As we have all become aware recently, our safety and security concerns have been receiving much-needed attention. With this in mind, we can all contribute to our personal safety by paying attention to our surroundings--landscape, people, objects, vehicles, etc.
In this first scenario, I will point out how to fine-tune your situational awareness. You are going shopping at a single-storey mall with several big-name stores and numerous smaller shops inside of the one main building.
You enter the car park and then circle the outside perimeter of the mall; you will be looking at how many shops have outside entrances or read exits.
You will also be looking for suspicious persons, groups or vehicles. We pretty much know what a suspicious person and vehicle looks like on TB2K, so further detail is not necessary unless requested.
Once you park and secure your vehicle, you enter the mall. The first shop you see is Hot Topic (for instance) and you already know they have an exterior door that leads to the car park. You visually scan the persons who are in your area; do they have heavy coats on and it's 95 degrees? A long coat will conceal a rifle or a bomb vest.
You pass by the Hot Topic and see a small novelty shop that you do not recall having an exterior door. You want to shop in that store so you search for the alternate exit. If there is no secondary exit, you determine what solid object you can take cover behind.
You DO keep your children with you. Sorry, but that's the way it goes these days.
Make certain you know where your closest exit is. Most people will retreat to the area where they entered the mall. If that is the closest exit, you choose that unless it has become blocked/ If that occurs, go to the next shop where know there is a secondary exit, unless it takes you into the line of fire.
For shopping areas, there are several key points to consider:
1. Suspicious persons or packages left unattended.
2. Identify your closest exit.
3. Identify a sturdy object under or behind which you can take cover.
4. Keep your head up, you become less of a target by maintaining a posture of awareness.
5. If you spot someone or something that arouses your suspicions, notify the nearest clerk you see.
6. Maintain a visual "sweeping" of the premises and remain alert for what seems out-of-the-ordinary for you.
7. Do not just observe your surroundings, but assess and comprehend them.
Sorry, this is a brief start on one scenario, and others will add to this and create new scenarios. I will update this first scenario tomorrow.