Situational Awareness

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I like to park my car where I can see it. Do you? I like to sit in a restaurant where I (or my ex-military husband) has a line of sight of the front door. I like to know where the exits are.

Do you ‘think’ about your surroundings?

Do you park next to a van? That’s been a ‘no no’ for ladies for years. Know why? It’s that big long side door. Too easy to grab and go. You don’t park next to a vehicle full of rowdy teens or those you think might have imbibed due to their driving or someone just sitting in a car. You look in the back seat before you get in the driver’s seat and you look under the car on the way to your car. Always keep your keys in your hand. You’ll have easy access to the unlock, the lock and the alarm. Never unlock your car from far away if there are people present.

Do you park where you not only can see your vehicle but have an easy access to the exit? You don’t want to get blocked in.

Do you pay attention to the cars behind you on your way home? Do you take different routes home and vary your trip routes?

It’s always best to be aware of your surroundings to be safe.

OKC  skyline
OKC skyline

I attended an event this past weekend and part of that event included a ride on the new trolley system in downtown OKC. It was my first time on a trolley. I’ve never been on a commuter train or a subway system but the similarities to tv and film were similar. In fact, during the trip the ‘voice’, not unlike Majel Barrett as the voice of the Enterprise or the voice from the house on Eureka, spoke stops. Next stop Automobile Alley, next stop School of Law… AND “If you see something suspicious notify your driver.”

Whoa. I’d recently seen TWO different movies (including Liam Neeson’s Commuter) where those exact words were spoken. Scenes from those movies as well as Orwellianisms from ‘1984’ popped into my head…

I looked around and while no one seemed suspicious I also noticed that no one else seemed to notice the announcement or simply didn’t take it to heart. Commuters were all chatting with each other, or looking at their phones and seemingly oblivious.

At our stop, we took a brisk walk back to the event and I walked streetside, alongside the parking meters and light poles. Why? The parked cars, the parking meters and light poles are a hindrance to anyone that might attempt a purse snatching. You should never walk alongside the buildings and open alleyways. It makes you too easy of a mark.

1984
1984

Along the walk, I spotted the unusual and the different and kept a wary eye. The homeless type person carrying an overfilled backpack with a broken strap, the smiling man in the hat and overcoat, the kid on the unicycle.

It pays to be aware of your surroundings.

In the country you look around, for snakes on your path or up a fence post.

In the city you pay attention to the people in the crowds and reflections in store windows.

On the road you pay attention to the cars around you, your general whereabouts, where the next exit is, and what cars have been behind you the entire way. You never want to get followed to your home, your street or your neighborhood.

cars in mirror
cars in mirror
Since I live in the country, my mailbox is on the road and not in front of my house. If someone’s been behind me for miles I don’t turn onto my road, I don’t stop at the mailbox, I just keep on going. Sometimes this means going a few miles out of my way. (No neighborhoods to cut through). It’s worth it just to be on the safe side.

No, it’s not paranoia, it’s situational awareness and we should all pay attention to what’s going on around us at home, and when out and about.