The physical environment includes exits, terrain, and obstacles. When in a given space, you should be aware of avenues of escape should a crisis develop such as a fire or a person attempting to assault you. You should be aware of as many avenues of escape as possible, but there may be only a few (say two doors and a window) or even one (such as when you’re in an office or closet). When seeking to escape a situation, priority should be given to exits that you know will lead toward more strategically favourable locations. For example, frequently you want to exit the building you are in, but other favourable locations might include the principal’s office in a school or a more populated area of an office building after hours. Generally, you want to be where there are people who can assist you (although see the [article/post] on diffusion of responsibility). If you don’t know what is beyond a given exit, it should be avoided if there are better alternatives (for example, someone told me a story of attempting to escape from an upset person, but the door they escaped through led to the basement and the person then had them trapped). Finally, the time it takes to get through an exit is important. If someone is attacking you, the odds of opening and then getting through a window without them striking or grabbing you are fairly low. Even getting through a door can be tricky because any locks must be disengaged, the handle must be turned, and if the door opens into the room you must make space for it. The terrain is important because it affects how quickly and easily you can move. If the ground is slippery, say due to ice, kicks would be more risky as they would compromise your balance, and even running could be challenging. Obstacles can also impact self defence strategy. They can impede escape, but can also be used to obstruct an attacker.