The environment evolves location, such as a street corner, parking lot, park, etc., and immediate surroundings, such as no lighting or no nearby houses or people. When assessing the environment, consider escape routes, barriers, makeshift weapons, terrain, cover, and concealment.
- Escape routes. Ways for you to flee from the threatening situation safely.
- Barriers. A barrier is anything that may obstruct or impede the attacker's path of attack. Barriers may stop or slow the attacker to give you distance and time to escape safely.
- Weapons. Most any object may be converted into an offensive or defensive weapon. However, the object must be used appropriately. Makeshift weapons may be used to strike, distract, shield, or cut or stab.
- Terrain. Does the terrain offer you any protection, does it aid the attacker, or is it neutral? Terrain may be stable, such as flat pavement, or unstable, such as an icy sidewalk. The effect of terrain on the environment will depend on the clothing, footwear, and physical ability of you and your attacker.
- Cover. Cover is anything that temporarily protects you from gunfire, such as large rocks. Cover must have the ability to stop a bullet. Cover gives you a little time to assess the situation from a position of safety.
- Concealment. Concealment is anything that hides you from the attacker's senses. It allows you to evade the attacker or to mount a surprise attack. Things that offer concealment may not provide cover, such as bushes. Things that provide cover may not offer concealment, such as bullet resistant glass.