Awareness = the state or condition of being aware; having knowledge; consciousness.
When you are at the grocery store, do you know who has just joined you in the aisle? Do you think the woman who left her purse in the cart, while checking coupons, in the cereal aisle, is aware of people near her? Just think how far she has to walk away from her cart, before she makes her final decision.
Situational Awareness = ”is the act of paying attention to what’s currently going on around you, understanding how it affects you, and using that information to make decisions and take action if needed”, per Ron Bergeron, in an article from the US Concealed Carry Association. Bergeron adds details to explain the definition, and then outlines Jeff Cooper’s Awareness Codes.
For more information on Jeff Cooper and his Color Code of Awareness go to our blog post “Jeff Cooper’s Color Code of Awareness”.
In an article from the US Concealed Carry Magazine, Tom Givens, owner of Rangemaster firearms training school in Memphis, stated, “Alertness and awareness are not innate behavior traits” for most.” ”It takes practice to become more aware of your surroundings, whether you’re cooking, driving, or trying to keep your family safe.” Givens cites easy-to-do exercises for you to become more aware of what you see.
One awareness exercise is similar to the game our kids played when we would be travelling by car. At first the girls had to count the red cars. Later, they had to tell us what state the car was licensed in. They had to pay attention.
Givens suggested that you glance at a car as it goes by. Without checking your mirrors, can you describe it? What about the people you that are shopping near you? Can you remembering anything about anyone? How many houses are in your block? At this point, you are probably saying, “I don’t really care how many houses are on my block.” Remember this is just an exercise in becoming more aware of your surroundings. Do you know if people are walking near you? How many? Have they been near you for a while?
Givens cites the reason for awareness training: “By taking the time to train yourself to become more aware of your surroundings, you’ll naturally start paying more attention to them within a few weeks, decreasing your chances of becoming a victim, should the unexpected occur.”
BE SAFE! BE AWARE!