SITUATIONAL AWARENESS 101

CarolynA

Veteran Member
Wow! Reading this thread sure makes me thankful that I live in the boonies. For me situational awareness is listening carefully to make sure there are no bears in the yard when I head outside.

It's only about 50 miles to a large town but I avoid going there like the plague. And, I never, never, ever go to malls. That's the "M' word as far as I'm concerned . Decades ago I worked in a mall & had several scares. The older I get the more I avoid malls, cities, crowds, etc. Way too many weird people in those places!!!!

On the subject of situational awareness, a very good book is "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin deBecker. Lots of good info there, especially for women.
 

Stormy

Veteran Member
Right You Are, MaureenO

Thank you, Ma'am for your priceless tips and instrution on this thread!!

I will always stay armed and ready to defend my life and the life of my family and all innocents against evil.

I don't care what the 'signs' say, I WILL be carrying!
 

Tennessee gal

Veteran Member
You should never have to shop in fear, but the senseless murders at that Omaha, Nebraska mall remind us that violence can happen almost anywhere. Because it can, it isn't a bad idea to have an exit strategy in the back of your mind.

In the very unlikely event that you find yourself in a situation like that in Nebraska or previous shootings this year in malls in Salt Lake City, Kansas City, and Douglasville, Georgia, there are simple actions you can take to increase your changes of getting out unharmed.

Get in.
The long, wide corridors and hallways lined with stores in a mall provide us with easy access from one store to another. In situations where a shooter is on the loose, they are also going to be the first route of escape for shoppers. The panicked rush of people attempting to use these corridors to escape increases the risk of being trampled in a mob. It goes without saying that these long open hallways provide next to no cover from any bullets fired.

If you happen to be walking in the mall and a shooting occurs, get into the nearest store or side hallway.

Get low.
Firearms, be they handguns, rifles, or shotguns, are typically fired from the shoulder. Most bullets or pellets travel roughly on a horizontal plane from shoulder to waist high. By going prone, you decrease your chances of getting hit. Once down, stay down. Bullets have no problem penetrating multiple layers of building materials. Just because you do not see the shooter does not mean you are out of danger.

Get out.
Stores do not bring their merchandise in through the front door. Almost all have loading docks, and to comply with fire codes, an emergency exit that leads either to a back hallway, or provide directs access to the outside of the building. Look up for the "exit" sign on the ceiling at the back of the store, and make your way there as fast as possible, keeping as low as possible.

Keep moving.
Once you make it outside, keep moving. Put as much physical space and as many physical objects between you and the scene as possible.

Putting it all together.

* Get in.
* Get low.
* Get out.
* Keep moving.

The odds of getting shot in a mall shooting are extremely low, but you can reduce those odds even further by being in a self-aware, ready state (yellow, for Jeff Cooper disciples) and take these common sense steps if you hear or see a similar violent situation developing. There's no need to be paranoid, but after so many events like this in recent years, it is immature to pretend that such events can't happen.
File that bit of information in the back of your mind. I'll pray you never have occasion to use it.

wardogs
Wardogs, thanks for the good advice!
 

almost ready

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Bump

Thanks, especially Maureen and Nightdriver.

My nomination for MVT (most valuable thread) goes to this one.
 

adgal

Veteran Member
As I read through the thread on the terrorist attack in India -one comment really stayed with me. In one of the hotels that was attacked - the hotel management told all of the guests to turn off their lights and stay in their rooms. One man (either a Brit or American - I can't remember) decided that this was not a good idea and snuck his family out through a back entrance and into safety. I can only assume that this was the hotel where later the terrorist asked for the room numbers of all of the Americans and Brits and held them hostage. This man's quick thinking - and thinking for himself - could have saved the lives of his family.

I believe that one of the most important parts of situational awareness is that YOU assess the situation and YOU decide what is best for you and your family and then YOU need to act on it.
 

MaureenO

Another Infidel
As I read through the thread on the terrorist attack in India -one comment really stayed with me. In one of the hotels that was attacked - the hotel management told all of the guests to turn off their lights and stay in their rooms. One man (either a Brit or American - I can't remember) decided that this was not a good idea and snuck his family out through a back entrance and into safety. I can only assume that this was the hotel where later the terrorist asked for the room numbers of all of the Americans and Brits and held them hostage. This man's quick thinking - and thinking for himself - could have saved the lives of his family.

I believe that one of the most important parts of situational awareness is that YOU assess the situation and YOU decide what is best for you and your family and then YOU need to act on it.
Well, today I took my kids down the hill to a mall for a general shoes-and-socks shopping and as we exited the mall, I asked the 2 of them to show me the difference between cover and concealment in an area outside of the mall before you hit the car park.

They performed perfectly. My daughter took me behind a block wall that was hiding a Dumpster and she scooted to the farthest end of the Dumpster and crouched at its end and the block wall. She said this was cover.

If an active shooter looked behind the wall he would have seen the Dumpster but not my child.

Outside of the block wall, my boy pointed to the elevated garden planter -- approximately 6' BY 8' and pointed behind the tall vegetation toward the middle and said diving into the vegetation would be concealment.

Cover provides you with protection from projectiles such as bullets and other similar elements, while concealment only makes you less visible but offers no protection from an active shooter who sprays the area where you are concealed.

This is a VERY important drill for children to have down as second nature. It can save their lives. Yours, too.

Maureen :dstrs:
 

lojoma

Senior Member
Im sorry if this has already been posted:

https://www.gavindebecker.com/home.cfm

This guy is a personal hero of mine, his two books: The gift of fear (real not manufactured fear) and Protecting the Gifts, about protecting children are dead on and what I live by regarding situational awareness and trusting your instincts. He runs a successful body guard firm (in fact the old Whitney Huston/ Kevin Costner movie is based on him and the numerous celebrities who can afford his staff. Our brains tell us what we need to know, but so often we can't hear them out of PC static, attempts to deny, or second-guessing our instincts. I am excited to see he has new book I have not read before. With children, he talks at length about safety; for example his advice is practice teaching children how to approach women with other children as the safest bet for protection if the worst case scenario happens and you lose track of your children in a crown, "don't talk to strangers" is extremely unhelpful advice. I strongly urge anyone interested in situational awareness/threat assessmnt TO READ THESE BOOKS. It could easily save your life and the live of your famliy.
 

lojoma

Senior Member
Wanted to add the young adult survival type fiction books by Peg Kehret are extremely helpful with pre-teens/tween w.out fear mongering. The best one for us was Escaping the Giant Wave. Tsunami warning, most of the people head back to the hotel on the beach after the all clear, but the young progtagonist knows that the waves often trave in pairs. He fights the crowd and internal angst that he wants to go back to the hotel, but something tells him not to. He is able to think for himself and survive, this generate an evening's worth of dicussion about self reliance, risk, instinct etc. here is a local list of our her books, for reference only.

http://catalog.icpl.org/search~S0/?searchtype=a&searcharg=kehret++peg&SORT=D&extended=0&SUBMIT=Search&searchlimits=&searchorigarg=apeg+kehret
 

adgal

Veteran Member
Well, today I took my kids down the hill to a mall for a general shoes-and-socks shopping and as we exited the mall, I asked the 2 of them to show me the difference between cover and concealment in an area outside of the mall before you hit the car park.

They performed perfectly. My daughter took me behind a block wall that was hiding a Dumpster and she scooted to the farthest end of the Dumpster and crouched at its end and the block wall. She said this was cover.

If an active shooter looked behind the wall he would have seen the Dumpster but not my child.

Outside of the block wall, my boy pointed to the elevated garden planter -- approximately 6' BY 8' and pointed behind the tall vegetation toward the middle and said diving into the vegetation would be concealment.

Cover provides you with protection from projectiles such as bullets and other similar elements, while concealment only makes you less visible but offers no protection from an active shooter who sprays the area where you are concealed.

This is a VERY important drill for children to have down as second nature. It can save their lives. Yours, too.

Maureen :dstrs:
Wow!! Excellent!!!!
 

adgal

Veteran Member
Im sorry if this has already been posted:

https://www.gavindebecker.com/home.cfm

This guy is a personal hero of mine, his two books: The gift of fear (real not manufactured fear) and Protecting the Gifts, about protecting children are dead on and what I live by regarding situational awareness and trusting your instincts. He runs a successful body guard firm (in fact the old Whitney Huston/ Kevin Costner movie is based on him and the numerous celebrities who can afford his staff. Our brains tell us what we need to know, but so often we can't hear them out of PC static, attempts to deny, or second-guessing our instincts. I am excited to see he has new book I have not read before. With children, he talks at length about safety; for example his advice is practice teaching children how to approach women with other children as the safest bet for protection if the worst case scenario happens and you lose track of your children in a crown, "don't talk to strangers" is extremely unhelpful advice. I strongly urge anyone interested in situational awareness/threat assessmnt TO READ THESE BOOKS. It could easily save your life and the live of your famliy.
Thanks for sharing these books - good Christmas gift ideas.
 

MaureenO

Another Infidel
Another tactic that needs mentioning is how to navigate your homes in the dark.

As a practise, this can save your lives. Example:

You and your family are in bed and you hear what sounds like an intruder breaking into your home. Your first instinct would be to turn on a light or grab a flashlight to see if an intruder has gained entry.

This allows the intruder to see YOU even if you cannot see him.

It is important to instruct your family that YOU know your home better than anyone else and to practise a series of drills whereby you can navigate your home in the dark by staying close to the walls of your home.

Even children can be taught how to do this.

Start by turning out every light in your home, assign one parent to a set of children and show them how to use their hands to guide them in the dark by reaching out and feeling the walls. As they "walk" their hands across the walls and come upon a doorway, stretch both arms out sideways to touch each side of the doorway and then touch the wall outside the doorway and keep "finger crawling" until you have reached an exit or hiding place.

In the case of fire, it is imperative that you stay as close to the floor as possible as the gases tend to rise and toxic gases are the main killers in residential fires. So stay LOW in case of a fire.

It is unlikely an intruder will turn on a light, but may have a flashlight in use. You can then see what area he is in and take cover until the light source moves.

Practise going up and down staircases and feeling the walls or bannisters as you go until you can navigate your home as well in the dark as you can during the day.

It takes practise, but is achievable and necessary. In case you have an infant or toddler, make sure your infant backpack is near the crib so you can load the child into it and go from there. This frees up both of your hands.

If you keep an animal in the residence, it is likely she will bark her ass off which will also impede the intruder's travel and/or injure him. It will also let you know in what area of the residence the intruder currently is.

You will then go the other way until you reach an exterior door or window through which to escape.

In case you are all upstairs, you can implement an escape ladder (sold at most hardware stores) and attach the ends of the chain ladder to the open window and escape to the exterior of your residence.

Practise until it is second nature.

Maureen :dstrs:
 

rummer

Veteran Member
Thanks Maureen this is some very good advice. I plan on trying it here at my home and have my daughter give it a try.
 

MaureenO

Another Infidel
Thanks Maureen this is some very good advice. I plan on trying it here at my home and have my daughter give it a try.
You're very welcome, Rummer. We have to look out for each other here to ensure we have the best chance of survival.

Mo :dstrs:
 

Giblin

Veteran Member
Maureen,
I was thinking about this thread the other night. We were in the car, and in an old neighborhood had changed
Gib
 

MaureenO

Another Infidel
Maureen,
I was thinking about this thread the other night. We were in the car, and in an old neighborhood had changed
Gib
I'll bet! We truly need to be aware of our surroundings. With this recession/depression going on we have to be even more observant.

Maureen :dstrs:
 

Double_A

TB Fanatic
Very timely to BTT

Lots of caca going on these days and more than one shooting situation where general public is the target due to no fault of their own.

Need to constantly be aware of surroundings, exits and cover.
 

MaureenO

Another Infidel
Very timely to BTT

Lots of caca going on these days and more than one shooting situation where general public is the target due to no fault of their own.

Need to constantly be aware of surroundings, exits and cover.
Ayup.

Maureen :dstrs:
 
Don't be so sure. Recent reports indicate that this may be the suprise of the century because while we are all looking uneasy around middle-easterners it's the home growns that will wreak hell on earth.

The mall scenario is great and very plausible however, with school starting back in a few weeks PLEASE talk to your kids. Go over these things. Go walk the neighborhood that the school is in. Set up a meeting place. I don't think that these sickos have dropped the plans to attack schools so lets not become complacent with our most beloved children.
We have monthly lock-down drills at school. During the drills, the students and teachers talk (quietly) about what would really happen in different situations. Luckily, I don't have many students--even 9 or 10 could be totally hidden from anyone breaking in through the door or windows. They wouldn't be hidden if the shooter walked around the room, but they'd be hidden for a short time.

No guns at school...but we could throw books, staplers, other heavy metal objects...I could keep a bat or two in the closet, come to think of it. Pour a little water on the floor, and we could pop him on the head as he fell on his butt.

We have a dorky system, mandated by the state, that says we must put color coded cards (green-we're ok, red-the shooter is in here) on the door during lock-downs. The kids joke about saying, "Excuse me, Mr. Terrorist-Shooter-Dude, I need to put this red card on the outside of the door." I think it's STUPID--and so do the kids. Now, I can see putting green cards on the door and letting the blank doors let you know that there is trouble there, but interrupting the intruder to put a red card on the door? Please!

We used to have a family plan for disasters, but children have grown up and moved away, I've bought a new house, our "go-to" place is no longer an option...it's time to make a new plan. But, I have to tell you that we've ALWAYS planned what to do IF...it's a personality trait that is in me--and all three of my children.

There have actually been times when we walked into a convenience store and put the ones trained in fighting between the rest of us and the rest of the customers. Most of the time, we watch. I notice the gang stuff, of which I find most people to be unaware. Watch Gangland on The History Channel on Thursday nights, go to your local police department and find out if they have seminars on identifying gangs. It's worth your time.
 

mudwrench

Senior Member
OOoooKay! back.
what is an EDC?? dont be knowin no codes bro sheeeeet

Situational Awareness starts as you get dressed to walk out the door.

If you can do so, now would be the time to start carrying your weapon 24-7. If you have a spouse, the two of you should be checking each other to see if your "slip is showing" as it were. RELIC and I do challenge each other to determine whether or not either one of us is carrying...

With my current weight structure the Glock 22 doesn't print anywhere, and the Charter which has been my EDC (when I carry) for eons hides even better. I'm not advocating violating any laws here so you need to be aware of what your state allows. You also need to have been to a range recently so you are comfy with what makes your EDC go BANG, and so you are comfy with what happens when it DOES go BANG. Enough said on that because it COULD become a whole thread....

So, once you get dressed, you put on your Color of the Day. If you are SERIOUS about your Situational Awareness you put at LEAST YELLOW on which means that you are pretty much ready to handle most untoward things, and won't be standinig there slack jawed thingking "this can't be happening" as the gobblin points a rather long finger at you....or your loved ones. or the guy next to you.'


Living in YELLOW means looking around and being ready to react if needed but NOT stressed tightly.

Living in ORANGE means that you are expectant of some kind of attack and are actively looking for it every minute of the day. You want to live in YELLOW, really. ORANGE is WAY too tiring to live in 24/7/365. Ask me. When they put a Contract out on your Wife you live in ORANGE for a LONG time...until it gets bought off...or otherwise fixed.. but I digress.


You want to live in YELLOW since that is an expectant, but not wired tight mind set. You are aware of your surroundings, and aware that they can change and that you WILL have to react/respond to that change.


SO.

You have put on the Color of the Day, and now it's time to go outside.

At this point you start looking around....Is everything around your home the same as it always is?? Kids toys and "stuff" in the yards around your home and the neighbors' homes? Are there any different kids or "kids" hanging around? is the traffic on your street normal? or Heavier than usual or lighter than usual?
Did you listen to the radio to hear about traffic delays on the way to work or wherever you are going?? NO?? Shame on you...start THAT habit TODAY...

Walk to the bus?? Is the 'hood normal?? On the bus, is the ride in to work normal, anything out of place, or odd on the way in?? You need to start looking TODAY to KNOW what is Normal so that in the coming days you can identify an abnormality.

Get to work, is the work location normal? the usual street vendors selling the usual morning stuff?? the shoe shine guy in the lobby the usual guy? the lobby coffee shop normal? etc etc.


When you go to lunch look around the work building as you go. Is everything the way it usually is? Any unusual vans or trucks parked in odd places? Are the street vendors the usual lunch vendors with the usual fare???

When you get back to your desk, do you have your bottle of water, protein bar, walking shoes and a change of sox in your drawer? Do you know what the FASTEST way out is, the safest? Can you walk home with what you have in your desk?

On the way home, on the bus or driving, is everything normal on the way?? Unusual trucks parked anywhere?

When you get home and you go out to eat, watch for oddities and KNOW WHAT IS ODD.

Once you are seated in the restaurant, can you get out fast?? What IS the fastest way out if they come in the front door? the back door? Do you know if you can go out the front window? Locked you say?? You are sitting on the key, you toss your chair through the window and exit. AS long as you aren't crossing the gobblins' line of fire (and on the ground floor)....Who knows, you may lead the whole restaurant out that way.
++++++++++++++++++++++


What happens if any of the "are these things normal?" questions come back "NO!!!" What do you do then??

You call the police in the area. It is YOUR decision as to 9-1-1 or the non-emergency number if you know it (you ought to for the municipalities you spend a lot of time in, BTW) but 9-1-1 is ALWAYS appropriate. tell the operator/dispatcher what you have seen that is odd. TELL him or her WHY it's odd and THAT it's odd. Then they get to deal with it.


++++++++++++++++


Start walking around the block at home.

Make mental notes of the deserted houses, where cars ought NOT be parked, and if there are cars parked there but it STILL looks deserted let the local constabulary know that there is something out of the ordinary there. If you have an industrial area in your 'hood, get to recognize what is normal for activity there. If it starts to look odd, call the constables and let them know. Do NOT hesitate to call....I once saw 2 suburbans sitting up watching the train tracks in my neighborhood... I completed my walk around the block and they were still there an hour later (6 mile block),,,damn straight I called my local LEO's because there wasn't ANYTHING on the Suburbans that said N&W on it and they checked em out.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++===


GET TO KNOW WHAT IS "NORMAL" NOW AND WATCH FOR CHANGES.

EVERYWHERE YOU GO KNOW HOW TO GET OUT QUICKLY AND SAFELY.

HAVE A PHONE WITH YOU OR KNOW WHERE THE NEAREST ONE IS SO YOU CAN CALL IF SOMETHING ISN'T RIGHT.

AND CARRY YOUR DAMN GUN (legally).


chuck
 

Dozdoats

On TB every waking moment
A reminder- any working cell phone even without an active service contract can still call 9-1-1 anywhere it can reach a tower. You don't have to pay a cell phone bill to have a working cell phone on your bedside table (housebreakers have been known to cut phone lines, or take the receiver of the first phone they encounter inside the home off the hook) or with you on your strolls about town.

dd
 

Old Gray Mare

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Great thread. Tomorrow I plan to check out this link that was posted above:
https://www.gavindebecker.com/home.cfm
way too tired to do it now.

My question is how to teach kids situational awareness without scaring the crap out of them and still getting the information to stick in heads that have a 30 second attention span for anything that is not part of a video game?
 

Trivium Pursuit

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Remarkable thread; how did I miss it before? Must have been my own lack of awareness. I admit that I am off thinking most of the time, and that I need to change that. I will say that on our recent vacation to Philly and Boston I was wired alert the whole time...
 

Phil Ca

Veteran Member
Recently here in Modesto there were three seperate incidents of attacks on lone females at a market. One in the early morning hours and two later in the day and evening. These women were not aware and were vulnerable.

As the economy worsens we can expect more incidents from homeless, out-of-work and desperate people. Many would not ordinarily do such a thing but when a baby needs milk or a child has to go to bed hungry we can expect more of this. (or if someone needs a fix)

August 4 is National Night Out (Monday) and our neighborhood is having a potluck and get together at the park a couple of doors over. I plan to demo a BOB and a couple of self-defense devices available to all. Also flashlights and lanterns that people should be keeping nearby at all times anyway.
 

MaureenO

Another Infidel
Recently here in Modesto there were three seperate incidents of attacks on lone females at a market. One in the early morning hours and two later in the day and evening. These women were not aware and were vulnerable.

As the economy worsens we can expect more incidents from homeless, out-of-work and desperate people. Many would not ordinarily do such a thing but when a baby needs milk or a child has to go to bed hungry we can expect more of this. (or if someone needs a fix)

August 4 is National Night Out (Monday) and our neighborhood is having a potluck and get together at the park a couple of doors over. I plan to demo a BOB and a couple of self-defense devices available to all. Also flashlights and lanterns that people should be keeping nearby at all times anyway.


That's an absolutely brilliant idea, Phil!! You could (should) even get a neighbourhood group on prepping going after that. I hate to think of how many will be lost due to having no one there to teach them.

Maureen :dstrs:
 

NC Susan

Deceased
Bump for cause.

Look at this video from yesterday and see how the bomber is dressed. He is dressed a little bulkier which would probably have been apparent had the hotel's occupants been more observant.

http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=108135&feedType=VideoRSS&feedName=TopNews&rpc=23&videoChannel=1&sp=true

Maureen :dstrs:

why are they always called 'suicide' bombers which implies they only want to kill themselves. They are 'homicide' bombers because the intention is to kill others
 

MaureenO

Another Infidel
why are they always called 'suicide' bombers which implies they only want to kill themselves. They are 'homicide' bombers because the intention is to kill others


That's exactly correct, Susan!!! They are cold, calculated killers. And we damn well better not forget that.

Mo :dstrs:
 

denfoote

Inactive
Good post Maureen.

In addition to everything you have written, I would highly recommend all here read "PRINCIPLES OF SELF DEFENSE" by the late Jeff Cooper, published by Paladin Press (ISBN 0-87-364-2).

It was the standard text book for most concealed carry classes here in Arizona.

Most people live in white. (read the book)

YO DENNIS,
I THINK YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS A STICKY.
 

denfoote

Inactive
I call'em "meat-bombs".

Nasty critters that they are.

BFC
I work at a busy court house doing TSA stuff, X-ray, bomb detection, metal detector, etc. Part of the training was looking for large unrecognized vehicles parked next to the building and people who are wearing "to many" covering garments for the temperature, that sort of thing.
Yes, one day I did detect some goof trying to smuggle a weapon into the building!!! In fact, it was a Springfield XD-9!!! AFTER he spoke to a police officer, he was allowed to secure the weapon in his vehicle and continue to go about his business.

Now considering bomb vests.

I used to shoot with a Shin Bet operative.
I never knew what he was doing here and I didn't ask!! ;)
The guy who owned the range was Jewish and a licensed international arms dealer. I figured my Shin Bet guy was the procurement agent.
Anyway, he told me NEVER to shoot center of mass if you suspected a bomb vest!! ALWAYS take a cerebral ocular shot!! That's why whenever I practice I include head shots!!
He also said that, in Israel, they are trained to pump another round into the perp's head just to make damnsure he wasn't able to activate the bomb!!

Don't live in white (oblivious to the world around you)!!!

Be aware, be alert, be ready to act!!
 
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