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Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Florida has weathered more than its share of tragedies as of late. While these recent unfortunate incidents were centered on the Orlando area, it is possible that such things could happen anywhere. While we mourn the victims, this series of incidents should also serve to underscore the fact that it is important to always be aware of your personal safety and the safety of your loved ones.
The biggest part of maintaining personal safety is always being aware of your surroundings. Another major factor is also knowing what to do if an emergency situation should occur. In our roles as Boca Raton personal injury lawyers we have seen many cases in which harm could have been prevented with advance preparation of this nature. In today’s blog post, we’ll go over some tips for improving your sense of situational awareness and ways to handle crisis situations should they occur.
Staying Alert and Aware
A sense of situational awareness doesn’t mean living in paranoia. In fact, that’s exactly the sort of thing that these acts of violence are intended to inspire, and it is important to not fall into that trap. It is possible, however, to heighten your sense of alertness and take sensible precautions when warranted without having to be in a state of suspicion all day long.
So what are some things you can do to heighten your sense of situational awareness and improve your personal security?
- Practice noticing the little details around you in the places you regularly pass through, even at home. You’ll then be more likely to notice small changes that are out of the ordinary, which can be a sign that something is wrong. This is especially important in noticing people who seem out of place or are acting in a way that is inconsistent with what someone in their surroundings would normally be doing. This will also help to prevent injury and accidents by noticing unsafe situations before they can cause a problem. While this might seem like a simple thing, the temptation to constantly be on a mobile phone or tablet causes people to sometimes completely lose sight of what’s going on around them.
- Account for your online presence, and what information is available in public about you. In an age where you are constantly encouraged to share details about your personal life on social media, it’s easy to unknowingly create a detailed profile of your daily movements and habits over time. This in turn opens the door to criminals, stalkers and other people with bad intent to take advantage of you. Take some time to look over your online public accounts and see exactly what information is out there and who it’s available to. And if you have kids, it’s doubly important to do this on their behalf as well.
- Think in advance about the course of your day, and when you might be entering situations in which you are relatively more vulnerable. One example would be if you park in a large parking garage or lot that does not have a security patrol or good lighting, and have to walk a distance through it late at night when no one else is around. This is a heightened place of vulnerability where anyone could potentially be at risk, though a person walking alone carrying obvious valuables like a laptop case or a purse will be at significantly more risk. As tragedies in Florida and elsewhere have shown, however, being in a crowd doesn’t represent automatic safety either. Ask yourself if any large gatherings you are going to represent an attractive target to people looking to perform an attack, and if so what you can do to be best prepared for the eventuality.
Being Prepared for Emergencies
Though the possibility is remote, what would you do if you suddenly found yourself in a mass shooting situation? Experts counsel that your natural instinct to run away is usually the right one. But if that’s not possible, the first priority should be to take cover and hide. Only try to fight if there are no other options and there is a safe opening, like a pause in the firing while the shooter reloads. If you can safely flee the scene, seek other groups of people who are at a safe distance or police officers. Getting yourself to a place of safety should always be the first priority before calling for help, however.
While government agencies and private businesses do have a legal obligation to warn people of hazards on public property that they manage, the recent case with the alligator at Disneyworld demonstrates that posted warnings aren’t adequate protection 100% of the time. It is important to be aware of possible environmental dangers that you may not be warned about. For example, in this case, one should always be aware that Florida is chock full of alligators and that they frequently infiltrate even man-made bodies of water on private property.
While some of this information may seem simple from the safety of your home or office, in an emergency situation you will likely lose the ability to think clearly to some degree, so it really helps to review strategies ahead of time so that they are easier to recall in the moment. If you’ve been injured by an unfortunate situation, please contact your Boca Raton Injury Lawyers at (561) 777-7700.