Situational awareness has long been a fundamental tenet of self-defense, especially for those of us who carry firearms. After all, having a top-shelf gun on your hip, and possessing the skills to use it effectively, will mean little if you allow someone to sneak up behind you and whack you on the head with a tire iron.
All of us who carry should keep that in mind. Being constantly (and actively) aware is absolutely essential. If you keep your attention focused on everything that is happening around you, it is less likely that you will be caught off guard. Note: Being buried in your smart phone, texting or looking at cat videos is not a good tactical plan.
Hurricane Harvey illustrated another reality: that danger can come from a variety of sources. The devastation that the hurricane caused means that, even after the rains finally stop, it will be many months before things return to any semblance of normality, especially for residents of Houston.
We are often impressed with the way that hurricanes, floods, wildfires and tornados result in some of the most heroic and selfless acts of courage by both first responders and everyday folks. Harvey was no different, with numerous videos showing neighbors and even complete strangers helping those in need.
Unfortunately, however, in the wake of natural disasters, we occasionally see an uglier side of human behavior — that which can turn a bad situation into an even worse one. Having your house damaged or destroyed is traumatizing enough, but finding that someone has violated your personal space in order to profit from your misery is simply infuriating.
Depending on the climate where you live, take whatever preemptive steps you deem appropriate to protect yourself and your home from potential threats. Non-perishable food, water and ammo are also a good idea for your home and your car (you could get stranded). But don’t stop there.
At one time or another, most of us have heard some variation on the saying, “Always have a Plan B.” Special forces operators and military veterans would add, “…and a Plan C.” They will attest to the fact that no matter how meticulously you put together your Plan A, things on the ground will invariably change the dynamics … and seldom for the better. Give some thought to a backup plan (e.g. “What if we have to evacuate?”).
Chaos and disruption can come from a variety of causes. Knowing what is going on in your state, your city and even your neighborhood is a really good idea. The increasingly violent “protests” that have popped up across the nation should serve as a warning. Staying informed about such events can help you when creating your own “Plan B.”
A perfect example is what happened last Sunday. While most of the nation was watching the coverage of Hurricane Harvey, in Berkley, California (no surprise), “dueling” protestors got into violent confrontations with each other. Half a dozen people were injured, including some police officers, and 13 people were arrested.
It is clear that we live in a completely unpredictable world. From natural disasters to riots, it is virtually impossible to predict what you might encounter, which is why always being armed is simply common sense, even when merely running to the store for a carton of eggs. You just don’t know when you’re walking into something ugly.
So be ready. For anything. At all times.