Monday, March 25, 2019 by Zoey Sky
Preppers don’t stop using their survival skills even when they’re not in their homes or gardens. In fact, preppers are always practicing situational awareness, a skill that’s particularly useful in crowded areas like a shopping mall. (h/t to ModernSurvivalBlog.com)
What is situational awareness?
While other people are relaxed and carefree at the mall, preppers know that they need to keep their eyes and ears open to quickly identify any potential danger. This doesn’t mean preppers can’t relax and have fun – it just means that they’re always aware of their surroundings.
Situational awareness is defined as “having the mindset in which you are constantly evaluating your surroundings for dangerous situations and any potential threats to your safety.” This includes big threats like terrorists, or smaller (but still dangerous) ones like muggers at the grocery store or at the mall parking lot.
As a prepper, you must always practice situational awareness so you can avoid dangerous situations whenever possible.
Personal security tips while shopping
Below is a list of personal security tips that preppers should remember whenever they’re out shopping. The most important tip is to look for “potential trouble out at the peripheries.”
The list below is especially important for women who are often physically smaller compared to men. However, men who lack situational awareness, combined with an appearance of vulnerability, are also at risk of becoming a victim.
- Pay attention to where you’re going. Don’t use your phone while you’re wandering around because this makes you vulnerable to pickpockets or attackers.
- Shop with a companion – or three – because there’s safety in numbers.
- During daytime, park your car away from areas full of other cars. This gives you a better view of your surroundings so you can assess the comings and goings. At night, park closer to the entrance or under or near a light.
- Be aware of your body language. Instead of slouching, keep your shoulders back and your chin up. Looking confident can deter potential attackers.
- Don’t stare straight ahead or look down at your feet while you walk. You won’t notice trouble until it’s too late if you keep your head down.
- Pay attention to your surroundings while you’re walking around. Look farther ahead than your immediate path to observe what’s right around the corner. Take a different path if your gut tells you something’s wrong.
- If a stranger approaches to ask a question, they may be planning something or sizing you up. Keep walking and don’t engage. Don’t worry about hurting a stranger’s feelings, especially if being too polite can make you a victim.
- When you’re exiting a store, predators check your body language for “vulnerability clues.” Always practice situational awareness.
- Choose the safest time of day when planning a trip. Remember, some places that are safe during the day could be dangerous at night.
- While going back to your car, look around and trust your gut. Return to the mall if something doesn’t feel right.
- Don’t rummage in your bag while you’re leaving the store. Keep your keys in your hand while going to your car.
- Never remotely unlock your car until you’re right next to it. Someone could run to open your car door before you reach it.
- Check through the window into the backseat of your car before opening the door.
- Don’t dilly-dally while you’re putting your bags in the car and don’t stay in the parking lot to use your phone after you get in your vehicle.
- Once you’re in your car, lock the doors then go.
- Carry a handgun if it’s legal in your area and practice shooting with it. If you’re attacked, you’re on your own for several seconds. Even if you call for help, the police could take several minutes until they arrive.
- If you carry a defensive weapon or tool other than a gun, practice how to use it. (Related: 5 Everyday items you can use to protect yourself in a dangerous situation.)
- Remember where you parked your car so you don’t waste time wandering between rows looking for it.
- Carry a mini flashlight. Keep it on your keychain so you don’t have to fumble with locks when it’s dark outside.
- If you’re leaning over and strapping your child into a car seat, be on your guard. Someone could sneak up on you to steal your bag while you’re preoccupied.
- Ladies, when you’re done shopping, unlock your car and put your purse in first. If you’re loading bags into your car with your back turned, someone can easily steal your purse from your shopping cart.
- The elderly are often considered easier targets, so keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
- Keep your wallet in your pocket to avoid purse snatchers. If you need to carry a purse, consider a cross-body bag.
Practicing situational awareness will save you a world of trouble. Learn more personal safety techniques at SelfDefense.news.