The multiple terror related events of 2017 have proved that no matter where you are in the world there is always the threat of a heinous attack. Terror attacks have become a common occurrence in society, interfering with travellers and locals alike. City communities are becoming accustomed to these events and not allowing them to impede their daily lives.
The British police force introduced the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ safety message in 2015, which was quickly adopted by police forces around the world. Whilst this simple message is an effective one, terrorists are using new methods to instil fear, therefore, we must be prepared for unforeseen attacks.
Here is a guide on what to do when a terror attack occurs within your immediate vicinity.
Terrorists use bomb blasts as their main weapon to inflict harm. If you find yourself in an area where there has been a detonation, your immediate reaction should be to run at least 200 yards away from the blast zone. Avoiding large crowds as they can be subject to more blasts and roads with many parked cars may contain car bombs. Keep clear of built up areas and large high rise buildings because glass and debris may fall upon you. Seek refuge somewhere quiet and open; preferably a park.
If you are unable to escape outside or are trapped inside a building, take cover by hiding under tables, or in cupboards to shield yourself from falling debris. Do not use lifts and avoid kitchens and boiler rooms as these are highly hazardous areas. Follow instructions wardens in the building delegate to you.
The moment you realise that a gunfire attack has begun, flee the scene as quickly as possible. If the attack occurs outside run down small alleyways to shield yourself whilst searching for a well hidden and protected space to hide in. Accessing the safest area may mean crossing the line of fire, do not do this, seek an alternative route. Use shops and restaurants to your advantage and try to barricade yourself to safety. Stay away from doors and hide behind objects within the room. A singular table will not be sufficient in protecting you from bullets, however stacking three or four tables horizontally on the floor and hiding your body behind them is.
If the gun attack occurs inside a building, seek an exit. This might be on ground level or the roof of a building. If the attacker is blocking your only exit find somewhere to hide, pretending to be dead on the floor may seem like a good idea, however this is not advised because attackers are known to fire more rounds upon the wounded.
The National Counter Terrorism Service Office (NACTSO) say citizens should help others to escape with them and encourage them to follow you. This teamwork message also prevails if the attack occurs in a confined area such a hotel lobby or bank. They suggest making a plan with other survivors to overthrow the attacker, by ganging up on them from behind in a group of five or six you can overthrow the attacker. However, they also advise that you should not let indecisive people slow you down or hinder your chances of survival, if you see this happening take an authoritative role.
This relatively new form of terrorist activity has seen an increase in its use. Similar to a bomb blast, the advice given is mostly for the aftermath events. However, if you have a suspicion of a vehicle coming towards you, evade its direct path. If you are near individuals who have been hit by the vehicle they are likely to be bleeding or in serious pain and it is advised you attend to them if you can.
The recovery position is best reserved for those who are breathing and don’t show any sign of other harm. If in an individual is unconscious and shows no other signs, CPR must be applied to them straight away. If someone is bleeding heavily use a jacket or other materials to prevent further blood loss and apply pressure to the wound.
No two terrorist attacks are the same, whilst knowing the fundamental tips to surviving an attack is of importance, one hint may be better than any; trust your instincts. Only you can judge the situation that is unfolding around you and how to manage it. When you know you are safe, call the emergency services and provide them with as much detail as possible.
Preparing for an Attack
Sometimes you may be sent on business to a destination with a track record of terrorist attacks. There are a number of simple procedures you can do before or during the trip to protect yourself from any imminent attack. This list was created by our CEO Micheal Beagelman and one of our clients Robert Amsterdam who used these tips to gain an advantage against the Russian Government when they were on his pursuit.
- Before you even leave for the destination execute an evacuation plan. Plan and prepare where you would go to seek refuge and who you are going to call for safety advice. Planning in advance means you are always rest assured that there is a safety net for you to fall upon if needed.
- Always have your phone charged and a battery pack spare to hand. Communication is the key to survival, texting and calling emergency services, friends & family and important contacts can keep you in constant communication with those who are best to advise you.
- Ensure that all travel documentation is up to date. Make sure that your passport and visas are well within their issue, if you need to make a quick get-a-way then you will not have any complications at the airport.
- Have trusted and pre-screened drivers. Every time you step into a car you are essentially handing your life to someone else. In certain countries, drivers aren’t tested as meticulously as they are in others, therefore use drivers who are trusted by the hotel concierge.
- For the best overall protection whilst travelling use a travel management company which is 24/7. They will have industry contacts, the knowledge and the amenities to be at your beck and call to advise you to safety.