Situational Awareness Scenarios and Solutions

Situational Awareness Scenarios and Solutions

Situational Awareness Scenarios and Solutions

“Always Be Prepared.”

Whether or not you’re a Boy Scout is irrelevant; that motto is good advice for everyone at all times. Many people take their preparedness and protection into their own hands. The ability to do this the right way is multifaceted. It can include the use of lethal and less-than-lethal force – such as a firearm, pepper spray, or martial arts – and the skills to respond to worst-case scenarios – like being able to render first aid, etc.

Ideally, we don’t ever want to be in one of those scenarios. No sane person wants to be put in a situation where they might be a victim and have to cause bodily harm to someone else in order to protect themselves. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world with perfect people populating perfect places. Sometimes, we find ourselves in places where we’re statistically more likely to be victimized.

“So, just don’t go to those places,” some might say. Sure, we know it’s not wise to walk down dark alleys alone, but it’s not always going to be that easy to spot a location where trouble could crop up.

We’re going to take a look at five places where you might not expect trouble, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take precautions and shouldn’t be prepared to deal with it should the need arise.

Some things will apply to many of the locations we will cover, so let’s go over some basics:

  • Don’t go looking for trouble.
  • Know where the exits are located.
  • Stay off your phone.
  • Trust your gut.
  • Breathe, think, and move. Panic helps no one.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.

OK, now for some locations and things to consider and remember at each of them:


Movie Theater

Your instinct may be to sit in the middle for the optimal viewing experience, but then you’re blocked in by people on either side of you. Instead, sit at the end of a row so that you can easily get down the aisles.

Big Box Store

“Pay attention to the other people in the store. Window-shopping in a big box store is fairly rare, so if you constantly see the same person in different areas and they never have any items in their arms and they don’t have a basket, either, just keep an eye on them or tell an employee.

Take a mental inventory of the store’s layout and identify places that could provide good cover and/or concealment should you need it.

Parking Lot/Garage

Always pay attention to the cars you are going to walk by or you are parked next to. Even if you park close to the door, don’t think that you’re out of harm’s way. Just because it’s a short distance doesn’t mean there can’t be a danger.

It’s also a good idea to park near a lamp or light so that your vehicle is well-illuminated long before you get right up on top of it.


It’s a good idea to sit in the back of crowded areas so that you can keep an eye on everyone around you and most (if not all) of the entrances and exits to the establishment. “Wild Bill” Hickok lived (and died) by this methodology. Find the exits and sit somewhere that enables you to see all of them.

“Green Space” – Parks, Trails, etc

Try not to walk next to large vegetation, such as a bush, that someone could hide behind. It’s also a good idea to walk tall and look people in the eye, making sure they know you see them. Potential attackers are less likely to harass someone who looks them in the eye and looks like they may fight back.

Even if you’re lost, always try to look like you know where you’re going. Carrying yourself with confidence may seem like a simple little thing, but it can help cross you off the list of potential victims.

Carrying Concealed

If you’re going to make a concealed firearm part of your situational awareness and overall preparedness, here are a few ways to ensure your gun stays concealed:

  • Wear a proper cover garment that doesn’t make your gun obvious. Conversely, don’t go overboard – a heavy coat in warm weather will also bring unwanted scrutiny.
  • Make sure you’ve got a good holster. Retention is key at all times. If you have to run, you don’t want to worry about your gun coming out of its holster.
  • Pair your holster with a good belt. A proper belt will be able to handle the added weight of your gun and holster. If you’re constantly having to hike up your pants, then you need a new belt.
  • Stop fidgeting with/touching your gun. If you’ve got a good cover garment, a quality holster, and a rugged belt, then the gun isn’t going anywhere. Touching your gun when it’s concealed can be a giveaway to astute observers.

Never Say Never

No one ever expects to be victimized, and yet it happens, sometimes even to those who are best prepared. So be prepared! Go to the range regularly, take classes in martial arts, and learn how to use a tourniquet and other important aspects of first aid.

Practicing good situational awareness may come across to some people as being paranoid. It’s not. Remind them that they don’t call Boy Scouts paranoid because they’re prepared!

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