A car is approaching at high speed. One second after, you hear the wheels rolling over bodies that collapse right next to you.
You hear shotgun fires, and you see people running in despair around you. You don’t know where the danger comes from, and you can’t see your way out of this.
You’re trapped in the middle of a human turmoil that sweeps you and flows against your will.
How are you going to make it out? How are you going to survive?
The answer is simple but tricky: it’s not only the immediate actions that save you but what you should have done before.
Safety Becomes Obsolete
When things turn sideways like they recently did in various parts of the country, you need to understand and accept that there is no safe place. Nobody – especially the government – is going to save you. Holding out an unrealistic hope that there is a safe place or that others will take care of you will cause you to perish.
It is up to you to find a way to survive, facing a danger that you could hardly anticipate in a matter of seconds.
Power in Numbers?
Crowded areas and military outposts, if these even exist, will be fraught with danger. Crowds and overcrowded spaces can pose a considerable threat to your safety and even your survival in any disaster or chaotic situation.
Look at what happened in New Orleans, Louisiana, during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There was mass looting, assaults, sexual assaults, murders, and even police officers who shot and killed some of the people in a group of survivors who were crossing Danziger Bridge trying to find help.
Experts have found that 3 out of 4 people become so bewildered or overwhelmed that they are mentally paralyzed in almost any life-threatening or survival situation. They cannot act in their own best interest when it comes to staying alive and surviving.
Another 10% will be extremely dangerous because they will lose it and freak out, putting everyone in their vicinity at high risk of danger.
Only around 15% of individuals will stay calm and analyze the situation rationally. Would you be one of them?
Why are crowds so dangerous despite the large number of people they include?
- A large number of people together could make the entire area or group much more noticeable or attractive to people looking for an easy score. This will attract other groups who may want to harm you or take what you need to survive.
- Rioting could break out and leave you open to attack.
- In a disaster or other chaotic event, large groups could attract military or law enforcement attention, and you could end up in a deadly situation that you can’t get out of if these groups see you and others with you as a threat.
- Large numbers of people you do not know dramatically increase the danger because any one of them could become unhinged or dangerous at any time. You could quickly become targeted for theft, assault, or even something worse.
- A crowd can quickly go from calm to a full stampede in very little time. If you get caught up in a large mob, you could end up trapped or even crushed to death by the force of the crowd.
- When your life depends on keeping a low profile and avoiding unnecessary attention, the last place you want to be is in a crowd of people. Stay isolated and avoid crowds and crowded areas whenever possible if you’re going to stay safe!
The simplest definition of situational awareness is to be completely aware of everyone and everything around you, paying close attention to even minor details that many people would miss. When you are aware of all the essential elements of a situation, you are far less likely to be caught by surprise or in danger.
Identify all the critical elements of the situation, process this information calmly, and then comprehend how this could impact you.
If you see some men fighting down the block or a large mob gathered, you can avoid the situation and protect yourself from any danger. If you are walking along in your little world, you could enter a hazardous situation.
You need to know where you are, what is going on around you, and how to escape the situation in the fastest way possible if this becomes necessary.
Practicing situational awareness can seem like a game while training you for almost any survival or disaster situation. Make a habit of really paying attention to your surroundings and other people, taking note of even small details like the color of a building or what a person ahead of you in line is wearing.
After paying attention to your situation, close your eyes and remember what you have seen and experienced. What color was that woman’s dress? Where are the two exits closest to you in the building? As you practice, you will be able to answer these types of questions faster because you will pay more attention to detail from the beginning.
Look around you and try to find things that seem out of the ordinary or abnormal in some way. If it is 100 degrees outside yet a man is wearing a trench coat or oversized jacket, this can be a red flag.
If a woman is standing still on a street corner and is holding a cigarette with long ash but does not take a puff, this is unusual. Someone who is profusely sweating while staying still when it is cold out would be suspicious.
When you first enter any building, always make a mental note of the exits, especially those closest to you.
Look at the people around you, determine what they do, where they are headed, and their thinking. This will help you pay closer attention to every detail about that purpose, and over time you will become more observant in a shorter time.
Visualize an emergency, such as a mass shooter or a bomb explosion, and practice what you would do in your head. This is similar to visualization, and it can be very beneficial for this type of situational awareness training.
Predator vs. Prey or Alpha vs. Beta
All animals fall into one of two categories: predator or prey, namely those who kill to survive and those killed for food. What the predator versus prey mentality means in a survival situation? Being prey means being a victim and the possibility of not surviving. Animals can’t choose the category they belong to, but you can turn from target to predator if you train your skills and mindset well enough to make the swipe from one category to another.
Today the word predator is associated with negative things, but in a survival situation, a predator survives while prey usually does not. Look inside yourself, then decide: are you prey or the predator?
Another way to look at it is by using alpha and beta models instead of predators and prey. The predator is an alpha, a top dog. Someone dominant that others look up to and want to be like.
Prey is a beta follower instead of a leader and who is submissive to others. Alphas always tend to come out on top in any situation, while betas rarely do. If you want to survive, then you need to become an alpha, a predator.
If people around you see you as weak, they’ll try to take advantage of this weakness, and this threatens your survival when things become more primitive, and everyone is for themselves.
How to awake and train you alpha senses
- Project confidence. This is different from being cocky or aggressive. When you are confident in your skills and abilities, this shows, and others pick up on it. Kill off negative thoughts that erode your confidence before these thoughts can take root and grow. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations.
- You need to be psychologically dominant to stay alive because this can prevent danger in the first place. This means refusing to submit and letting others know that you will do what is necessary if push comes to shove.
- Use body language to your advantage. Foes may be able to tell just from your stance, your facial expressions, and another primary body language whether you will put up any resistance. If you seem like an easy target, you are more likely to be engaged by an enemy.
- Assume an aggressive or fighting stance with your feet placed apart for stability. Stand up straight and look the opponent directly in the eyes.
- Learn to adapt to any environment or situation. Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses, and then minimize the shortcomings you have while maximizing your strengths.
- Practice persistence, even if you initially fail. Predators never give up, and neither should you. Set a challenging goal, such as walking 2 miles with a 40-pound pack, and then be persistent in trying to meet it. Eventually, you will reach this goal, and you will learn the value of patience while your confidence goes up.
- Practice situational awareness and mindfulness. Prey goes through life blindly, hoping that they will not come across a predator. An alpha will pay attention to details and everything in their environment to fully understand the situation and respond appropriately to any threat.
When your life is on the line, safety is just an illusion while everything is out of control. Feeling safe will make you let your guard down. You will become vulnerable and open to attack.
Don’t become a victim or put your survival at risk with a false sense of security. Train your mind and your skills to overcome the danger and survive!