Situational Awareness & ThreatCons
- March 12, 2018 at 3:35 pm #16558
PREFACE: John (The Prepared Mind) did a Q&A video this morning, and one of the questions asked was “how do you know when it’s GO time?” John gave some answers but the gist of it (I think) runs down to being aware of what is happening and where it is – are they rioting somewhere else or in your city? And he laughingly said something like “when they’re shooting at you it’s go time”. John just cracks me up haha!
Although his statement is quite true, if your first indication something is amiss is that rounds are snapping and cracking around you it’s probably too late. If you can be in a better security posture and know something is amiss before the shooting starts you can be better prepared to deal with it.
Anyway, it made me think of Situational Awareness and Threat Conditions (ThreatCons) and other measures like DefCons (Defense Conditions). People with military experience will all be familiar with these but others may not and these could be helpful to learn and adopt into your plan and self-defense measures.
So much work has been done on these there is no sense recreating it all here. I will include links and recommend you open each link in a new tab in your browser and go read the article then come back here for the next. So I’ll try to be brief but lets get into it. I’m going to go a bit backwards here so please stay with me, personal Situational Awareness is the most important.
DefCon or Defense Condition
DefCon has five graduated levels of readiness (or states of alert) for the U.S. military. It increases in severity from DEFCON 5 (least severe) to DEFCON 1 (most severe) to match varying military situations.
As of this writing (3/12/18) the current US DefCon level is 5. If you hear of DefCon levels rising you need to start raising you’re own preparedness levels.
REDCON is short for Readiness Condition and is used to refer to a unit’s readiness to respond to and engage in combat operations. There are five REDCON levels. Just note the differences such as “guns manned” and “guns manned and round in chamber” and “vehicles manned” and “vehicles manned and engines started”. These postures indicate are you ready to go right this second or in an hour type of thing and points out differences in readiness for your personal plan, such as wearing your sidearm in your house, to carrying your rifle and going in groups of two or more, etc..
Force Protection (FPCon) or Threat Condition (ThreatCon)
This deals mainly with military bases and terrorist threats. But these can be adapted to your home.
As of this writing (3/12/18) I believe all US bases are at ThreatCon Bravo as a normal day-to-day security posture. Your house should be too!
Situational Awareness (Cooper’s Colors)
Lt Col Jeff Cooper developed a color code system for personal situational awareness, and this is very important to be aware of and to make a part of your daily life. It has 4 steps and goes from white, basically asleep at the wheel and unprepared for anything to red where self-defense is imminent.
Hopefully you went to the links and read through them and now understand these. Add your new knowledge to your planning and daily life and spread the knowledge to those you care about. I want to add some notes for further understanding;
For me and mine our personal situational awareness is essentially always at YELLOW and shifting to ORANGE as situations occur and then back to YELLOW. WHITE is when we are actually asleep and even then a change in environment (noise etc.) will draw a response and upgrade to YELLOW.
Our house is always at ThreatCon Bravo, doors are locked at all times, we are aware, we don’t just open the door if someone knocks, etc. And if someone does knock and we aren’t expecting anyone then we are likely to arm ourselves before opening the door. This is not paranoia, this is prudence.
Another thing I want to note is that someone did a study and found that most people can only shift between one alert state at a time, that is, you can only go from white to yellow, or yellow to orange. You can’t go from white straight to red. It’s too much of a mental jump and adrenaline dump and most people freeze up, or lock up like a computer you just opened 10 programs on. It can’t compute and takes time to get to everything.
An example is an airline crash where people survive but then freeze up and die anyway in the fire. They go from sleepily white, we’re finally landing yay! to RED OMG we crashed! Investigators have determined that in this situation most people will “fall back on their training” or “do what is normal” – they stand up and start collecting their luggage and waiting for the other people to exit. But the plane is on fire! To hell with your luggage! Get out!!! A plane crashed in the UK a few years ago and two women crawled over the seat tops and heads of people just sitting there and got out an emergency window and pulled some others out and then the rest all burned up cause they didn’t ACT and get out. They locked up – they froze.
This is why you have to have your situational awareness and fluidly change as necessary. Be aware. Be prepared to act in advance. Add these things to your plan. Here’s an example – but you have to develop you’re own awareness and responses: Rioting somewhere else? You’re at yellow and not armed inside your own home. Rioting comes to your city? Now you’re at orange and armed in your home and everything secure. Rioting on your street? You set 24/7 guard duty and the guard is wearing body armor and carrying a rifle at all times. Orange ready to go to red. That type of thing. Actually have a plan! it’s easier to have a plan and “fall back on your training” when something happens than having to develop a plan on the spot.
I hope this was helpful. I could not find a link for the study on people freezing up when jumping awareness levels, but will keep looking and add if I find it. Thanks for reading!
PS: Here’s a good article “How to develop the situational awareness of Jason Borne” https://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/02/05/how-to-develop-the-situational-awareness-of-jason-bourne/June 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm #20001
I had to laugh at the title of your referenced article, “How to develop the situational awareness of Jason Bourne”. Who wouldn’t want that!! Awesome, OC. Thank you!
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