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The Importance of Situational Awareness During Unrest


In times of civil unrest, situational awareness becomes a critical skill. Whether you find yourself in a protest, a riot, or any other form of social upheaval, being aware of your surroundings can mean the difference between safety and danger. Let’s explore why situational awareness matters and how you can cultivate it by training with Tharros Security Solutions.

What Is Situational Awareness?

Situational awareness refers to the ability to perceive and understand what is happening around you. It involves being attuned to your environment, recognizing potential threats, and making informed decisions based on the situation at hand. Here’s why it matters during unrest:

1. Early Detection of Danger

Being situationally aware allows you to spot signs of trouble before they escalate. Whether it’s an aggressive crowd, a sudden change in atmosphere, or the presence of law enforcement, your awareness gives you a head start in responding appropriately.

2. Adaptability

Unrest is unpredictable. Situational awareness enables you to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. You can adjust your route, seek shelter, or avoid risky areas based on real-time information.

3. Personal Safety

Your safety is paramount. Situational awareness helps you identify safe zones, escape routes, and potential hazards. It also allows you to assess whether you should prepare to defend yourself from a violent attack.

How to Cultivate Situational Awareness

Now that we understand its importance, let’s explore practical steps to enhance your situational awareness:

1. Stay Informed

Keep an eye on news updates, social media, and official channels. Understand the purpose of why groups are gathering, their location, and any potential risks they might present. Consider subscribing to an organization that specializes in navigating political, social, and economic upheaval like Forward Observer. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions.

2. Observe Your Surroundings

Pay attention to the surrounding environment. Notice exits, emergency services, and the behavior of those around you. Are people tense? Is there a visible police presence? Avoid being in condition white, unaware of what’s going on around you.

3. Use All Your Senses

Situational awareness isn’t just visual. Listen for sirens, shouts, or unusual sounds. Be aware of changes in the air (such as tear gas). Feel for vibrations or movements in the ground. Engage all your senses to be on the lookout for potential threats and the source of these threats.

4. Maintain a 360-Degree View

Don’t focus solely on what’s in front of you. Continuously scan your surroundings. Look up, down, and behind as threats can come from any direction. Be aware of groups of people dressed similarly. Are the individuals wearing a mask or covering their faces?

5. Assess Crowd Dynamics

Understand crowd behavior. Are people peaceful, agitated, or confrontational? Are there leaders or influencers? Recognize patterns and anticipate shifts in the crowd.

6. Trust Your Gut

Intuition matters. If something feels off, act on it. Your subconscious mind often picks up on cues that your conscious mind misses. It’s best to listen to your “gut” and escape a situation than to ignore it and find yourself in a dangerous situation.

7. Limit Distractions

Smartphones and other devices can cause us to focus our entire attention on a 3-inch circle in front of us, making us oblivious to the surrounding environment. Put your phone away.

8. Have an Exit Plan

Once you have identified a dangerous situation, you have 5-30+ seconds to escape the situation.  Identify escape routes and safe places, and be ready to move when necessary.

9. Stay Calm

Fear can cloud your judgment. Breathe deeply and stay calm, as panic hinders situational awareness and puts you in danger.

10. Learn from Experience

Reflect on past situations where you have experienced heightened awareness. What worked? What didn’t? Use those lessons to improve your awareness.


Situational awareness isn’t just about survival; it’s about thriving in challenging environments. By honing this skill, you empower yourself to navigate potentially dangerous situations with confidence to protect you and your loved ones.

Remember: Tharros Security Solutions is here to address your safety and security needs. Contact Us to start your situational awareness journey. Stay vigilant, stay safe!





Disclaimer: This blog provides general advice and should not replace professional guidance. Always follow local laws and regulations during civil unrest.

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