How Is Your Safety Barometer?

by Diana Rathborne

While we can’t plan for everything or avoid all possibly hazardous situations, a good ‘Safety Barometer’ can keep you (and those in your charge) safe with a little practise and not too much work. Detailed below are the elements to developing your own self defense barometer and skill set.

First, pay attention to your surroundings. If something seems ‘off’, take a moment to identify what it is. Is it a person? Is something in the environment out of place? Is it something that is usually there, not? Is a door that should be closed, ajar? Are all the lights working, etc? This process is called the OODA loop. The OODA loop has been used by civilians and military alike for decades to observe, evaluate and change a situation to effect the safest outcome in a potentially violent encounter. The acronym stands for Observe – Orient – Decide – Act. The moment you observe something wrong, orient on what it is, decide what to do and do it. The process is fluid and requires constant reassment until you feel you are safe.

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