by Nick Norris

Annually on September 26th, National Situational Awareness Day is observed to remind the world of its importance. Staying aware of one’s surroundings and environment can vastly improve chances of day-to-day safety for both yourself and others.

Harm can come in many forms, such as oncoming assailants, thieves, or active shooters. Having strong situational awareness skills can go a long way in preventing these dangers as well as many others, and can also help you make wiser decisions in general. Being mindful of the surrounding world will often help you spot threats beforehand, giving you time to react and defend yourself.

Disregard for situational awareness is often identified as a leading reason for incidents involving attacks or human error. This is one of the many reasons such a strong emphasis is put on situational awareness skills in military and law enforcement training. For our nation’s heroes, possessing strong skills in this area is a must, as something as miniscule as taking a step in the wrong direction can lead to death in heated situations.

In many cases, certain warning signs will pop up before a dangerous situation emerges. These can include someone walking uncomfortably close, acting abnormally nervous, or keeping their hands tucked away in pockets.

Humans are naturally cautious creatures. When a foreseeable danger is near, someone practicing good situational awareness skills may sense it beforehand. When in these situations, there are certain ways you can protect yourself.

For instance, if a woman feels as though she is being followed by a threat, she would be wise to have 9-1-1 dialed on her phone and ready to call. Another simple precaution to take could be to carry a small container of pepper spray in a purse or attached to a keychain to defend an assailant with.

Pepper spray can be purchased online or at most convenience or outdoors stores.

Being prepared for dangerous scenarios and knowing how to react is one of the most important aspects of good situational awareness skills.

In today’s world, gun violence committed by deranged or sick-minded individuals is a serious threat. Carrying a concealed weapon can be a smart way to defend yourself and help others. Having an efficient method of defense such as a legal firearm might be one’s best bet if they were to ever find themselves in a dangerous scenario.

Earlier this month, a woman in Houston, Texas was attacked by five male suspects who attempted to rob her. Luckily, Lachelle Hudgins was a responsible gun owner, and had her firearm with her. She noticed the men lingering around suspiciously about 20 yards away.

Hudgins claims the men then approached her car and tried to reach for her purse through the window.

“I couldn’t do anything except scream,” Hudgins told KTRK-TV. “At one point, they told me to stop screaming.”

Hudgins proved she could do more than scream though, as she pulled a handgun from her purse and fired two rounds at the men. One of the men were hit, while the others ran away.

“I saved my life,” Hudgins went on to say.

Hudgins’s story is inspiring, providing proof that having good situational awareness skills can save one’s life and could do the same for others.

Of course, there are many precautions that should be understood and taken seriously when considering to carry. Some basic tips on owning and carrying a weapon safely can be found here.

One of the most important methods of defense every citizen has is the resource of local law enforcement. Police have stopped countless assailants and accidents before they ever happen. Numerous personal attacks and robberies have been prevented or resolved thanks to the hard work done daily by law enforcement.

If you find yourself in a situation that feels uneasy or dangerous, call 9-1-1 immediately. It is arguably one of the greatest and most useful resources Americans have at their disposal. If there is even an inkling of danger, be alert and call emergency services. Someone will be happy to stay on the line with you until safety is reached.

To ensure your own safety as well as the well-being of the people around you, keep a mindful eye on your environment. You can also help educate others about the importance of National Situational Awareness Day by passing this article along to someone you care about.