I'm looking for a word or short phrase that describes a situation in which there is danger and you should be ready to move / escape quickly.

The only thing that comes to mind is "Pack Light" or "Sleep Light", but it's not exactly what I'm looking for. Any ideas?


How about "vigilant"?

alertly watchful especially to avoid danger


  • Vigilant is all-observant like a watchman. Like an Argus monster, who served as watchman at the time of war. From that we get Argus-eyed. Argus-eyed is synonymous to vigilant. I think, OP is looking for a term that describes a person who is wary of the situation and always ready to escape from the place (of hiding). Like a spy in an other country.
    – Ubi hatt
    Mar 13 '19 at 4:34

An expression for this is to sleep with one eye open:

From The Free Dictionary:

To stay awake or sleep very lightly so as to remain very wary, cautious, or alert. I won't forget this insult. You'd better start sleeping with one eye open, because I'll get my revenge.

From Oxford Dictionaries:

Sleep very lightly, aware of what is happening around one.

‘the woman was like a cat sleeping with one eye open, watching everything that went on’
‘She must have heard something because according to her father she slept with one eye open at all times.’
‘I have spent my life in an area where you needed to sleep with one eye open to survive.’

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