Surviving a Terrorist Attack in a City

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

The U.S. State Department has just issued a worldwide travel warning, due to increased terrorist threats.  This comes as we approach the busiest travel season with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up.

For the past couple of weeks, many people have been worried about the increased terror threat since the Nov. 13th attack in Paris, and the Mali hotel attack.

Terrorists by their very nature, tend to strike where many people congregate, typically cities, so they can spread as much fear and mayhem as possible.  An attack happens when least expected.

What can you do to increase your chances of surviving a terrorist attack?

Heightened alertness

As the State Department mentioned in their warning, “citizens should be vigilant, especially in crowded places.”  This means you must always be aware of your surroundings, no matter where you are.  When you enter a room or building, scope out your exits so you know what direction to run to if needed.  Be on guard and alert for any clues that something may be wrong.  If you do get a feeling that something is wrong, follow your gut.

Have a plan

It may be hard to picture it, but imagine different scenarios that you could potentially be faced with if a terrorist attack were to happen near you.

In an active shooter situation, there are three choices:

Run, Hide or Fight

  • Run away if you can find a safe way to do so.  Try to do it so you don’t call attention to yourself.   Don’t worry about taking your purse or other belongings-just leave!
  • If you cannot run away, hide somewhere.  If you are hiding in another room, turn off the lights, silence your phone and be very still.
  • As a last resort, you may have to put up a fight with a weapon or improvise one.

A good book to read is Fight, Flight or Hide: The Guide to Surviving a Mass Shooting by John Forsythe.

As you hide, keep in mind that walls do not stop bullets.  You can be concealed so you are not spotted, but if bullets are flying, you need to find safe cover that would give you some kind of protection such as a brick wall, a pile of dirt, a concrete pillar.  Even a bookcase full of books is better than nothing.

Getting Home

In another scenario, you may not find yourself within the immediate area, but happen to be in the same part of town that an attack happens.  If the area is cordoned off, you could be stuck in the area for quite sometime.  During the Boston Marathon bomb attack, a relative of mine was visiting friends when it happened and he was unable to leave the area for an entire day.  You could find yourself stuck in the office or wherever you happen to be.

  • Be prepared to shelter in place.
  • Make sure you have an emergency kit with water and food that can tide you over.
  • Monitor the latest news and warnings and make decisions accordingly.
  • If you are able to leave, you may find yourself in a traffic nightmare.
  • You should also have a car emergency kit.

You don’t need to live in fear or worry.  Part of being prepared is thinking of these possibilities in advance and making a plan.  Stay safe everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2015

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  1. Another important thing is to have both permissive and near-permissive forms of weapons as part of your EDC kit, as well as materials to improvise weapons in the event of this occurrence. The important thing about this element is that your EDC should be ALWAYS on your person so that you have at least SOME resources to use should an event like this happen.

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