How honing situational awareness skills could save lives

What can we learn from what happened in Las Vegas?

How keen is your situational awareness?  When you walk into a building do you immediately look for alternate exits?  Do you think about how you'll get out in an emergency?
 
Lori O'Neill thinks about it all the time.  She owns Alternative Defense Strategies and teaches people what to do in situations of workplace violence.  But her lessons apply anywhere. 
 
"First and foremost when you arrive you should look around for where your exits are," O'Neill says. 
 
You can protect yourself in crowded public spaces by being aware and studying your surroundings, including people nearby. 
 
"I would keep my eye on what was happening around me and you can do that and still have a good time, it doesn't have to be a panicky mindset, it's just being aware," O'Neill says. 
 
She says get your eyes away from being glued to your phone. 
 
"When we're looking down at our phone we're not seeing what's around us which makes us more likely to be a victim," she says. 
 
There are also ways to position yourself for safety. 
 
"You might want to think about going to the side of the stage the periphery because if you have to run if you have to evacuate you're able to do so without getting trampled," O'Neill says. 
 
Most importantly make it a habit to go over "What If" scenarios in your head and how you would react because if you're aware, you're ready to act.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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