Typical Prepping

Situational Awareness - The Art Of Observation

February 09, 2021 Keith Thomas Season 1 Episode 7
Typical Prepping
Situational Awareness - The Art Of Observation
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In This Episode:

We’ve all heard the phrase “Be aware of your surroundings.” Typically, this saying is used in relation to personal safety. For example, if you’re walking alone at night, you should be cognizant of what’s going on around you and be prepared to react if you perceive a threat. If you’re driving a car, you should be aware of other drivers and try to anticipate their actions, such as someone slamming on their brakes or swerving into your lane.

In this day and age, it is more important than ever for one to be aware of their surroundings. In this episode, we will discuss The Art of Situational Awareness.

Key Topics:

                                                                                                                  Time Stamp

  • What Is Situational Awareness?                                  02:49
  • The Importance of being aware                                   03:12
  • The color code of awareness                                         04:13
  • Being on alert for abnormalities and risks            06:44
  • Using your senses                                                                 08:33
  • Practicing situational awareness                               11:28
  • Conclusion                                                                                12:41

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Situational Awareness - The Art Of Observation



Keith Thomas  00:00

We've all heard the phrase, be aware of your surroundings. Typically this saying is used in relation to personal safety. For example, if you're walking alone at night, you should be cognizant of what's going on around you and be prepared to react if you perceive a threat. If you're driving a car, you should be aware of other drivers and try to anticipate their actions, such as someone slamming on their brakes or swerving into your lane. This is commonly called situational awareness At a high-level situational awareness involves knowing what is going on around you at any given time.



Situational awareness can be a valuable tool for everyday life. We all face challenges and accidents can happen at any time to anyone. In this fast-paced world, learning to increase your situational awareness can save your life and help to prevent accidents. In this day and age, it is more important than ever for one to be aware of their surroundings. In this episode, we'll discuss the art of situational awareness.



 Welcome to typical prepping the podcast dedicated to everyday readiness and disaster preparedness. We're here to help those folks who seek to start their own disaster preparedness plan or those who have gotten started but are not quite sure where or how to take the next steps. Each week, I'll present a disaster preparedness topic with actionable tips and strategies that you can implement to start or grow your personal disaster preparations. Thanks for stopping by to listen today.


Keith Thomas  02:29

Hey, folks, I'm Keith and welcome to typical prepping. In Episode Five, rethinking your mindset we talked about the key to developing a survival mindset was improving your situational awareness skills. So in today's episode, we're going to talk about how you can develop your situational awareness skills.



Situational awareness is being aware of one's surroundings and identifying potential threats and dangerous situations. Situational awareness is more of a mindset rather than a hard skill. It's important to learn this skill not only to identify threats but also serves to identify criminal behavior and other dangerous situations.



 Today, Americans are much like sheep. We are unimpressed creatures who tend to wait on someone else to tell us what we need to do, or how to do it, or we merely wander around staring into a phone screen. In either case, most Americans are totally unaware of what's going on in their surroundings. The basic idea behind situational awareness is to become less like a sheep. To do so you must change the way you look at social interactions, as well as internal location. situational awareness can be quite easy to attain with some level of training and self-discipline.



Situational awareness is a matter of personal safety and security and is not an option.



Situational awareness is about taking responsibility for your personal safety and security.



The color code of awareness is a standard threat awareness code used by military and law enforcement today. This code is how threats are assessed by professionals.



This color code helps you move mentally, from the state of mind in which you're watching out for trouble to seeing something that could be a problem to acting on it when it becomes a reality.



We'll read over each color code, carefully understanding that these are the codes or zones in which you may be operating and the actions to be taken.



In the white zone. This is the lowest level



In the yellow zone, you are alert and aware, but also calm and relaxed. You are alert to the surroundings and environment and to the people who occupy it and to their body language. In the yellow zone, you are alert, not paranoid. In this state, it is difficult for someone to surprise you



The orange zone



In the orange zone, you are at a heightened level of awareness. You sense that something is not right. This is the time to evaluate the situation and formulate a plan.



In the red zone, there's imminent danger, imminent danger now exists and immediate action is needed. You must now implement the decision of whether to run hide or take cover or fight.



 And that's an overview of the color codes of awareness. If you'd like a copy of your own, just go to the show notes. There's a link there where you can get a copy of the color code of awareness for yourself.



To be on alert, you must find a zone to operate in.  For optimal situational awareness. It's recommended to always operate in the zone yellow. What you want to achieve is a mental state that is best described as "comfortable observation."


Keith Thomas  07:13

This level of observation will allow you to both enjoy your life and the people you are with while being involved in the world around you.



No matter where you are, you will always want to locate your nearest entrance or exit. Finding the best escape route should be your first step when entering a room. Once found, occasionally look in that direction as necessary. Make sure your entry/ exit is never blocked. And should this interest or exit become blocked, you should move or isolate another exit.



Is the crowd Happy? Is the crowd aggravated?, Pay attention to changes in the mood of the crowd. This way you have a finger on the pulse of those around you. Being able to monitor your immediate area is important, but also take in those areas beyond the reach of your senses. Occasionally, take a look outside of the building that you're in to observe the streets and what's taking place there. There may be other rooms or areas in your building, and these should be explored by either asking questions or visiting them yourself.



 Despite how smoothed out the human race has become through technology convenience, we still have a survival instinct. We have a fight or flight instinct that is carried over from the beginning of time. In the beginning, humans had to take full advantage of all five of their senses.



Your mouth will go dry and you may even feel a tingling or metallic taste in your mouth at the onset of something dangerous. This is very common as your body releases adrenaline. 



The sense of touch is not merely about what you do with your hands. You may notice a threat or notice others around you acting strange. You may become clammy. You may feel goosebumps dance across your skin. This is a sign that your intuition or your instinct is tuning up.



 An acute sense of hearing will always lend itself to threat awareness. Pay attention to noises far away from you. Tires on the street, the highway, arguments, gunshots in the distance.



We can even pick up on the fear, stress, and disgust of fellow humans. While the human sense of smell isn't up to par with animals. The reason we're not better at it than we are is that it's a skill that has to be developed through practice. The human sense of smell in one way is superior to the animal variety. We have the ability to consciously analyze smells and interpret what they might mean.



 Easily our most powerful sense in the game of thought in threats is our sense of sight.


Keith Thomas  11:01

You should always take advantage of the sights around you.



When you're in a crowded space, you want to at least observe the area several times while you're stationary. You're as are trained to find things that stick out. In a crowd of people, you instinctively find the person acting erratic or strange. Use your eyes to find and pay attention to exits and entrances. As with anything else, mastering your senses will take practice, but if you put in the time, it will pay off.



 There are many ways to practice situational awareness, and it should be something you do each time you go out in public. Remember, you're training your high powers of observation. Situational awareness is the practice of observing anomalies. When observing crowds, look for people who break away from the crowd or are walking slower than others. As you observe there will be passers-by and stragglers. Observe those who approach the area. Practice honing in on observing one individual without being obvious. The next time you're walking through a parking lot, observe the cars parked there. How many cars have people sitting in them? Are there people congregating outside the cars?



You can also use this time to hypothetically escape. When walking through your local department store at some point, imagine you had to get out of the building immediately. Think about the following. Where would you go? How would you do it? Who would you have to take with you and or help? Doing little things like these while you're out in public will go a long way in developing your powers of observation.



 Situational awareness is a skill we must all develop. Many Americans have become unknowingly indoctrinated to believe that when bad things happen, the police or government will be there to handle the situation. However, the truth is that police and the government usually show up after the fact. As discussed in Episode Five Rethinking Your Mindset. Remember, you are responsible for your own safety, and not to rely on anyone else to save you. Waiting for someone else to tell you what you should do, could cost you your life. Don't allow yourself to become distracted. Learn to use the color code of awareness and develop your senses to detect threats and practice situational awareness whenever you're out in public.



Well, that's it for this week. Thanks for listening, and join me on next week's episode when the topic will be emergency water storage. In that episode, we'll be discussing how you can get started collecting and storing water for your household.



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Keith Thomas  14:24

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What Is Situational Awareness?
The Importance Of Being Aware
The Color Code Of Awareness
Being On Alert for Abnormalities and Risks
Using Your Senses
Practicing Situational Awareness