September 12

How I found my situational awareness

By Tricia Santarcangelo

I walked through the World Trade Center at 8:20 a.m. on September 11, 2001. I had done this almost every day for a year. Despite being married to Mr. Security, I never noticed if there were emergency exits, stairs, or other paths to travel. I walked like a member of the flock the same way every day.

When the second plane hit the towers, Michael begged me to get out of the city. I stayed, not because they told me to, not because I was curious and wanted to watch what was happen, but simply because the only way I knew how to get off the island was blocked by two huge towers that were on fire.

Like many people the events of 9/11 changed me, but not in ways I expected. Now when I go anywhere I note where all the exits are, where the fire extinguishers are, and who is around me. I am amazed by how many people are not aware of what is around them.

I believe we have lost our sense of situational awareness and until we find it again, the practice of information protection will continue to struggle.

So today on the anniversary of the day I became aware I challenge you to look around and take it all in, you might be surprised at what you see. Maybe today is your day to become aware.

— Tricia penned this yesterday as we reflected and remembered and wanted to share it with you. Hopefully we can encourage her to offer us more on her perspective of forming the “security mindset.” — Michael


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