What To Do To Survive In The Event Of A Terrorist Attack

Acts of terrorism pose a serious threat to the very foundations of human rights. It is hard to imagine that human rights can have any presence at all when the deliberate aim is the destruction of human life.

How not to become a victim of a terrorist attack

A terrorist act is an attempt by one or more people to disrupt the work of authorities or international organizations or to influence their decisions by intimidating the population and causing concrete harm. To do this, criminals may set fire to a building, take hostages, or set off an explosion in a crowded public place.

It is impossible to predict where and when a terrorist attack will be staged, and therefore everyone is at risk of witnessing or being victimized one day. But by following a few rules, you can reduce the risk of getting into a dangerous situation and even destroy the terrorists’ plans.

Be vigilant in crowded places

Because terrorists want to attract public attention, they are more likely to target a large and well-known facility, such as an international airport or a popular resort. Large-scale events such as festivals, sporting events, and concerts are also at risk.

Also, an attractive target for a terrorist attack can be a place with large crowds of people, where there are no special screening – frames, security cameras, or police officers. For example, a shopping mall on a weekend, a subway during rush hour, or a city center on a holiday.

While in such places, always control the situation around you. Pay attention to suspicious people.

If you see gawkers gathering around a place, do not try to join them. In the event of a terrorist attack, a mass exodus can create a crush, which often hurts more than the threat itself. So it’s best to watch from the sidelines.

Forgotten objects

If you notice an abandoned item in a public place, such as a bag or box, don’t touch it. Especially if it is large enough to hold an explosive device.

Take precautions:

Inspect the item, but do not touch it. An explosive device may be indicated by the presence of wires, string, or duct tape, suspicious sounds such as ticking, and clicking, and the smell of almonds or other unusual strong odors.

Notify people about the find. Next, if you are riding public transportation, ask passengers sitting nearby if they have seen who forgot the item. One more thing – if the owner has not been identified, tell the driver. Also, if you find a suspicious object at the entrance of an apartment building, ask your neighbors if they left something behind or threw it away. If not, call the police. If you find something similar in an institution, contact the building administration.

Moving in a crowd

The crush can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. As a result, people who survived the explosion or shooting can die under the feet of frightened fellow citizens.

To avoid becoming a victim of the crowd, the first thing you need to do is to overcome panic and stupor and assess the situation sensibly. Try the following techniques of self-soothing:

Take a few deep breaths and exhalations to shift your nervous system into a calmer state of mind 

If you are already in a crowd but it is not moving yet, try to get out of it by using psychosocial techniques. For example, pretend to be sick or drunk, or pretend to vomit.

If the crowd has already moved and it is not possible to get out of it, try to observe the following rules:

– Do not try to go against the crowd. Move in the flow, but try to separate yourself whenever possible.

– Stay away from the center and edges.

If you are taken as a hostage

If you are taken as a hostage, follow these rules:

  • Try not to make sudden movements or noise. Criminals may perceive this as a threat and use weapons.
  • Do not look aggressors in the eyes, behave quietly, and comply with their demands. Do not resist if someone tries to blindfold you or immobilize you with handcuffs or ropes.
  • Find a safe place for children. Stay close at all times and be prepared to cover yourself.
  • Avoid tantrums and panic. Focus on what is happening to distract yourself from panic thoughts. 

Furthermore, try to memorize what the terrorists were saying. If you are not blindfolded, try to memorize their specific characteristics: height and build, manner of movement, tattoos, and special markings. Do not stare, be careful.

Ask for help calmly and briefly. Do not act until you have permission. Remember that as soon as the special services receive a message about the capture, they will start doing everything to free you. The key is to live to see that happen. If the assault begins, lie face down on the floor, cover your head with your hands, and don’t move.

Do not run towards or away from the security forces: you may be mistaken for one of the terrorists. Stay away from doorways and windows so you don’t accidentally get shot.

We hope you will never find yourself in the situation to implement these rules practically. However, knowledge is preparation, and preparation means chances of survival. Stay safe!

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