Like most large metropolitan areas, San Antonio, Texas has its share of crime, both major and minor. Throughout San Antonio and other large cities, individuals become victims of crime on a daily basis. No one is immune to crime. However, anyone can take steps to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim by increasing their situational awareness.
Situational awareness is defined as the process of recognizing a threat and taking steps to avoid the threat. Some people are very attuned to their surroundings. They seem to recognize danger signals and take the necessary actions to avoid calamities. Unfortunately, the majority of folks usually operate in a state of relaxed awareness. They seem to stumble about their daily lives oblivious to their surroundings.
Unlike the civilian population, military and law enforcement professionals always seem to possess a heightened sense of awareness. It is a by-produc t of their jobs. They are apt to be inserted into a life-threatening situation at a moment’s notice and have to be on their toes, anticipating the enemy or a criminal’s every move. Their increased situational awareness is a result of months and years of training. They know that any mis-step can cost them or another soldier/police officer his or her life.
John or Jane Q. Public can take steps to increase their situational awareness. However, they must first change their outlook and perceptions: when walking to the corner store at night, should he walk along a well-lit and traveled street or cut through the darkened alley?; should he wait for the bus next to the corner bar or by the senior citizen’s center?; while giving directions to an ostensibly lost and bewildered driver, should she stay to the far side of the front right passenger door?; should she run in the most isolated part of the park’s jogging trails? These are all instances where a good grasp of the tenets of situational awareness may prevent a tragedy.
Situational awareness can also be applied to non-criminal environments: at a hotel, one should always count the number of doors from their room to the stairwell in the event of a fire; on a plane, one should be aware of the number of rows to the nearest emergency exit; at home, one should be aware of the location of fire extinguishers.
If one practices situational awareness in every aspect of their lives, the chances of becoming a victim of crime or getting engulfed in a personal tragedy are greatly decreased.