Thursday, 1 March 2018

Situational Awareness For Everyone - Lesson Plan: SAFE Lvl One (Part 5 of 5)

Situational Awareness For Everyone - Lesson Plan: SAFE Lvl One Part 5 of 5

 in education •  23 hours ago
Banner Pic SAFE On The Lookout 2018.jpg
This is part five of a five part series of lesson plans for the Situational Awareness For Everyone (S.A.F.E.) level one course I developed at SATAS Co. I believe those in the emergency preparedness community will find this very helpful. This course is designed to be meaningful to all citizens. You are free to review this material, you may even share this material - so long as links to the original material and credit are given to this author, me, V. Andrew McMillan of SATAS Co.
Lesson Plan
Topic/Title: SAFE 1 – Lesson Five/ Response Plan
Presenter/Instructor: V. Andrew McMILLAN
Lesson Length: 20 Minutes
Required Resources:
Supplies/Reference Materials
Demo Items
Pens, Pencils & Stationery (PP&S)
Once we can recognize threats, we need a multitude of response plans to have the greatest chance of defeating any identified threat. Like lighting a fire in a survival situation, you need to program your mind with multiple methods of responding to threats. Not all threats can be defeated by brute physical force alone. In fact, that is probably your last resort response plan....when all other plans fail.
Main Topic:
Our Response Plan wants to be layered and have a progressive scale of responses. Like securing an industrial complex, you want more than one layer defending your site.
A response plan is not linear or sequential. You do not have to go individually through all your layers to get to the response that the threat requires to respond properly. If the threat facing you requires a 5th level response and time/distance do not allow for escalation through the 1st to 4th levels, then you go from identifying the threat directly to a 5th level response, no regrets, no guilt, no shame. Whether the threat is a sinkhole on the highway or an armed mugger, time and distance may prevent you from a slower response cycle. That is life and if you wish to preserve yours, you may have to act quickly at times.
Your response plan is an action plan to get out of trouble(s). Many times this will be short term. However, having a response plan will allow you a quicker response time than someone who has not planned at all.
Response Plan Options:
1.Avoidance – If you don't have to be there, then don't.
2.Minimize – reduce your exposure and get away as soon as you can.
3.Flight – Runaway to a safe location. (Ensure to check that you are not followed or pursued.)
4.Fight – You may have to defend yourself. At the earliest possible time break contact and escape to a safe location.
5.WIN THE FIGHT!! If escape is not possible, win the fight. Use any & all means you have to defend yourself.
6.Get a safe distance. Re-Group, Re-Assess Threat, Re-Evaluate Options.
7.Review. Once you are safely away, review what worked, what didn't and what can I do better next time.
8.Update your response plan. What do you need to add. What should you delete. What options do you need.
9.RESET. You must let go of the last incident. Flip the switch & be prepared for the next challenge in your life. You cannot continually re-live/re-play the last incident. Re-Focus & Observe your world.
10.Continue your journey through life.
Once you have gone through an incident, whether avoiding a killer pothole on a urban roadway or just escaped a raging forest fire, you need to invest your time to review what happened, how your plan worked, note what didn't work or didn't work as well as you want and then make changes to your plan. The review process is first aid for your mental health, do not neglect your total health.
Next, because the challenges in life do not wait for you to be ready, you must quickly reset your mind to be looking for the next challenge to intersect your path on your journey through life. Do not dwell on the whatever it was that just happened. If you stop looking out for life's challenges you will be hit and blindsided. Stay vigilant.
To add depth to our action plan we also want to actively improve our success by being prepared, like a Boy Scout. There are many ways to pre-plan for challenges, the easiest to describe will be for wilderness or urban survival and then adapting those processes into all aspects of your life. The combination of skills and gear provide each of us with the most options to survive our daily lives, as well as, any life changing challenge that may be thrown at us by the Universe.
Let us start with first aid kits and bandaid packs. I expect all of you who do not have first aid training, will be seeking that training in the very near future. With minimal first aid training and readily available first aid supplies we can treat ourselves when we experience those minor injuries that seem to happen everyday in life. Without even minor supplies of clean dressings or antibiotic lotions a minor scratch could become infected and then it becomes a life threatening injury. So, with a basic first aid kit in each vehicle and at least one in every home, we will have the resources necessary to treat minor injuries, quickly and without any fuss. If you do any outdoor activities you will want to have a first aid kept in your rucksack or daypack , every time you depart for those activities.
Survival kits should also be considered in this same category. Get training. Practice. Get some experience using your skills. Build a kit with gear you know how to use. Survival training can start when children are 4 or 5 years old and get progressively more thorough as they get older. By 14 or 15 years old a child/youth should be able to survive a night without any adult assistance. If you cannot do this right now, add basic survival to your training to get list. You deserve to have these skills. You are worth it!!
After first aid and survival basics we come to a category called EDC – Every Day Carry items. These will be a blend of first aid and survival items. In some countries the items you can carry will also include firearms, however, here in Canada that is not an option most can do legally. EDC includes things like what is packed in our vehicle(s), what is in our jacket or parka, as well as, what is in the pockets of our jeans or in our purse. (Have items to display to class.)
Here are a few examples:
This Jacket shell – has most of the pockets pre-loaded with gear. The front cargo pockets contain: gloves, a toque, a balaclava, & headlamp. The arm pockets contain: a small signal mirror, cord, pen/pencil & Bic lighter.
This flight jacket – has gloves, toque, balaclava and headlamp in the inner hand pockets. The jacket also reverses from black to international orange to help being found. In the arm pocket there are: pens, Bic lighter, signal mirror and a mini-flashlight.
This parka – has gloves, a toque & scarf in the front cargo pockets. The chest pocket has a Ziploc bag with a notebook & pencil, as well as some cord.
These are like most jackets/coats in my closet. Each one is pre-packed with the bare minimum of gear. You never know when all you have time to do is grab a jacket before you run from your home or have to get away from a burning vehicle after a motor vehicle collision. This is as much about pre-planning as it is about programming your mind to be thinking ahead. I think about function and I am not concerned with fashion. Being stylish is fine, until it gets you killed. If fashion is a primary environment you must operate in, then we need to discuss how we can take the concepts presented in SAFE One and adapt them to a fashionable world. I believe you have the knowledge to make these adaptation if you really want to. Most days this means having function-based gear in your vehicle or at your office to augment or supplement your fashionable requirements with items that will help you get to safety if the necessity arises.
The Get Home Bag (GHB), is the item most used to keep the basics at work/in the office so you always have the gear you need. I, would also recommend keeping a GHB in each of your vehicles. The GHB only has enough gear and food stuffs to get you home. It is small, light and easy to carry. How far do you live from work?? How long would it take you to walk home??
What items should you carry??
Wallet – with cash, credit cards, identification
Keys – house, vehicle, storage locker
Fire – matches or a lighter
Knife – folding, locking blade – Gerber Paraframe
Light – flashlight or headlamp
Fold flat 500ml water bottle.
What is the minimum gear to get home??
Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots
Socks – inner poly pro & outer wool
Weatherproof jacket
Sweater or fleece – for warmth
Hat – shade in warm weather & insulating in cool weather.
Mitts/Gloves – keep hands warm
Safety glasses – yellow lens type. Protect from flying debris.
Bandanna/Triangular bandage – sling or face cover if dusty.
2x 500 ml bottles of water
4x Energy bars or bags of nuts.
Other considerations when planning should include:
What if training/game??
Know the location of fire exits when in public buildings, malls, schools, etc.
Know the location of stairs. If the power goes out or there is a fire the elevators will not be safe to use.
Know where to seek help – security, police, EMS, fire.
Know the location of the AED or first aid kit. Know the symbols.
Know the location of fire fighting equipment – extinguisher, pull station, hose, or the fire axe.
Know how to call for help – cellphone, landline, payphone, CB radio, HAM radio, signal fires or ground-to-air signals.
Questions From Class (QFC):
In this lesson we have explored what we can do once we have identified a threat to our BUBBLE. We know we need an action plan that has multiple layers, so we can have options when we respond to a threat. We know sometimes we will need to act FAST!! We also explored some training and gear options to give our plan more depth. By pre-packing this gear and leaving it ready to go 24/7 we increase our chances at survival in the journey through life.
Questions To Class (QTC):
Name 5 things you can carry on your person everyday that will assist you if you ever need them?
Explain Get Home Bags? Where would you keep one?
You have been an attentive class and I believe you all have shown a genuine interest in this lesson. You now have the foundation of knowledge to continue your journey through life as an situationally aware person. By building on this foundation you can only grow as a person.
Thank you.
Your next lesson is with: ____________________________________________
Who will be discussing: ____________________________________________
At: ________ hrs, in the main lecture room. (or __________________________.)
And to keep this to only five parts, the conclusion.
Lesson Plan
Topic/Title: SAFE One Conclusion/Summary
Presenter/Instructor: V. Andrew McMILLAN
Lesson Length: 10 Minutes
Required Resources:
Supplies/Reference Materials
Demo Items
Pens, Pencils & Stationery (PP&S)
Thank you for attending Situational Awareness For Everyone (SAFE) Level One. You have all received a great foundational understanding of situational awareness and how it can be used to impact all areas of your lives – whether at home, work or play. During times of crises or just everyday.
Main Topic:
I truly hope each and everyone of you have found this information to be of benefit to you. I also hope that you now see that being situationally aware can benefit you in all aspects of your life.
You all have a better understanding of your BUBBLE and at what range something becomes a threat to you. You have also worked through your personal response plans and have a working inventory of responses you can draw upon to get yourself out of trouble should you find yourself there.
You all know how important it is to review your plan after it has been tested by any event large or small, to improve your plan so it will work even better the next time it is required. You, also know, that you will be challenged often as you travel your path through this life.
Finally, we have explored some methods of pre-packaging gear and resources in common areas to always be ready for your use any time of day, any day of the year. We know that these preparations are very important to your personal survival in the event of an emergency occurring on short notice or during the middle of the night when you may not have time to pack even a few items before having to evacuate your home.
Before we wrap this up, are there any final questions from you?? Are there any areas you feel have not be covered in sufficient depth??
Questions From Class (QFC):
Questions To Class (QTC):
In closing, I would like to thank you again for taking SAFE Level One. This is just the beginning. If you chose to pursue this further we have two more levels to this program: SAFE Level Two – Family Situational Awareness & SAFE Level Three – Community Situational Awareness.
You have been a great group to work with. You ask awesome questions, and I hope you will continue down this path. The skills you have learned here in this program will be transferable to all aspects of your life, as well as, to any other training you do – whether that is martial arts training or business programs. Being situational aware is being aware of what is happening around you, at all times, in all places. Once this door is opened it is hard to close. It is difficult to go back to a state of unknowing.
Your certificates will be mailed to those who have provided a shipping address. The rest of you, your certificates will be ready for pick-up next week on Thursday.
That's it folks. I hope at least one person out there found this course material educational or at least entertaining. I will review the response to posting lesson plans and then decide if I will publish more in the future. If you enjoyed this material and feel inclined, please send me some feedback in the comments section.
Take care & stay aware,
V. Andrew McMILLAN.
Links to Parts One, Two, Three & Four:

I hope everyone has enjoyed these lesson plans.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Situational Awareness For Everyone - Lesson Plan: SAFE Lvl One (Part 4 of 5)

Link to original post:

Situational Awareness For Everyone - Lesson Plan: SAFE Lvl One Part 4 of 5

 in education •  yesterday
Banner Pic SAFE On The Lookout 2018.jpg
This is part four of a five part series of lesson plans for the Situational Awareness For Everyone (S.A.F.E.) level one course I developed at SATAS Co. I believe those in the emergency preparedness community will find this very helpful. This course is designed to be meaningful to all citizens. You are free to review this material, you may even share this material - so long as links to the original material and credit are given to this author, me, V. Andrew McMillan of SATAS Co.
Lesson Plan
Topic/Title: SAFE One Lesson 4/Threat Assessment
Presenter/Instructor: V. Andrew McMILLAN
Lesson Length: 20 Minutes
Required Resources:
Supplies/Reference Materials
Demo Items
Pens, Pencils & Stationery (PP&S)
Threat Assessment, this is theory being put into action. We will first review some of the current theories for programming your critical thinking, as well as, working through a decision making flow chart. We will discuss how our personal lens/filter alters and interprets what we see and how we perceive threats. Finally, we will explore some real world examples and discuss observation techniques for identifying threats before they are threats and how not to be deceived by those using role camouflage. Once we can identify threats we will be ready to advance to making response plans – which is the lesson after this one.
Main Topic:
Threat Assessment is the critical thinking process of taking what we observe, how we filter this information, come to recognize that we are in harm's way, and then know we need a plan.
Currently, USAF Colonel John BOYD is recognized as the first pioneer of taking gut reactions to a formalized plan. He was working on training air force pilots to survive dogfights with fighter jets during the Vietnam War. He created the OODA Loop or Boyd's Cycle:
(Link to Wikipedia -
Observe – Orient – Decide – Act = OODA. The diagram on Wikipedia shows that this is more than just a single dimension loop, but an interactive feedback loop. Hard to draw but easy enough to understand once you have worked through it a couple of times. BOYD was working on a simple plan to program the pilots thinking process so they can make decisions faster and ultimately interrupt the OODA Loop of their adversary, thus winning the aerial dogfight.
Other organization also use formatted thinking to help leaders make the best decision in the time available. Anyone familiar with search & rescue operations will be familiar with SCORPA, an acronym for:
Size up the Situation
Objectives & Goals
Resources required
Critical thinking is always a balancing act between the information available and the time allowed to make a decision. Whether flying a fight jet or driving at highway speeds, the time available will be less than a second or two. However, because of repeated practice exercises of what would I do mind is already programmed to make those action happen when you need them. Some decisions however, you may get minutes or hours to devise a plan, and hopefully you will have more information/data to base your decision on. Just remember the most important phase is to actually action your plan. In situational awareness, failing to make a decision or failing to action your plan will both have consequences, usually negative. Making a decision and actioning a plan may also have negative consequences but this has to weighed against not doing anything and balanced against how much time or information was available at the time it was needed.
To help with this process, let's have a look at the Threat Assessment Flow Chart. (Insert full page illustration.)
T A Flow.jpg
Thinking is not a pure linear process, so we will start with you enjoying your journey through life.
1.The first point is when we observe, identify or recognize a threat to our journey through life.
2.Next we have to quickly filter what we have identified – Can it hurt me? If no, we short cut to the review process. If it can hurt....
3.Can I avoid it? Yes, then avoid it – then short cut to the review process. If not......
4.Can I minimize the impact or damage? Can I escape? Are there any other options? If not primal programming will select “fight”.
5.If you can escape, are you being followed or pursued??
6.If you have to fight, can you break contact? Yes, then break contact. If not...
7.WIN THE FIGHT. If you escaped earlier and find your are not out of danger you too will be forced to win the fight.
8.Once you are safe or after winning the fight, you need to get a safe distance from the threat.
9.Review the incident – informally or formally. What did I do right. What did not work well. What can I do next time to achieve a better outcome.
10.Adjust your plan – internal or formal plan.
11.Now you have to reset your mind and be ready to enact your threat assessment again.
12.Continue on your journey through life. Be observant. Be ready.
This process happens hundreds to thousands of times a day, everyday. By programming your mind to make decisions in this manner, each time you experience a new situation you add to your knowledge library of responses and you know from previous outcomes what are you best first options to try. For those who are still young, you will have the option of learning from your mistakes or chose the path of wisdom and learn from those who have been through similar situations before you. Their experiences, if you take them to heart, will help speed up your learning curve.
Now that we have an understanding how we have our mind react. We need to spend a little time on developing our observation skills. It is by observing the world that we first learn that danger may be in our BUBBLE. We can all look at the world around us but how many of us truly see what is around us??
Observation is the process of taking in the information from our eyes, ears, nose/tongue & skin, filtering it through our BUBBLE and then making an impression on our mind. Thus, things we program into our mind to be “normal” can come back to harm us, when we do not recognize the threat because we overlooked an image because the pizza delivery man is not a threat. But was it really the pizza dude?? I will explain “Role Camouflage” in more depth in a moment.
So, who do we overlook on a daily basis?? The mailman?? Newspaper boy?? The lady who delivers the Chinese food?? The cable repair guy?? Taxi drivers?? Dry cleaner's delivery person?? How about construction crews?? First responders?? Would you notice if any of these people listed were the regular employee or an impostor?? Do you know your pizza delivery guy?? How about the paper boy?? How about your neighbours?? People who are normalized to us as “servants” are not really perceived. Period. When you want your pizza in 20 minutes or less, the pizza dude is damn important, but other than attention is paid.
There is more to this than just people we expect to see. How about when in any retail shop, ever pay attention to how many people carry a knife in their front pocket?? Right pocket for right-handed or left pocket for left-handed, the easy tell is the metal pocket clip that is on the outside of the pocket. Never noticed, I am not surprised. Night clubs and bars, the bouncer or security staff usually disarm these folks before they get into a place that serves alcohol. Weapons and mind-altering substances is a poor mix.
How else can we protect ourselves.....ever left your mail in your car, just for a few minutes while you go into the store to buy some groceries?? Did you leave the mail face up so strangers can read your address?? Did you put your mail in the backseat where it is harder to be read?? Do you consciously pay attention to whether you leave your mail face up or face down?? Or do you keep your mail in a daypack when not in your vehicle?? How about your cellphone?? Do you use a password to lock the keypad?? Do you ever leave it unattended?? Do you ever talk on your cell while walking in public?? Have you heard of phone snatching??
Speaking of walking....going back to the article On Sheep, Wolves and Sheep Dogs; when the wolves are on the hunt they watch the flock. They focus on the lambs that do not take any precaution to protect themselves. Those who walk in crowds by keeping their eyes focused on the sidewalk a step or two in front and never look up....guess what the wolves have spotted you. Then they work themselves to a location to interfere with your path of travel. Then they force you off your path and take whatever they want. Now, back to observing. When you are walking in downtown Big City, if you keep your head up, and you look side-to-side and occasionally look behind you or look up at overpasses or down at underpasses; the wolves will see this and they will pass you by......the wolves know you are situationally aware and you are looking for hazards/threats. The wolves will avoid you, if they can find the helpless lambs who are easy kills.
Role Camouflage – is the active art of deception, by adopting those roles in Society that no one pays attention to – the janitor, pizza dude, cable guy, taxi driver, etc. As we discussed previously, these are occupations that are seen as below the people, however, they are necessary. As such, those who “borrow” these roles to mingle with neighbourhoods or to infiltrate buildings, when their actions are finished and the police investigate the witnesses will always say, “I saw a copy repair guy enter our floor. His visitor access pass was not working and he was needed to fix the copier on this floor and I let him into our office area.....” How was that employee to know that the copier had just been fixed in the morning?? Nor was that employee to know that they just granted access to their work area to an industrial spy?? If the employee was situational aware, they would have directed the copy repair guy to the security kiosk on the main floor or at the very least told the repair guy that it was a firing offense to allow unauthorized persons to by-pass security checkpoints. Those who are playing a “role” are very good at seeking sympathy from caring people to achieve their mission goals. They will lie. They will tell tall tales. They will use emotions against you. They manipulate people as part of their profession and they are very good at it. If something does not seem right, listen to you gut....something is probably wrong. Use your moral compass to guide your actions. This does not only happen at work/office. These “role” players can come to your home, too. Gas company. Electrical company. Cable company. Once they are in your home, who knows what their mission is & whom they work for, much less where you fit in. Situational awareness is “on” 24/7. The more often you are aware the easier it becomes.
Questions From Class (QFC):
In this lesson we have started to put our theory into action by observing and recognizing hazards and threats that are around us everyday, whether at work, at home or at play. We have been introduced to role camouflage and how that can be used against what we have programmed our minds to believe is “normal”. We have started to use the Threat Assessment Flow Chart to start programming our mind to filter and identify threats.
The Threat Assessment is only part one of a two part system. Part two will be your Response Plan.
Questions To Class (QTC):
Who do we not notice when walking downtown any city?? Street people?? Garbage man?? Couriers??
You have been a good class. I believe you have quickly absorbed this material. I can see many of you have your eyes wide open now. You are hungry to learn more, specifically how do I deal with these things you just opened my eyes to see.
Your next lesson will continue with developing your Response Plan.
Thank you.
Your next lesson is with: ____________________________________________
Who will be discussing: ____________________________________________
At: ________ hrs, in the main lecture room. (or __________________________.)
Part five will follow in the next day or two. Thank you for reading. V.A.M.
Links to Parts One, Two & Three:

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Situational Awareness For Everyone - Lesson Plan: SAFE Lvl One (Part 3 of 5)

Situational Awareness For Everyone - Lesson Plan: SAFE Lvl One Part 3 of 5

 in education •  23 hours ago
Banner Pic SAFE On The Lookout 2018.jpg
This is part three of a five part series of lesson plans for the Situational Awareness For Everyone (S.A.F.E.) level one course I developed at SATAS Co. I believe those in the emergency preparedness community will find this very helpful. This course is designed to be meaningful to all citizens. You are free to review this material, you may even share this material - so long as links to the original material and credit are given to this author, me, V. Andrew McMillan of SATAS Co.
Lesson Plan
Topic/Title: SAFE One, Lesson Three/BUBBLE Mapping
Presenter/Instructor: V. Andrew McMillan
Lesson Length: 60 Minutes
Required Resources:
Supplies/Reference Materials - “On Sheep, Wolves & Sheep Dogs” by Lt Col (retired) David GROSSMAN
Demo Items
Handouts – Self-Evaluation Form & Skills Audit, BUBBLE Map
Pens, Pencils & Stationery (PP&S)
Welcome back. I hope you have learned something about yourself since our last class. Any questions about your homework assignments?? The answers you generated are for you & understanding who you are, where you came from, where you want to go & what you need to achieve it. Disclosure of any of your answers is purely voluntary.
We will work towards our first objective, defining and understanding your BUBBLE. Once each of you have a clearer idea of the size of your BUBBLE the easier it will be to identify when something/someone has entered your space/BUBBLE.
Main Topic:
For those who are visual learners, this mapping process will appeal to your learning style. Everyone else, let's hope the combination of labeling the diagram/map and group discussion will secure your grasp and understanding of this concept/idea.
Using our diagram/map we will add our own labels to each ring surrounding you, the heart shape image in the centre of the map. Only use the labels that connect/apply to you. If you do not have a connection to a label do not use it. And if you find that a correct label is missing, please add them to your BUBBLE Map. As you are each unique individuals, I do not expect that two BUBBLE Maps will be exactly the same. However, I would not be surprised to have similarities between BUBBLE Maps when folks share a common belief system, ideology, culture or core value system. Thus, those who are from an Eastern value system may have different order to the rings/layers of their BUBBLE Map compared with those from Western cultures. Where we were raised and what we were raised to believe will influence/impact how we see the World. There is no right or wrong to this, it just is.
Once we have identified how we filter what we see in the World and how our interpretation of this information is perceived – whether threat or non-threat; will ultimately determine our range of response.
So, before I ask you to label your own personal BUBBLE Map, please know that only you can label your map correctly, because only you know which is the correct label for each layer/ring of your map. Finally, the there is no scale for these layers/rings.
Possible labels for each layer/ring:
Other (student generated)
(Take a few minutes to have all students label their BUBBLE Map)
(Sample BUBBLE Map and BUBBLE Map Worksheet Included at the end of this post)
Now that we have completed our BUBBLE maps, you have a better idea of how you filter the information you receive from the World around you and what you value as important.
Further, these layers/rings will change dimensions as new information or experiences are learned or experienced by each person. Your BUBBLE is a growing part of you. Starve your BUBBLE and it will shrink. Feed your BUBBLE and it will grow. Being here, right now in this class is helping you to grow your BUBBLE. So, where does this take us. What's next??
Your homework hopefully helped with today's exercise of BUBBLE Mapping. The skills audit helps you identity what you have experienced thus far on your journey in this life and the self-evaluation should hopefully help you identify who you are and where you want to go. For us to progress into situational awareness, you need a baseline understanding of you. At this point I believe we have achieved this. Moving forward we will begin to identify challenges and threats to your progress towards your goals in life.
We have already defined situational awareness as:
“Situational Awareness – (1) The art of knowing what is happening around you, recognizing threats/hazards, contriving a response plan & then putting your plan into action to minimize risk to your personal survival. (2) Is the sphere around a person which the person is aware of in the physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, meta-physical and/or psychological planes of existence. This is the BUBBLE, more specifically, this is your BUBBLE. Tactical Assessment – Is the critical thinking process when something enters your BUBBLE. Is it a THREAT?? Do you NEED to deal with it?? What SKILLS do you need to deal with it?? Do you HAVE those skills?? Did you ACT/REACT in the situation?? What did you LEARN?? What will you do next time??”
It is now time to introduce to you how those in the military pigeon hole the main players on our planet. In the paper On Sheep, Wolves and Sheep Dogs by Lt Col (ret'd) David GROSSMAN, we are introduced to the terms sheep(sheeple), wolves and the sheep dogs.
The wolves are any person or group of persons who have no qualms about using whatever means are necessary to get what they want, they do not care who is hurt or what is damaged. The wolves get what they want. Period.
The sheep are the average, everyday person who is just trying to live their life. Going to work or school, raising a family, taking a vacation once a year, paying taxes; in short enjoying life. The sheep do not like violence and avoid it. However, because the sheep will not use violence, they are easy prey for the wolves.
Now, we have the sheep dogs.....those in society who are willing to sacrifice their life and safety to preserve the life and safety of the sheep, from the wolves. Unlike the wolves, the sheep dogs would never harm the sheep, never. That is the rule. But, to the sheep the sheep dog looks like the wolves. It has fangs and uses violence, so the sheep dogs are scary, from the point of view of the sheep.
So, until the wolves come to town to slaughter the sheep, the sheep want the sheep dogs to stay out of sight. But, as soon as the wolves start attacking the sheep will be bleating for the sheep dog. I believe that is a quick version of the Colonel's paper. (On Sheep, Wolves & Sheep Dogs" - Link:
How do you reduce your risk of becoming the prey?? You have to see the wolves coming. To see the wolves, you have to increase your personal awareness of what is happening around you. You have to be able to identify who or what is threat. You have to analyze the magnitude of the threat. Then you have to develop a plan/counter-measure(s) to that threat and then you have action your plan. And, after everything is said and done, you have to reflect and review just what happened and determine what worked, what didn't and how to make your plan next time work better. We will cover all of this before we end today.
By this point your personal awareness is growing. We will take this one step at a time. (The following lessons will focus on plans and actions.) Being aware of what is around you, brings us back to your BUBBLE. Do you walk around with you head down focused on your iPhone or are you looking ahead and side-to-side?? When you enter a new building/office/theatre/arena do you take note of the fire escape routes?? the location of stairwells?? Elevators?? Parkades?? Payphones?? Or the security desk?? Most people do not. They do not look for help or self-rescue until they are in danger. Being aware means you are taking in information to help you now, as well as, information to help you just in case.
When walking down the street and you see a group of unknown persons hanging out at the end of an alleyway do continue walking towards them or do you cross to the other side of the street?? If at the mall, and some poor fellow falls down the escalator do you stand around and watch?? Or do you leave the area clear for the EMS crew?? When driving on multi-laned streets/roads to you stay to the lanes you are must comfortable in or do you travel in the left lane even when the traffic in this lane is exceeding the posted limit?? If you do not drive in excess of the speed limit I would suggest using the centre lane. With road rage on the increase these days, it would be ashame to be physically assaulted just because you are rightfully observing the speed limit in a space that other drivers habitually drive faster. Pick your battles, wisely.
Continuing with a driving example, if it is a blowing snowstorm and you are not a strong winter driver and you decide to go for a drive, please chose a route that will impact the least number of fellow drivers. Contrary to what the newsman may repeat over and over, just driving slowly does NOT make you a safer driver. If you lack the skills to drive in conditions you will be facing, be proactive and seek professional training from experts in that subject. You may find the answer to safer winter driving is a well maintained vehicle, with quality winter tires, properly operating brakes, driving with your lights on, leaving an increased safe following distance and knowing how to steer your vehicle out of slide or skid. On the other hand, if the condition exceed your skill level, stay home and wait out the storm.
Now that you have a better understanding of you and your BUBBLE, you are now ready to proceed to the next levels – threat assessment, planning and actioning your plan.
Questions From Class (QFC):
In this lesson we have mapped our BUBBLE. We know what our BUBBLE includes and how far our BUBBLE reaches. We recognize when someone or something has entered our BUBBLE and we are ready to learn how to deal with someone or something when they Bust Our BUBBLE!!
Questions To Class (QTC):
Has mapping your BUBBLE changed the way you see the World around you??
Did you learn anything about yourself, you are willing to share with the class, that you did not know before this exercise??
You have been an excellent class. You have worked through the toughest module of this course. Self exploration can be very challenging, however, without it the rest of the material in this course will not receive the full potential by you the student.
I hope you continue on this path of expanding your personal awareness and knowledge quest. Situational awareness, when employed correctly and continuously, can keep you from getting into troubles you never want to experience. Or, at the very least, can get you out of troubles at the soonest opportunity – because you are looking for those exit strategies.
Thank you.
Your next lesson is with: ____________________________________________
Who will be discussing: ____________________________________________
At: ________ hrs, in the main lecture room. (or __________________________.)
![SAFE 1 Bubble Map 2018.png]
SAFE 1 Bubble Map Sample 2018.png
Part four will follow in the next day or two. Thank you for reading. V.A.M.
Links to Parts One & Two:

Monday, 26 February 2018

Situational Awareness For Everyone - Lesson Plan: SAFE Lvl One Part 2 of 5

Situational Awareness For Everyone - Lesson Plan: SAFE Lvl One Part 2 of 5

 in education •  yesterday
Banner Pic SAFE On The Lookout 2018.jpg
This is part two of a five part series of lesson plans for the Situational Awareness For Everyone (S.A.F.E.) level one course I developed at SATAS Co. I believe those in the emergency preparedness community will find this very helpful. This course is designed to be meaningful to all citizens. You are free to review this material, you may even share this material - so long as links to the original material and credit are given to this author, me, V. Andrew McMillan of SATAS Co.
Lesson Plan
Topic/Title: Thinking Beyond 72 Hours – An Exercise In Critical Thinking
Presenter/Instructor: V. Andrew McMillan
Lesson Length: 90 Minutes
Required Resources:
Supplies/Reference Materials
Demo Items
Handouts – Self-Evaluation Form & Skills Audit
Pens, Pencils & Stationery (PP&S)
Welcome. This is our second lesson for SAFE One. I hope you enjoyed the previous lesson.
Before we engage with our new lesson I would like to define: Situational Awareness – (1) The art of knowing what is happening around you, recognizing threats/hazards, contriving a response plan & then putting your plan into action to minimize risk to your personal survival. (2) Is the sphere around a person which the person is aware of in the physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, meta-physical and/or psychological planes of existence. This is the BUBBLE, more specifically, this is your BUBBLE. Tactical Assessment – Is the critical thinking process when something enters your BUBBLE. Is it a THREAT?? Do you NEED to deal with it?? What SKILLS do you need to deal with it?? Do you HAVE those skills?? Did you ACT/REACT in the situation?? What did you LEARN?? What will you do next time??
I have found that using real world examples helps keep learning in focus and cross-trains our minds to look at everyday life from a new perspective. So, in this lesson I would like to take the 72 Hour Plan to the next level. The government has endorsed every citizen to be ready for at least the first 72 hours in any type of natural disaster or man-made emergency because if the event is too big or effects too many people, it may take days or weeks for first responders to reach all areas. The 72 hour kit, reduces the strain on the emergency response system, by allowing survivors to be self-sustaining for the first 3 days after the event. However, if the event is too large or covers too much area, 72 hours is not going to be enough. So, today, I want to explore preparing for the period after 72 hours. What to expect. Who to expect it from. What you can do to save your family and friends. Thinking Beyond 72 Hours – An Exercise In Critical Thinking.
Main Topic:
In the pamphlet, Your Emergency Preparedness Guide (ISBN: 978-0-662-45388-8) from Public Safety Canada; you are given the basics for a 72 Hour Kit. You are told to know your hazards, make a plan, make a kit and be ready to respond.
The pamphlet is a little thin on details and too limited on items to pack in your kit to be helpful to most citizens. Thus, most folks will not follow through, because if the government does not take this seriously, why should I?? That kind of thinking works well if you want, or expect, the government to hold your hand and take care of you during a disaster. Problem is, the level of care being offered is very primitive and privacy is not a consideration. You owe it to your family and yourself to strive for more. But to get more, you have to do some work before an emergency happens. That starts right now.
Your family needs an all risks emergency plan. You need to know what may happen in your specific area. You need to know how to prepare for those type of events. You need to have a plan for sheltering-in-place. You need to have an evacuation plan. You need a plan to gather your family together. You need a communications plan. You need a transportation plan. You need a shelter plan. You need a water plan. And, you need a “What if we can never return home plan?”
All of this is introduced in the 72 Hour pamphlet. So, I am assuming you have all done that planning already. You have, haven't you?
To move forward to the period of time after 72 hours we need to have our ducks in a row. Plans. Risk assessments. Kit(s) prepared and in place. We need to be mentally prepared.
Our extended plan must have provisions for:
Water – purification or transporting enough clean water to see you through 14 days. 30 days would be better.
Shelter – you need a weatherproof environment to rest, cook, eat and sleep.
Communication – you need to monitor the news/events and you need to be able to call out from wherever you are to let others know you are safe.
Transportation – you need to have the ability to move from unsafe locations to safe locations.
Nutrition – you need to consume enough healthy calories a day to stay fit and able to care for yourself. Two weeks is good, a month is better.
Warmth – in Canada you need to be able to stay warm without a fire. You need the best sleeping bag system you can afford. Bivy bag. Overbag. Sleeping Bag. Inner bag. Liner. Sleeping Pad.
Insulation/Clothing – you need enough clothes to protect you from the environment, as well as, a set of clothes for work – in case you are evacuated for an extended period of time but still have to show up at work to get paid.
Medical & Dental – you need to be able to care for minor medical and dental situations that may arise. First aid kit, first aid training and dental kits.
Fire – you need a fire kit. With enough supplies to start a fire in ANY weather condition.
Illumination – you want to be able to see or be seen at night. Solar or battery powered LED flashlights or headlamps would be a good first choice. Candles are a good back-up.
Repair Kit – you need the tools and the “know how” to do basic repairs.
Sanitation – you will need supplies to keep clean and contend with human waste disposal.
Protection – you may need to provide your own protection to your family from wild animals or desperate people.
We will proceed to explore each topic in greater depth.
Everybody in Canada needs at least 2 litre of drinking water a day PLUS another 2 litres for cooking and cleaning. No matter what causes the disaster, you need to stockpile or have the ability to collect and purify 4 litres of water per person per day.
Water weighs 1 kg per litre. A month's supply of water takes up 120 litres of space and weighs 120 kg's, per person. For a family of four that is 480 litres of space and 480 kg's of mass. Big and heavy. Without water you die. No sugar-coating this fact of survival. After oxygen to breath, water is the next most important item to individual survival. This is universal to all citizens of planet Earth. What does vary is the volume needed to keep you alive.
If you cannot store enough water; you need another strategy to make water clean enough to drink. The three main methods of cleaning water are:
1.Filter it
2.Treat it with chemicals, or
3.Boil it
Once you have cleaned the water you need to store the clean water until it has been consumed.
Without shelter, you will be exposed to the elements. Even in the warmth of Summer, your survival time when totally exposed can be measured in hours, in the Winter only minutes.
So, shelter is also an important consideration for longer term survival after a disaster. If you do not take the time, effort and resources to prepare ahead of time you will severely limit your options after an event. Thankfully, after most disasters in Canada – either the government or the Red Cross will setup temporary housing for survivors. These shelters are not where you want to end up.
Longer term shelter options include:
RV Trailers
Friends or Relatives Home's
Alternate shelters can be constructed from tarps and timbers, if you have the know-how and the tools. Knowledge, skills and experience are more important & valuable than shiny items in an expensive bug-out kit. Use your time now, to get the knowledge, skills and experience you need to survive after a disaster.
Comms = Knowledge. This is a two way process. First you need information about what is happening around you and your family – before, during and after a disaster. Second, you need to tell loved ones that you are safe. Or, you are safe at the moment but need help to get to some place safer.
Also, communication is very helpful to get family members to a common location – a rally or rendezvous point, to facilitate linking up and bugging out together.
Your communications plan could have contingencies for linking up in the event of loss of comms. Your plan could include what channel to use on your CB or GMRS radio. Or whom to contact outside the effected disaster area to relay messages by cellphone or text messages.
If you had to evacuate, it may be necessary to leave messages or contact information at the Red Cross or Evacuation Centre, you may want to have a simple code for leaving plain language messages in public areas. These messages may indicate which direction or location you are headed for or how long you will wait for them to rendezvous at a given location.
To receive information, you want to own at least one portable AM/FM radio or AM/FM/SW radio. Grundig or Eton set the standard for good quality radios. Spare batteries or alternate power would be a wise idea – solar or wind-up. (Show examples to class.)
You need to be ready to move during any disaster. To this end, always keep you primary vehicle with not-less-than half a tank of fuel. If you have more than one vehicle, try to keep at least one vehicle full of fuel at all times.
Alternate transportation should be thought out – bicycles, motor bikes, ATV's, watercraft, over snow vehicles, aircraft, and always consider going out on foot.
Until, vehicle transportation is no longer a viable option, plan on moving by vehicle. Why?? Because you can carry more gear and supplies, not to mention you can cover greater distances and it is quick. If you have to evacuate, remember to bring an alternate method of transportation with you – bikes, ATV's or boats. As well as, good hiking shoes or boots in case you end up walking to safety. Carry a fuel resupply with you in jerry cans. This will double the time or distance you can travel without refueling at a gas station. Have cash on hand for fuel. Do not plan that ATM's or credit cards will be working nor accepted by merchants.
Food is important, but not critical for the first few days. However, if you can be well fed for a week or two to get through the tough parts of a disaster, you can survive on reduced rations or without food for a few weeks. So, use your limited supply of food wisely, eat well until you have water, shelter, firewood, and sanitation systems in place. Then, sit tight and shelter-in-place. Using as few calories as necessary.
Food should be stored in an easily removable container – Rubbermaid Tub. Remember to use two or more tubs, so that the weakest person can lift the food tub into a vehicle. One heavy tub is not helpful, if the tub is left behind.
Inside the food tub, use smaller plastic or metal containers to further protect your food supply. Chose foods that need only heat or heat and water to prepare. Yes, this makes for a pretty plain diet, but a diet you can prepare on the run with minimal supplies. Explore the food options available to you now. What will your family eat?? Can you take those foods with you?? What options can you create to make meals more interesting??
Remember to have some type of drinking crystals or flavourings to add to your treated or filtered water. Tea bags or coffee are also worth their weight in a crisis.
Start small. Assemble enough food for 72 hours, then 7 days, then 14 day and try to get to a point of having 30 days of food ready to go in a plastic tub or two. Store these tubs near the point of exit from your home, so they will not be forgotten in the event of being evacuated.
Ensure each person has a mess kit – plate, bowl, mug/cup, knife, fork, spoon. Either in their personal bugout bag or in the food tubs. (Show examples to class.)
Warmth without fire. This means the best sleeping bag you can afford. You also need a sleeping pad to insulate you from the ground, a bivy bag to protect you from the air, and a sleeping bag liner to keep your sleeping bag clean on the inside. You may also want an inner sleeping bag to add extra warmth and/or an overbag to add warmth.
You may expect that a time or situation arises that requires you to be able to survive in just your sleeping bag gear without extra shelter and without a fire. If it is Winter, this will be a life or death situation.
The cheapest part of this system may be the sleeping pad. You can get away with a 3/8” thick 18” wide X 72” long closed cell foam pad that costs about $14 or you can spend $200+ on a down-filled inflatable sleeping mat. I would suggest spending most of the money on a quality down sleeping bag. If your environment is too damp for down, get the best synthetic fill you can afford. A quality Gore-tex bivy bag can be found at some online surplus stores like The Sportsman's Guide for less than $50 plus shipping. These are used bivy bags but in good condition. I would also suggest using a two bag system so you can double up sleeping bags in cold weather or single bag in warmer weather. (Show examples to class.)
Some situations require us to be able to move or be on the move. To this end, we need clothing that can protect us from the elements and provide the ease of movement. Starting from the outer shell and working our way in:
Outer Layer (tops and bottoms):
Needs to be waterproof, windproof and is nice if it is able to breath. Gore-Tex stands out as good choice. A tight canvas and wool jacket may also work.
Middle Layers (tops and bottoms):
This is the insulation layer(s). You need materials that can trap air to help insulate. This can be achieved with down, polar fleece, wool. If the activity level is expected to be low, the insulation level wants to be enough to stay warm without movement.
On the otherhand, if you will be moving a lot, you only need a light insulation.
Inner Layers (tops and bottoms):
These are layers next-to-skin. Underwear and under shirts can be made of cotton. However, the long johns and long sleeve shirt should be polypro, micro-fleece, or silk. Cotton long johns hold too much water when used for prolonged periods of time.
Head, Hands, Feet:
The head should be protected winter and summer. Brimmed hat for protection from the sun or rain. A toque and balaclava make good choices in the winter. Goggles help protect the eyes from wind, rain, snow and bright light.
Hands want to be protected, too. Leather work gloves when doing any type of construction. Glove liners to prevent skin contact with cold items. Fleece or wool gloves over the liners with a leather or Gore-Tex mitt shell on the outside. Gloves promote dexterity, mitts preserve warmth.
Feet. Polypro liner socks next-to-skin, wool work socks over top, then a sturdy boot or mukluk if winter. In extreme cold you may want to have a third sock layer for added insulation, so long as it does not reduce circulation. Always have extra socks so at least one set can be worn, one set can be drying and a third dry set is always ready to be used.
Work clothes:
If you have evacuated from your home, but are still expected to go to your place of employment. Remember to have a set of proper work clothes packed in your evacuation bag. Keep it simple, but useful. You may have to wear the same outfit for a couple of weeks.
Work Footwear:
If possible, keep a practical, sturdy set of work shoes in your evacuation bag. You want to focus on durable and quality over fashion. You may have to evacuate from work, too.
Final Note:
When preparing outer clothing for seasonal conditions, it is a very wise idea to pre-pack mitts, toques, balaclavas, scarves in the pockets of your jackets or parkas. And, while you are at it, it is also worth your time to pre-load a pocket with a length of paracord, Bic lighter and a whistle. These last items can be put in a ziploc bag. A compact LED flashlight or LED headlamp are also good additions. (Show examples to class.)
Medical & Dental:
Do not overlook your basic medical and dental needs. Have a first aid kit with plenty of supplies to treat minor wounds and day-to-day ailments. Over-the-counter medicines to treat upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, fever and allergies, are always a good and safe choice. If you have young children, ensure children's medicines are included. Ensure you have taken a recognized first aid course, so you have the skills to use the tools.
Teeth. Tooth paste, tooth brush and dental floss, at the very minimum. Emergency tooth repair kit takes this to the next level. A broken tooth with no dentist can be a very painful ordeal to endure. Clove oil can help reduce pain of broken teeth or exposed nerves.
Do not forget to bring at least a month's supply of prescription medications. Talk with your doctor, you may be able to get an extra prescription for your bugout bag.
And fire made it good! Yes, yes it did. With fire humans can endure almost anything. So, you need to be able to start a fire in any conditions, any place at anytime. You need fire making supplies and you need fire making skills. Skills need to be practiced, often.
Can you make a fire without a match, lighter or gallon of gasoline?? If not, now is the time to start learning other methods. Those other methods need to be practiced.
A basic fire kit includes:
At least 3 different fire starting methods – matches, lighters, fire steel
Tinder – petroleum jelly on cotton balls, candle stubs, dryer lint, “Zip” firestarter
Magnesium bar
Waterproof case
Do not forget to consider a good knife, axe, saw & shovel for your vehicle. These tools will assist in making a fire. (Show examples to class.)
Humans do not like the dark, under normal conditions. Under extreme conditions like a disaster, being the dark brings all primal fears to foremost of our thoughts. To combat the fear, you need to illuminate the darkness.
I suggest at least 3 types of light:
1)Light without flame or battery – chemical light sticks
2)Battery powdered LED flashlight, headlight, or lantern
3)Flaming light – candles, lanterns, torches
For long term emergencies lights/lamps that have rechargeable batteries are a good idea. Recharge using solar power or built-in hand cranks prolong the units usefulness. Think long term when putting your kit together. Good quality items that will last, should be a primary consideration. (Show examples to class.)
Repair Kit:
If you have taken the time to get quality items for your evacuation kit, then protect you investment by ensuring you have the tools and supplies to make field repairs to your kit. Otherwise, items are just disposable, in that once it is broken or jammed you just throw it away because you cannot repair it.
This extends beyond just the items in your evacuation pack, it includes repair kits for your home, your vehicle(s) and even your tools for work.
If your portable shelter is a tent or tarp, ensure you can replace broken buckles, zippers or grommets. (Show examples to class.)
If the power goes out, in all likelihood you will soon lose water delivery and septic removal. So, where are you going to go to the bathroom?? Large quantities of surface stored fecal matter will soon lead to the spread of disease. Will you just build a latrine in the flowerbed in front of your house?? Or maybe just empty your chamber pot off your 15 floor balcony??
To prevent getting or spreading disease you need to have a plan for dealing with urine and fecal matter. It will be a daily issue. The more people in one location the larger and more important this issue becomes.
Do you have a portable toilet unit?? Where do you empty it?? Can you make a composting toilet?? Do you have a supply of heavy-duty contractor garbage bags to contain the human waste?? Shovel to dig a latrine?? Lime powder to control bacterial growth in a latrine pit??
Solve this now, because you may be too busy later.
As we have recently learned, during an emergency you need to protect your family, your home, your possessions from:
The Police/government
And the last group, is added with sadness. It is really too bad we can no longer trust our elected representatives or their agents to protect us or our possessions. But, the new fact-of-life is, we are on our own if we are forced from our homes. The best solution will be to work together with others from your family or community to make the best of a bad situation. Hopefully, in the near future this relationship between citizens and their government will improve for the better.
So, protect your home as best you can. But if you are forced to leave, pack heavy – take everything you can manage. Have the mindset that you may never return home again; and then pack accordingly. Secure your home as if professional burglars will be breaking-in in your absence.
Once on the road for the evacuation centre or other safe location have the means to protect your family and your vehicle full of “stuff” from bandits. Do not allow anything to block your route to safety. Travel in convoy fashion and maintain communication via CB radios, GMRS or even texting via cellphones – not the drivers, either the navigator or assign another family member to be the communications officer for you vehicle.
If you are a lawful firearms owner, take them with you. Have a secure, transportation case(s).
Be prepared to take care of yourself, your family and whatever items you were able to flee with. There will be times when others can help you, but don't count on it. Your survival is up to you.
Questions From Class (QFC):
In this lesson we have discussed planning for an emergency that has forced you to be evacuated from your home for more than 72 hours. We have considered thirteen areas of concern that should be planned for. (Water, shelter, communication, transportation, nutrition, warmth, insulation/clothing, medical & dental, fire, illumination, repair kit, sanitation and protection.) And we have explored, albeit briefly, the mind set of never returning home and packing heavy for evacuation.
Questions To Class (QTC):
Why prepare for more than 72 Hours?
What should you consider when planning for more than 72 hours? Name 3. Name 7. Name 13.
Will you return home after the evacuation? Why?
You have been an attentive class and I think many of you have shown a genuine interest in this topic. (You asked excellent questions.)
I think you have taken an important step in ensuring you & your family will be well taken care of in the event you ever have to survive a disaster. And I am confident that having been here today you will take the necessary steps to prepare for the future and be ready if and when the time comes.
To prepare for your next class I have two pieces of homework. The first is a self-evaluation form and the second is a skills assessment. These are tools to help you discover you. These will also help identify your strengths and areas that may require more development. Thus, you can focus energy on areas for your growth as a well rounded, aware person.
Thank you.
Your next lesson is with: ____________________________________________
Who will be discussing: ____________________________________________
At: ________ hrs, in the main lecture room. (or __________________________.)
SAFE 1 Self Eval Form 2018.png
SAFE 1 Skills Audit Form 2018.png
Part three will follow in the next day or two. Thank you for reading. V.A.M.