Situational Awareness in Transitional Spaces

Most attacks occur in what is called transitional spaces.  These are places where you are transitioning from one environment to another and where the attacker can easily come and go.  Examples would be parking lots, convenient stores, gas stations, elevators, and bus or train stations.  When you are in these spaces, as many of us regularly are, you need to be aware of potential threats in order to respond properly and reduce your risk.  These are a few things to keep in mind when you are in a transitional space.

Transportation station

Having your face in your phone, especially with ear buds in, is not only keeping you from noticing a potential threat, but it is also advertising that you a commonly targeted item for theft.  Put your phone away, keep your eyes up and on the entrances, exits, and any people in your area.

Convenient stores

In most cases, you, as a customer, will not be the target of the attack in the convenient store.  But that alone will not keep you safe.  Allow other customers to pay before you, so that you do not have your back them.  If someone enters, face them and take note of their appearance and behavior.  If they are dressed unusually (so as to conceal their face or hide a weapon) or are behaving nervously, then either pay quickly or just put your would-be purchases down and leave.  Even if you are armed, it is not a good idea to stay in a situation that you have reason to believe will become lethal unless you have to.

Parking lots

Parking lots are not fun.  So if someone, or a group, is hanging out in a parking lot it is unlikely that they are there because they are having good clean fun.  If you are returning to your car and you see someone or a group that makes you nervous, don’t ignore them or the way they make you feel.  Your survival is not a political correctness competition; you will receive no points for putting yourself needlessly in danger.  If you have to, pass your vehicle, or turn around.  Better safe than sorry.  It is easier when you are still in your car.  Do not park somewhere that makes you nervous, if you see questionable people that could be threat, keep driving.


Do not ignore someone, or a group, that you think could be a threat, they will not disappear because you keep walking with your head down, or sit there staring at your phone.  Stay aware of your surroundings.  While staying alert will not stop all attacks, it will decrease the chances that you are attacked and increase you ability to properly respond to the attack if it happens.



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