One way to stay safe during riots, active shooter situations or even disasters is to learn how to raise your situtational awareness levels.
Proactive Or Reactive – The Choice Is Yours
Any time there is an emergency, you have two choices – to be proactive or reactive.
The difference is that by being proactive, you are more in control of the situation.
If you are reactive like most people, your awareness level is low and that can lead to problems.
Don’t Get Caught Off Guard
Sudden acts of violence such as active shootings that seem to spring out of nowhere take people by surprise because they are not aware of what is going on around them.
There are thousands of people who have been victims of violence because they were not aware of their surroundings.
Now, that does not mean blame the victim, it means be more aware and keep in mind, if you are not paying attenion to what is happening around you, you won’t see it coming!
Watch Out For Things That Seem Off
The first step to raising your level of awareness is to look out for things that seem off or unusual.
Even during times of peace, criminals are constantly looking for an opportunity to strike and they want an easy victim. I
It is going to be someone, but it doesn’t have to be you.
If you notice the same guy walking by the street outside your house several times and you have never seen him before, alert law enforcement and if possible take a discreet photo.
Do not draw attention to yourself however.
Do not assume he is a landscaper, a new neighbor or someone in the neighborhoods friend.
While these are all logical assumptions, more than likely, something is amiss, and you need to be proactive.
After all, this stranger could be casing your house or even a neighbors house with the intention to break in at night.
It is better to err on the side of caution even if you find out this person does belong in the neighborhood.
People are not violent by nature.
Most of them abhor confrontation and physical fights because they do not want to hurt someone or get hurt in the process.
However, there are some people who do enjoy causing pain.
They may have anger issues or be mentally unsound.
Burying your head in the sand could mean that you or someone you know becomes a victim.
If you are on the road and someone cuts you off, getting into a physical altercation with them may be tempting, but it is not the right thing to do.
Stay calm and move on.
If you are outside and a group of young people make fun of you, do not approach them, let it go and move on.
The first rule of survival is to get away from the dangerous situation.
If you are in a bus late at night and someone who looks creepy gets on the bus, stay alert and be aware of what they are up to without making direct eye contact.
Do not bury your head in a magazine or glue your eyes to your mobile phone.
They could attack you in an instant and catch you unaware.
It has happened before, and it will happen again.
Just making yourself look confident and like someone that is not to be messed with is often enough to put off most criminals.
The man or woman who walks upright and scans theirs surroundings confidently gives off the air that they can handle themselves.
Criminals will steer clear of them because they don’t seem like an easy target.
The man who shuffles meekly to his car while clutching a newspaper under his arm as he balances his cup of coffee while trying to use his phone pinched against his ear with his shoulder as he opens the car door, has the words “mugging victim” written all over him.
Look tough and be alert – even if you are shaking in your boots.
Presentation really matters.
Teach Your Children How To React
Teach your children not to trust strangers.
If someone calls the house pretending to do a survey and the kid answers the phone, they should not disclose if there is no one at home.
Or mention that their mother is busy doing the dishes at the moment and there is no other adult around.
It could be someone planning to rob the house.
The people that your kids meet on the internet can pose serious threats too.
Be very aware of whom they are chatting with online.
As a parent, this is your responsibility even if your child throws a fit and screams that you just don’t trust them.
Children are vulnerable and criminals are well aware of this.
Avoid Being Overly Trusting
Last but not least, never be too trusting.
No good deed goes unpunished.
The guy having car problems by the road may have accomplices who car-jack you the moment you step out to offer assistance.
If you tell a few of your neighbors that you are storing food supplies in case of an emergency, they might laugh at your paranoia.
However, when crisis strikes and there is a food shortage in your area, guess who is the first person they are going to think of approaching or robbing.
Yes, that would be you.
Be careful of what you tell others.
There can be severe consequences.
Finally, just know that during a crisis, you need to be extra vigilant and aware of what is going on around you.
Stay alert and you will be much more likely to pick up on little things that just don’t seem right.
Your gut instincts will guide you.
Listen to them.