Most preppers understand that skills are more important that stuff. But which skills are the important ones? Situational Awareness specifically is one of the key skills that you can develop as a prepper that could potentially save your life.
What is situational Awareness?
For the purposes of prepping and disaster readiness you can define situational awareness as understanding of your current situation and predicting how it may change. In scientific circles it is broken down into 3 progressing levels: Perception, Comprehension and Projection. Perception is simply being aware of your environment. Comprehension is understanding your environment and what is shaping it. Projection is determining what happens next. We should all aim for the highest level of situational awareness in disaster situations.The highest level of situational awareness is predicting what will happen next. Click To Tweet
Although you’ve probably never put a name to it you are likely already using situational awareness regularly. A good example is if you have ever been driving along and just knew another driver was going to cut you off before it happened. This is an example of Projection and the more experience you have with driving and the more you pay attention when you drive the more likely this is to happen.
How is situational awareness useful?
The advantage of situational awareness at the highest level is that it could give you a head start on any situation. It allows you to start reacting before a specific situation starts to play out and this can make all the difference. Lacking situational awareness on the other hand is a primary factor in accidents attributed to human error. Simply said people that are not paying attention or not understanding what they see are more prone to screwing things up.
This skill is not limited to observing people either. If for example you are cutting down a tree with a chainsaw have you taken a moment to look around and be aware of your surroundings? Are you on level ground? Is there wind and if yes in what direction? Are there other people around? Is the tree dead or diseased? Where will the tree fall if cut a specific way? Taking the time to notice and understand these things can make a big difference to your safety and to the safety of people around you.
How do you improve situational awareness?The first step to improving situational awareness is looking up from your phone. Click To Tweet
The first and most important things is to take the time to observe your environment regularly. Become more aware of your surroundings. If you would normally be staring at your phone take a break to look around, become aware of what is occurring around you and try and figure out what will happen next.
Always be on the lookout for things that aren’t normal or seem wrong. Is someone’s behavior off somehow or are they acting inappropriately to the place or situation they are in? Are they somehow uncomfortable? Ask yourself why.
Get comfortable with your tools and how to use them. The more comfortable you are with them the more awareness you can maintain of your surroundings while using them. Don’t get too focused.
Understand your current head space and how it’s effecting your perception and judgement. Are you hungry or tired? Could this be reducing your awareness or pushing you towards incorrect assumptions?
Interested in learning more about situational awareness and how to improve check the links below:
- How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne
- Situational Awareness Exercises
Do you know of other good blogs or articles about situational awareness? Let me know!