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Awareness is Key

Awareness is Key

Being proactive in your personal security and safety of your loved ones requires constant and sufficient knowledge, planning, and application. Knowledge being the information about the subject of inquiry. Planning being the ability to understand the procedures or methods to achieve your objective. Application is in the relevance of how it pertains to your environment and lifestyle. What are the day-to-day routines of you and your loved ones? What is the environmental baseline of your street, neighborhood, and city? What crimes are most likely to occur in your neighborhood based on previous incident history? How is the security for your neighborhood? What do the neighboring houses look like in regard to Security. Penetrability and vulnerabilities? Penetrability being defined as the ability to be penetrated or entered, while vulnerabilities are defined as the weak points in your structure or environment [home] that increases risk whether that be overtly or indirectly. Overtly being the only house on your street with visual indications of security measures [motion sensor lights. security cameras, ect]. While an indirect vulnerability would be leaving entry points that should be locked, unlocked and/or unattended to.

Understanding your Baseline

When observing your environment, it is crucial you notice the common times of traffic and the common types of vehicles that move through your neighborhood. It is also important to notice who frequently visits your neighborhood and their role if obvious (neighboring relative, romantic partner, friend, business/co-worker). Learn to recognize re occurring faces, and vehicles and determine if there is a correlation to the time of day and day of the week the encounters occur.

Understanding the Bad Guy

In situational awareness it is also imperative one understands the bad guy. The bad guy being defined as the one we are fortifying ourselves against. If you were the intruder, how would you break into your home? Where would you watch your home from to witness, learn, and exploit the weaknesses/vulnerabilities to initiate a successful attack. Are you capable of defeating yourself or someone more skilled than you? Skilled being defined as violence of action.

Understand the "bad guy's" goal is to not only successfully prepare and execute an attack, but also to exploit their success.

If we look at John Boyd's O.O.D.A Loop. Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. and apply it to the "bad guy's" we will see that first the person of interest must observe the target by collecting intel on the target's vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Then they will Orient themselves into a position of advantage in order to execute the attack. Then they will decide to attack by confirming the event is secure. Secure being defined as no new information is gathered before the event that would compromise the success. Then if everything is in accordance, they will Act by initiating the event/attack.

Awareness through Preframing

Through Preframing we are able to consistently develop a possible baseline for the environment we will be in. This may be as simple as visualizing what is to be expected upon arrival to the location, or as detailed and thorough as an Advance depending on the need, objective, and role you may be functioning in. For example, if one is going to the mall, one may simply "imagine" what they should find at the mall {People, Lines, Food Courts, Shopping Outlets, etc.}. yet, if one is going to a foreign area, it may be wise to gather intel through open sources (the internet, social media platforms, word of mouth which includes, cellular communication {texting, email, telephone}

Preframing allows us to enter our environment aware and prepared to receive new information as we cross reference what is expected against what is presented.

Do they match?

What does the new information tell us?

What are the risk?

What are your capabilities to deal with the risk?

Note: one should often account for possible risk during the preframe. Possible being defined as the most probable event to occur based on your day-to-day routine, environments, and role.

The Big Picture

Understanding the Environmental baseline and its potential risk will able you properly identify viable measures of reaction. One of my mentor's instructors once told him, "what you don't know will hurt you>" that statement remains true today. At the end of the day, it is our responsibility to keep ourselves safe until the appropriate authorities are able to gain control of the situation. This may mean acquiring the basic skillset needed to sustain one's injuries that may be common for the environment based on previous history (assaults, stabbings, shootings,) Remember, it does take a moment for the proper authorities to arrive on scene and that time clock starts the moment the first 9-1--1 call is made, so the sooner that call is made the sooner you start the process to get the proper people to gain and maintain positive control through appropriate de-escalation procedures.

Still, our safety is on us until help arrives.

Be The Hero You Would Want to Save You.

Be Kind, Stay Deadly

Eclipse Protection Inc.

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