SA (Situational Awareness), personal safety, planning, paranoia and the mine field of socially acceptable conflict preparedness Part 2…

Condition Yellow: Relaxed Awareness

So yellow, should be our general day to day level of awareness, in this condition we are being cognisant of what is going on around us, we are relaxed and alerts we are always aware and prepared to escalate to Orange as required.

It is the state that we have accepted that a threat may exist somewhere, but we aren’t sure where, we have no specific point of focus, but we are alert and aware to any possibility, we are ready but not actively preparing, we are in our passive mode.

As we proceed through the day we pay attention to the oncoming person,we see the group of people conversing in a tight group at the petrol station, we are aware of the man in the carpark as we walk to our car. We see the late model Holden, sitting at the side of the road, with a man in the driver’s seat…. You get the idea

But most of all some of our awareness is dedicated outwards, not focused entirely on our internal thoughts, problems, stresses, distractions… some may be, but we retain a modicum of awareness externally, we are making mental notes and we recongise and accept that something sinister may happen today, but we don’t know what it is.

Condition Orange: Focused Awareness

So, if Yellow is our passive SA, the transition to Orange is an active ping.

We have encountered something that has triggered our attention, we have decided that some threat warrants further focus and our SA narrows. While we still want to maintain peripheral awareness, we have identified a potential threat, we now have a specific point of focus…

For example, we are in a bottle shop and a man in one of the aisles slips his hands into his pockets…. We have noticed this and focus more on this man and his actions… we have just switched from yellow to orange. Or as we leave the shopping centre walking towards our car we notice a man leaning on a street light close to our vehicle, possibly in a positing where we will have to walk in close proximity to him, same, yellow to orange.

This transition doesn’t have to be a person, as we walk down a street on a dark night we notice an alleyway running off to the right up ahead, we move further to the left to afford better angular view down the alley and allow more distance between us and the mouth… condition orange, our focus is now directed at something that deserves more attention.

Determining the intent.

It is Orange where we will start to take some evasive action to determine the intent of our potential threat. We cross the road to see what they do, we move to a different location in the bar and observe. If driving we make an unscheduled turn, or possible turn without indicating, all of which are to observe the reaction.

No reaction, they continue on their merry way, orange back to yellow… some response that further heightens our suspicion… possible orange to red.

Contingencies and our trigger

It is also Orange that we expose our mental trigger and commence to make contingency plans. Thinks of it like one of those switches with the red flip guard on them, as we commence our evasive maneuvers, or our intent tests, we are also flipping the guard off the switch, but in this case the switch is our kinetic trigger the point where we act, swiftly, with determination and without hesitation.

We are also formulating tactical contingencies, “If he does x , then I can do Y”. I have these tactical options open to me, the battlespace affords me these opportunities, I can use that furniture as a barrier, I can use that improvised weapon, I have those escape routes, etc.

If we never end up flipping the switch or engaging the trigger, because the threat dissipates, you then deescalate to yellow.

Remember, most predators want to have the element of surprise.

Your being aware of them and them realising that suddenly makes you a harder target and they may seek easier prey.

Part 3, condition Red….

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