Survival begins long before you step out the door of your home, office or car. YOU must prepare yourself in order to survive. Failure to understand the dynamics of armed confrontations may become a matter of life or death. We must put ourselves in touch with the reality of violence. Being shot at…Exchanging gunfire…Hearing shots…Seeing death may cause you to under-react, over-react or not act at all during a violent encounter. You should always be aware of the dynamics of a critical incident. Keep in mind the following:
- How fast are things happening?
- What is the violence level?
- How prepared are you…MENTALLY?
The reality of an encounter exists, but being prepared can help prevent a violent encounter. It has been said, “Things seldom happen when you’re fully prepared for them”. Always having a plan, possessing an attitude that stresses anticipation and the use of the following tactics are the greatest tools to utilize for mastering the fundamentals of survival techniques. If you prepare yourself mentally for an attack, you will be prepared for an “unexpected” encounter because you will expect it. You will be able to evaluate and mentally rehearse the event, and emerge victoriously. Winning, never losing!
In order to deal effectively with an incident, you must be switched “on” and be alert to what’s going on around you. Law enforcement officers, military, and trained civilians are taught different “Conditions of Readiness” in a color code system that approximates different levels of awareness that a normal human being experiences. Your response to any situation is largely determined by the “condition” you are in at the time. You obviously do not want to live your life oblivious to the world around you and become a walking target. On the other hand, it is not practical or appropriate to live it with your finger on the trigger of a firearm. The following color code system is designed to help you construct the proper readiness mindset for security in your own daily world.
Condition White: This first “condition of readiness” really has nothing to do with “readiness” at all. Still, it is the state of mind in which most people spend their lives. In Condition White we do not expect any trouble, nor do we look for it. We are largely unaware of our surroundings and the events taking place there, nor do we believe anything will happen to us. Condition White is the state of “readiness” of most victims. It is also the state that criminals love to see you in!
Condition Yellow: This is the condition you want to be in when you walk out the front door of your home or any otherwise unsecured location. It is the mental equivalent of the yellow traffic light that you will see at an intersection while driving. It dictates that you should proceed with caution, maintaining 360-degree security at all times. You must also be tuned in to any instinctual feelings of danger. NOTE: Gavin De Becker’s interesting and informative book, The Gift of Fear will help you truly appreciate the importance of Condition Yellow. Some people may consider Condition Yellow as that of a “paranoid” state. It is not. It is just using good sense. You are simply in a state of relaxed, yet heightened, awareness. Keep your head up and keep looking around.
Condition Orange: At this level, you realize that something is definitely wrong. There is danger. You are in a state of alarm. You must either move away or prepare for action. Your main focus should be on identifying the danger, accepting it, formulating a plan of action and implementing that plan.
Condition Red: In condition Red, action is imminent and the threat is upon you. As soon as the threat is apparent, you make your move. Whatever response you have planned for should be delivered with total commitment and aggression.
Remember, we must: See the threat, Accept the threat, Formulate a plan, & Execute the plan!