Many years ago when I attended the FBI Hazardous Device School at Huntsville Alabama, I came away with one idea, that when you were working with explosives you needed to always play the odds. In other words, you always needed to take as few chances as possible. The same applies to a terrorist attack. Always try to keep the odds on your side.
Protect yourself and your family from a terrorist attack
- Pay attention to what and who is around you. Be aware of your surroundings. For example if I am sitting in a restaurant I always sit where I can see the doors.
- Always know where the exits are. Whenever I sit down in a restaurant or other public building, I always look for the quickest and easiest ways out. If I am staying in a hotel, I will count the number of doors to the nearest exit stairs, in case I have to crawl because of smoke and lack of visibility. This can make the difference between you being found dead in in an empty room or closet or getting out alive.
- If I am out in public, I avoid crowds or stay near the edge in a position to leave quickly if something were to happen.
- If I see a disturbance, I head the other way. There is no need to be sucked into something because you are curious. Terrorists may stage an incident to cause a crowd to gather.
- If I am at a store and I see someone coming dressed in a manner that attracts my attention, I head in another direction. An example could be bulky, heavy cloths on a hot day. The same thing applies to vehicles that are in strange places or illegally parked
- I try to always park in well-lit places that are in the open. I want to be able to see who is around.
- Trust your intuition –If something makes you uneasy, trust your instinct. Your subconscious may have picked up subtle clues that you can’t quite put your finger on, but are real.
- If you can legally carry a concealed weapon, do it. And don’t forget to train and practice often.
- Act decisively if you are a victim of a terrorist attack. Don’t hesitate or wait for instructions. Get away from the attackers. If you hear unexplained loud noises take cover, better to look a little silly that end up dead.
- Stay away from likely targets. With the current threats from ISIS and the possibility of a lone wolf terrorist attack, I would avoid venues that are likely to be targets.
- If all else fails and you have no other choice, fight, fight dirty and use any improvised weapon you can get your hands on.
- Always have a meeting place for your family and a message phone that is a substantial distance away. Often long distance calls or texts will go through when local calls will not.
Fortunately, for me most of these rules come naturally, I don’t like crowds or large groups and by nature I am suspicious. I realize that for some people following rules like these are hard. But take the time to talk to your families, in particular your children and teach them what they need to do to survive a terrorist attack.