Today I would like to talk about street smarts and the development of a street smart attitude in a survival situation. But first let us start with a definition. The Urban Dictionary describes street smart as the prevailing trait of “someone who is intelligent, has good common sense, knows how to handle bad situations, and has the skills necessary to function where they live”.
For our purposes, you could say that “Street Smart” is the ability to recognize what is going on in the world and the place that you live in. That plus having the physical and mental tools to adapt and survive within that world and that place. That is my definition and I like it.
So imagine this:
There is chaos around you (due to a natural disaster, civil unrest, massive unemployment, whatever) and even though you stay close to home, you must venture out to go to your job, take your kids to school, and to periodically make a trip to the grocery store. And yet the moment you step outside you can feel the tension.
What do you do?
Trust you instincts and stay alert: You know those gut feelings of yours? Now is the time to pay attention. If something around you seem “off”, walk away and retreat to safety. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to admit that you are frightened even if you feel foolish after the fact. Bad vibes are bad vibes so trust yourself and you will be fine.
Evaluate the risks: Headed to unfamiliar area? Evaluate the risks so that you are prepared. Dress to blend in, don’t carry a lot of obviously expensive electronics, and don’t call excessive attention to yourself. If the area in under siege, evaluate your need to even go there. Is it worth the risk?
Evaluate your home security and create a safe zone: Make sure the outdoor area of your home is well lit and that the foliage and shrubbery is trimmed around the perimeter of your home site. The last thing you want is a convenient hiding place for the bad guys right there on your property. I have written about this extensively before but in you need information check A Dozen Home Security and Crime Prevention Tips for the Prepper here on Backdoor Survival and Is Your Home a Target for the Bad Guys? 12 Things You Can Do Now on Strategic Living.
Also, check with your local police or sheriff’s department; many will offer a complementary home security survey. All you need to do is ask.
Situational awareness: Teach yourself to actively look for signs of threats and dangers. Crime can be anywhere but tends to be more prevalent in dark, quiet areas such as parking garages, alleys, stairs, and lonely roadways. As you enter these areas, look around for things that don’t seem quite right. Trust your gut!
Know your neighborhood: Reach out and get to know your neighbors and members of your community. I have said this before and will say it again: talk among yourselves and come up with a plan to work together and to look after each other during a crisis or disaster.
Every day carry items: Increase your ability to defend yourself and get attention. This can be as simple as carrying a whistle, some pepper spray and a small flashlight. Or, depending on your situation, this could include a knife or firearm. For an excellent discussion of knives, see Survival and The Survival Knife: Everything You Need to Know and More.
What to do if you feel threatened
Attitude is everything and can make a huge difference. Do not give off signals that you feel vulnerable and threatened. Nope – don’t do that. On the other hand, do not purposely walk in to a dangerous situation. Instead, withdraw as quietly and unobtrusively as you can and retreat to an area where there are more people around. Worse case, run away while making a loud noise (remember that whistle?)
The Final Word
Having street smarts takes common sense and the ability to deal with all kinds of people in a myriad of contentious situations. While having well honed street smarts is essential for urban dwellers, street smarts are also an important skill for those in a rural community or remote area.
There is no better time than now to practice a street smart and street savvy attitude. Above all, be safe.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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From the Bargain Bin: Here are some of the items that were featured in today’s article along with a few other items that are survival and preparedness essentials.
Sabre Compact Pepper Spray with Quick Release Key Ring: The portability of this pepper spray adds to its appeal since it can be easily carried on a key ring or in a handbag or backpack.
Mace Screecher Personal Alarm: When shopping for a whistle or pocket alarm, read the review and make sure whatever you choose is LOUD!
Nano Light Keychain LED Flashlight: I have dozens (literally!) of mini-LED flashlights. They are in my purse, my car, my nightstand, my desk drawer and the pockets of my parka and coat. This one is especially nice but you can also find models for about $3 on Ebay.
Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression: The book is about $15 and a true treasure. Recommended not only for the recipes, but for the heartwarming anecdotes that fondly recall memories of life when all you could count on was yourself and strength of the family unit.
Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart: I have not had time to write up my review (excellent!) of this book but I will tell you this. You NEED this book if you care about defending your homestead.
Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.
I eat a lot of fruit (usually three whole fruits a night as a bedtime snack) and in a SHTF situation, fruits will be something I will really miss. The Freeze-Dried Fruit Favorites Combo from Emergency Essentials is something I use all year round. With the grocery store a 20 mile round trip journey, I like the thought of being able to rehydrate my own fruit, in the quantity I want, at a moments notice.
The selection includes Apple Dices, Bananas, Peaches, Pineapple Dices, Blueberries and Strawberries.
But not to be left out, there are veggies too. The deluxe supply of Freeze Dried Vegetables includes 18 #10 tins of the following veggies in various quantities: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn , Green Beans, Green Peppers, Green Peas, Mushrooms, Potato Dices, Spinach, and White Onions.
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