Situational awareness or situation awareness is the perception of environmental factors and events, knowing what it means, and then understanding possible outcomes after something has changed.
Situational awareness goes beyond just knowing your surroundings and being aware of any danger, it’s also having an idea of possibilities and potential outcomes.
Everyone’s own knowledge and experience enable us to access what is going on around us to decide if it’s safe or if there is a danger.
Situational awareness is an attribute of being a tactical operator or a U.S. Marine, for example. Situational awareness is related to adaptability and sensemaking.
Adaptability: Consistent willingness and ability to alter attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors to appropriately respond to actual or anticipated change in the environment.
Sensemaking: Understanding connections (i.e. among people, places, and events) in order to anticipate their trajectories, estimate the overall situation, and act effectively.