission to share? Of course, with full attribution.
Copyright 2021 Robert D. Sollars

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