Situational Awareness

What Is Situational Awareness?

Situational awareness is the ability to perceive, understand, and effectively respond to one’s situation. It involves comprehending a given circumstance, gathering relevant information, analyzing it, and making informed decisions to successfully address any potential risks, hazards, or events that might occur. Situational awareness aims to enable quick and safe responses to disasters by informing human decision-making. 

Why Situational Awareness Is Important

Situational awareness enhances response coordination, mitigates risks, minimizes damages, and saves lives. It allows individuals and organizations to better understand the dynamics of various contexts, enabling them to respond and adapt effectively. Awareness of one’s surroundings also enables effective decision-making, saving time and resources.

Situational awareness is vital in:

  • Emergencies
  • Natural disasters
  • Security instances
  • Critical events
  • Work environments

Situational Awareness in Critical Event Management

A critical event is any incident or occurrence that threatens an organization and its employees, such as natural disasters, fires, public health emergencies, accidents causing bodily harm, or social crises. Critical Event Management (CEM) is an organization’s strategy, approach, and technology to proactively tackle critical events and respond quickly and effectively to threats. CEM enhances situational awareness, enabling organizations to maintain employee safety, minimize company damages, enhance resilience, and recover from incidents. 

CEM approaches use technology and communication tools to respond to critical events and involve incident management and response, crisis communication, the coordination of resources, and the development of protocols and plans. 

Stages of Situational Awareness

Three main stages of situational awareness ensure the safest and most effective outcome.

1. Perception

The first step of situational awareness is recognizing that a person, occurrence, or incident could pose a threat. This process involves gathering information through various technology sources and active observation to remain informed about a situation.

2. Understanding

This stage requires the collected information to be processed. Assessing and analyzing the gathered data, learning to identify and anticipate possible risks or vulnerabilities, and considering context are crucial before tackling the situation. 

3. Response

Responding to a critical event requires prompt and effective actions to increase the chance of safety and minimize any risks. In this decision stage, actions must be prioritized, and resources must be allocated appropriately to produce the most effective response. 

Emergencies and business disruptions happen. It’s how you prepare and respond to them that determines their impact.

Our critical event management solutions combine a secure emergency notification system with incident response tools and capabilities—so you can quickly deploy your response teams and enable them to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from critical events faster.

Critical Event and Emergency Planning Resources

Structural Dependency
Tips to Make Your Enterprise Resilient with Critical Event Management
View the Infographic
Structural Dependency
Nine Tips to Prepare for Every Critical Event
Read The Blog
Structural Dependency
Critical Event Management Guide to Emergency Planning
Download the Guide
Structural Dependency
Checklist for Critical Event and Emergency Management Planning
Get The Checklist