Urban Survival Day 18 – Sense Your Surroundings

Posted: March 11, 2013 in Survival/Self Defense
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’ve all seen those people who walk around without a care in the world.  They’re texting or listening to music while walking along between a bunch of strangers.  Sure, its not always dangerous, but there are times when you need to be fully aware of your surroundings.

18)  Sense Your Surroundings

“Situational awareness is key to getting out of tricky scenarios – or, better yet, avoiding them entirely”.  Being able to avoid dangerous situations all together is key to staying safe.  Here are some “rules” you should follow while out and about:

  • Look Around You – “When you turn a corner or enter a room, watch out for potential dangers”.  Keep an eye open for alternate exits or ways out should you need to leave quickly.  Observe peoples’ behaior; people intending to harm or rob you will be acting a little unnatural.  Follow your instincts and if a stuation feels dangerous, leave.
  • Listen To Rumors – My grandmother used to tell us, “Keep your mouth shut and your ears open, and you’ll learn things about everyone”.  Some information you get is going to be false, but never ignore something you hear from a trusted source.  You might get clues about avoiding certain people or places and you should always take these things into consideration.
  • Sense Danger – Our bodies are incredible things.  We’re built with a natural sense for danger and that’s what kept our species growing for thousands of years.  Your nose can smell things like smoke or gas.  Your eyes can spot things that are out of place even when you aren’t trying.  Dangerous situations will most likely trigger one or more of your senses.  Don’t ignore things your body tells you.  For more information, there’s a post over on rmactsc’s blog that covers some of the signs you’re about to be attacked.


Don’t walk around being terrified of everything around you, but don’t sit back and allow yourself to become a victim.

Off to the side of today’s tip there is a box with a quote from the author.  It reads: “Obvious but true: If you don’t stand on a corner where drugs are sold, you’re less likely to be involved in a drug-related shooting.  Every town has its rough spots – stay out of ’em”.

I delivered pizza for several months in a college town.  I know how true the above statement is.  There are areas in every city across the country where seedy things happen.  If you don’t know the ones in your city, stop by your local pizza shop and ask a driver.  They’ll almost certainly have some stories for you.

The content in this post is a combination of my own personal opinions and the information provided by the book Urban Survival Guide by Rich Johnson.

**  Updated on 3/12/13 to include more links and an image  **

  1. Oldschool says:

    Sad but most people have lost the ability to take notice of things around them.

    • nvchad2 says:

      Its true. When I delivered pizzas it seemed like at least one college student each day stepped out in front of me. If I hadn’t been a focused driver, I’m certain I would’ve hit a few. Take some time to look around now and then because it might just save your life one day.

  2. livetoseetomorrow says:

    Agreed oldschool people are too wrapped up in there own little worlds to notice all the big shit goin down around them. This is how the government is getting all these new laws in place because nobody is paying attention

  3. rmactsc says:

    Another excellent post. I always say listen to your gut instincts; if something feels dangerous or unsafe then it likely is.

    • nvchad2 says:

      I think I’m going to update this page later today to include a link to one of the posts you did a little while back about situational awareness. Just gotta try to find it again.

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