One of the scientific definitions of Situational Awareness is “The perception of elements in the environment within a volume of space and time, the comprehension of their meaning and the projection of their status in the near future.”
In simple terms, Situational Awareness is the process of knowing what is going on around you at all times and having a tentative plan to respond to an abnormal occurrence. Many people consider individuals who practice situational awareness as overly concerned, paranoid, insecure or just scared, none of which are true. Being cognitive of your surroundings and having a tentative plan to respond to abnormal situations is the key to survival and gives you a tremendous advantage when things go bad.
It is important when planning your actions to have these considerations. For example, are you alone, with friends or with your family? In each of these cases, your response to an abnormal situation will be entirely different. Obviously, if you are solo, your actions do not need to be coordinated with anyone else. This will give more options and fewer restrictions when determining your action.
On the other hand, you may be with your family, including children. Clearly, your response to an abnormal situation will be considerably different. In this incidence, you need to predetermine your actions and you may need to inform others in your group of possible actions. Considerations in this environment include how fast they can move, how they will need to be protected, and whether or not they understand directions. This is a far more complex set of action plans, so your situational awareness and prepping need to be implemented earlier rather than later.
For example, if you enter a restaurant with your wife and children, you should choose your seating so you can see the door and see the largest area of the facility. Secondly, you should choose to be as close as possible to an exit in case you need to carry your children out. Finally,...