The Emergency Survival Manual: 294 Life-Saving Skills
GET THE RIGHT MINDSET
Before you end up in the middle of an accident or disaster, before you ever need a plan, you need to develop the habit of being tuned in at all times to your immediate surroundings. This is called situational awareness, and it’s used by emergency responders and people working in complex—or sometimes hazardous—environments. It’s a kind of relaxed awareness that allows you to recognize any unusual circumstances, hazards, and early stages of problems before they end up evolving into big trouble. Like any other skill, it requires practice, and the best time to use these skills is before problems emerge. When done right, this awareness can change the way that you view the world every day and, in the process, save your life or prevent both large and small issues from catching you by surprise.
2 PRACTICE YOUR AWARENESS
Safety begins with awareness of your environment, but it doesn’t end there. Be ready to act at a moment’s notice. Practice all of the following concepts, regardless of the environment you’re in, and eventually they will become second nature.
BE OBSERVANT Pay attention to the sights and sounds you notice when you are alert and aware.
NOTE THE UNUSUAL Determine any threats based on your own observations, experience, and the feeling that “something’s not right.”
CONSIDER OPTIONS Make your decision based on your training, experience, and circumstances.
TAKE ACTION Let your actions drive the situation and your safety; don’t let the actions of others end up compromising your safety.
KEEP MOVING Don’t panic or fail to act. Mental paralysis could mean the death of you or a loved one.
3 COLOR YOUR PERCEPTIONS
To better understand situational awareness, it’s useful to see it as a scale. More important, you can consciously move up or down the scale as part of stress management or checking in with yourself about how aware you are in the moment. It’s a good exercise to ask yourself occasionally, “What color am I at right now?”
|October 14, 2018
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