“Any act of terror is an eye opener to all of us that terrorism can happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone. As much as it seems almost impossible to guarantee your safety in such hostile situations, you can still learn to be conscientious about danger and have a plan in mind in case of an attack.” –Tony Sahni, CEO Securex Agencies (K) Ltd.
Security experts will always play their part, but it is important to always be vigilant, aware of your surroundings and should you spot any suspicious activities, do not take chances always alert the local authorities immediately.
At the Scene
If you are caught on harm’s way and are in a situation with hostile adversaries remember that what you are feeling is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Make a decision by trusting your instincts to take the best possible action to survive the situation.
Listen to what the emergency response teams are telling you to do. These can be the law enforcement officials, firefighters or other authorities. Trust them as they have the expertise, equipment and a better sense of what is happening to help you out.
Avoid confrontation with the terrorists as this increases the likelihood of provoking a negative reaction. Instead, look for a suitable place to hide, put your mobile phone on silent and await the communication from the local authorities. While your phone is on silent, notify your family or friends via a short message who in turn will help the emergency response team to locate you. Do not post your location on social media as these channels are often monitored by affiliates and sympathizers of the terrorist.
In case of an active shooter scenario, get out of the hallways of the building and secure all doors. If it is safe, run through the nearest escape route and leave your belongings behind. If safe and out of sight of the active shooter, avoid the area and prevent people from re-entering the area. As a last resort, fight if you can.
In the event of an explosion, lay on the ground with your face down and your legs pointing in the direction of the blast. Cover your head with your arms, cross your legs and keep your mouth open to balance pressure so your eardrums do not burst. If possible, crawl under a solid structure such as a table to prevent debris from falling on you.
Once the initial explosion has passed, attempt to leave the location by the nearest available exit. When possible, identify the route that offers the most cover, such as near furniture. Avoid the site of the explosion if you can and avoid going near the windows.
In case you are trapped in a room or buried under debris do not panic, try to breathe through a cloth. If possible use your own clothes. Also, try to signal for help by banging on a hard surface if you can. This is mostly the preferred mode of signalling as screaming for help can lead to inhalation of harmful substances.
After getting out of immediate danger
Wait for directions from the local authorities and law enforcement personnel.
Report the location of the assailants.
Warn and help others, but be cautious not to expose yourself to further danger.
Always keep your hands visible.
Inform emergency forces of any casualties.
As your personal precaution:
Take time to note the evacuation plan and emergency exits of your workplace in case of an emergency.
When visiting a public facility, take note of access routes and entrance or exit points in case you will need a speedy exit.
Adhere to requests to be searched at the entrance to a public facility, this assists in enhancing security.
Know the locations of the local authorities and other safe zones where you can find quick refuge or assistance.
Avoid spreading unsubstantiated security alerts as this instills unwarranted fear and panic amongst the public.