S – Size Up the Situation
If you are in a combat situation, find a place where you can conceal yourself from the enemy. Remember, security takes priority. Use your senses of hearing, smell and sight to get a feel for the battlefield. What is the enemy doing? Advancing? Holding in place? Retreating? You will have to consider what is developing on the battlefield when you make your survival plan.
Determine the pattern of the area. Get a feel for what is going on around you. Every environment, whether forest, jungle or desert, has a rhythm or pattern. This rhythm or pattern includes animal and bird noises and movements and insect sounds. It may also include enemy traffic and civilian movements.
The pressure of the battle you were in or the trauma of being in a survival situation may have caused you to overlook wounds you received. Check your wounds and give yourself first aid. Take care to prevent further bodily harm. For instance, in any climate, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. If you are in a cold or wet climate, put on additional clothing to prevent hypothermia.
Perhaps in the heat of battle or due to accident, you lost or damaged some of your equipment. Check to see what equipment you have and what condition it is in.
Now that you have sized up your situation, surroundings, physical condition and equipment, you are ready to make your survival plan. In doing so, keep in mind your basic physical needs — water, food and shelter.
Information courtesy of the U.S. Army Survival Manual.