Maintaining Your Situational Awareness

Posted: September 10, 2014 in SHTF Preparedness

As preppers, we hear a lot about OPSEC and how to maintain security around homes and shelters, but very rarely do we hear anything about maintaining situational awareness. As we move around our busy lives, we are bombarded with 10 seconds sounds bites and 30 seconds snippets of what passes for news today. If we are lucky we get the chance 2 or 3 days a weeks to sit down and watch the evening news. Or even luckier we get a chance to read a newspaper or week old magazine trying to digest the events of day. Given that, it’s no wonder that most of fail to grasp the events of the day or even what those events mean to our situation.


We all have heard the old adage of “take time to smell the roses”, perhaps you should take time to read a newspaper, either online or the old fashion way of in print. In 2011 there were just 1,382 left in the US. The days of news print are fading however, some papers are making the transition to an electronic media. So there is no reason why we can’t take time out of our busy day to read a news article in-depth and begin to form your own option on a subject. This will also provide you a more in-depth look of the issue that will provide you the details that the drive-by media can’t provide you in a 30 second story.

As you are reading the article keep in mind that you are trying to pull out facts and not the writers or reporters option. You are searching for the four “W’s” – What, When, Where and Why and How.

  • What is the article about?
  • When did the event happen?
  • Where did the event take place?
  • Why did the event happen?
  • How did the event happen?

Once you get in the practice of pulling out the facts from the article, you will be able to wade through the writers and reporters options and increase your awareness of the subject or event.   And once you get into the habit a searching for the facts, you will realize just how much of the “News” is really just someone else option or filler.

Pay Attn

Another good way to gain another perspective is to read foreign news. Both foreign newspapers and news site will present another angle on the event or story. The foreign news agencies will most likely have the same issues with options and their government’s propaganda points of view, but if you again try to “data mine” for facts, you will be surprised by the amount of facts you can learn and the amount of information that is missing from our daily news.

Another place to get information and facts are the other than mainstream news sites. These sites can offer up a more in-depth look at the event or story and can take the time to ensure that the information is factual. However, on the flip side they can also weight down the story with personal options, inaccurate facts and conclusions, and try to persuade you the reader to their point of view. Again, read the story keeping in mind that you should be data mining the article for the facts. However, a word of caution, not all conspiracy theories are wrong, you must perform your own assessment of the facts.

Hopefully by now you have been armed with some facts, now it’s time to begin your own assessment. Performing your assessment is very important step in gaining situational awareness. We perform assessments very day in our lives. Is safe to walk in that area, do we need to put more money in the checking account, which restaurant has the best food? By performing these assessments in our daily lives we check ourselves safe, happy and fed.

Check out the facts your have gather. If you are reading or hearing the same thing form more than one source, and the stories are similar chances are the facts are true. Then again, if you are reading one lone account of the event, don’t discount the story as being false. Sometimes the one report may have an inside source or be really close to the event and can give some eyewitness statements that other news agencies have. Remember, not all conspiracy theories are wrong, some have been proven to be correct.

Once you have performed your own assessment it’s time to begin draw your conclusion. You must weigh the facts. Which source do you put the most trust in? Which source has a better track record? How much personal knowledge do you have of the subject? How much research have you conducted?

Once you are satisfied that you have enough facts, put your time in doing your research and have conducted your assessment, now you will have gain an awareness of the subject and thus gain situational awareness.

I know this sounds like a lot of work and in the beginning it is, however if situational awareness is important to you, then this is the practice you should do. Of course, all this changes after the SHTF…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s