If you’ve never heard of situational awareness before, now is the time to start listening up. Situational awareness can make the difference between life and death in many hazardous and dangerous scenarios which you may be faced with; therefore it is essential that you keep yourself “in the know” when it comes to situational awareness. Keep reading for some awesome tips on increasing your situational awareness for beginners!

As a beginner, you will find that following the OODA method is very effective and easy to remember. What does OODA stand for? See below:

Observe

Always observe your surroundings when entering a new environment. Be on the lookout for suspicious looking people, and always be ready to act if something happens. Plan your escape or think about what you’ll do next if a certain scenario arises. Observation is the first and most important point in the OODA method.

Orient

If you are going to school or work, observe the people that surround you and watch the way they act. After a period of time, a pattern should begin to emerge. This is called a “baseline” or an expected pattern of behavior for people in any given environment. Orient yourself with the different types of baselines in different places, and you’ll be sure to notice any strange behavior or something which breaks from the “expected” pattern of behavior. Pay attention to people who exhibit behavior which is oddly out of place – a nervous looking man, sweating in an air-conditioned room, etc.

Decide

Establish your goals and action plans, and think about the best possible way to handle the situation. If you’ve already taken notice of entrances and exits in the establishment, plan your best escape route in the event of a robbery or shooting. Indecision can sometimes directly lead to injury or death, so always have a solid plan in mind and execute once the timing is right.

Act

This is where all of your situational awareness response training will come into play. The time to act is where you will learn that the OODA method which you worked on for so long will save your life in the end. As a beginner, try your best to practice these steps and even go ahead and enhance them by incorporating additional skills. Hopefully this article assisted your learning agenda and you are now ready to face any challenges that come your way.