More Visibility = More Awareness
Keeping Your Options Open During Emergencies
Many times, we hear stories of an active shooter or armed intruder, we hear that victims heard chaos and looked for the nearest exit to escape but ended up in more danger. When attempting to escape, victims tend to run blindly, not really knowing where the incident is or the location of the shooter/intruder. Unfortunately since the focus is just on trying to get out, victims may actually be running toward danger due to lack of visibility and awareness of their surroundings prior to the incident. Keep reading to learn how visibility is directly linked to awareness and how these critical opportunities can help when in an emergency situation.
It doesn’t have to be an intruder situation for you to need visibility and awareness. For instance, there may be a fire and evacuation is necessary; however, if visibility is low it will take more time to get to safety. If there is a high level of visibility, it can be easy to find an exit and to get to safety quickly. For this topic, visibility means the option to observe and see all possible scenarios in an emergency and get to safety in least amount of time as possible.
Observation, what does that mean? When crisis strikes, the ability to observe your surroundings includes: how many people are around you, are there any disabled individuals or children, where is the nearest exit, what floor you are on, etc. Observing your surroundings also includes the use of all senses, what do you see, hear, smell, etc. The more visibility you have in an incident the more awareness you will have to get to safety.
When a life or death emergency situation occurs, exit plans and escape routes become the only way to reach safety. The more visibility you have for the area you’re in, the easier it will be to make an exit plan or escape route, even if it means you are taking a secondary route. Keep your visibility high for a faster escape during a crisis. Visibility can be increased in most situations by keeping your back towards the wall, offering plain sight of all areas. You should also make it a habit to casually look for emergency exits as you are entering a new place such as a restaurant or a store. For more tips on increasing your visibility and situational awareness, read this post.
When faced with an emergency, the last thing you want is to run right into the problem, but without visibility and awareness that is likely to happen. By increasing your visibility and observing your surroundings, you have the opportunity to create effective exit plans and in so, safely get out of harm’s way. Are you continually aware of your surroundings? Do you offer awareness training for your staff? If so, consider discussing using visibility to create more awareness in any situation, but especially during crisis.