Spotting Danger Before It Spots You

Build Situational Awareness To Stay Safe

Buy the Book: AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionBookshopKoboYMAAAudible
Published by: YMAA Publication Center
Release Date: May 1, 2020
Contributors: Dave Grossman (Foreword)
Pages: 161
ISBN13: 9781594397370


A mother dropping her teenager off at the mall, a young man leaving home for college, a family about to head out on their first trip overseas. What do all of these people have in common? They all have a vested interest in their personal security and the wellbeing of those they love. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, there were an estimated 1.25 million violent crimes committed in the United States in 2018. These crimes included murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Make no mistake; in a world filled with crime and violence, you are your own last line of defense.

Continuing on the path of The Gift of Fear (Gavin deBecker), Spotting Danger Before It Spots You, author Gary Quesenberry breaks down the basic techniques necessary to help you develop good situational awareness and increase your levels of personal safety. Gary calls upon his extensive background as a Federal Air Marshal and defensive tactics instructor to explain these methods in simple terms that will greatly improve your general understanding of how, when and where violence occurs. He will then take the next critical step—providing you with the tools you need to properly identify and evade danger before it ever has a chance to materialize.

Listen to a Sample


"A work that is greater than the sum of its parts, and unlike anything else available on this critical topic. This book stands out because of Gary’s incredibly thorough and comprehensive presentation of situational awareness, a life-saving ability to spot danger in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones. I have read many books on the subject, and I can honestly say that no one has even come close to matching Spotting Danger Before It Spots You when it comes to teaching situational awareness. This fundamental skill is key to surviving and overcoming the array of threats that confront the average citizen in the world today. Armed with the skills taught in this book, you will not need to live in fear; you will live instead in a state of awareness and readiness.
―Dave Grossman, Lt. Colonel, US Army (ret.), author of On Killing, On Combat, and Assassination Generation, Director, Killology Research Group

"A federal air marshal offers a guide to observing and evaluating your surroundings. Quesenberry’s nonfiction debut draws on his 19 years of experience as an air marshal, a job that gives him “a first-class ticket into the world of covert surveillance, surveillance detection, and self-defense.” In hundreds of settings, he has been the person paid and expected to know what’s going on and to anticipate and counter any potential dangers. By contrast, as he quite rightly points out, most people relax themselves into a false sense of security by thinking “nothing will ever happen here” or “that would never happen to me.” But even the author’s cursory listing of some of the 21st century’s worst outbreaks of terrorist violence all over the world should make it clear to readers that they can no longer afford such attitudes―they must take a large part of their safety into their own hands. Quesenberry’s aim in his book is not only to change those attitudes, but also to arm readers with the basic perception shifts that will help them guard their own well-being. The foremost of these is “situational awareness,” which the author describes as “the ability to identify and process environmental cues to accurately predict the actions of others.” The adverb is crucial: Readers are gently admonished to discard their reflexive prejudices and assumptions and “identify and process” what they’re actually seeing in any environment (as the author points out, preset perceptions can sometimes blind a person to reality). In quick, sharply paced chapters full of well-chosen anecdotes and bulleted points, Quesenberry instructs readers on how to expand their awareness of the people and things in their immediate area, how to assume an aggressive mindset in order to anticipate how actual predators think, and even the basics of one-on-one self-defense. Much of what the author relates is elementary in nature―travel advisories all over the world urge some variation of situational awareness―but the clarity of this manual makes it stand out.  A vigorous and memorable primer on heightening awareness to prevent or counter danger."
Kirkus Reviews