The terror threat in the UK is constantly switching between ‘severe’ (means that an attack is highly likely) and ‘critical’ (means that an attack is expected imminently). This year alone, there have been five terror attacks in the UK, and hundreds of others across the globe.
Today, the terrorism is a very real threat and one that society has to live with. There is a very real fear that when visiting a large city, such as London, Bristol or Manchester, or watching a concert or show, that an act of terrorism could occur. That’s why understanding how to stay safe from terrorism and survive an attack, should you get caught up in one, is so important.
What Should You Do to Stay Safe from Terrorism?
The first step to staying safe from terrorism is to always be aware. Whenever you are out and about in public, it is crucial that you are always aware.
Scan the crowds as you walk, keeping an eye out for anything that stands out. For example, seeing a suitcase alone at a train station should be a red flag, or seeing a person wrapped up in a thick coat in warm weather is another red flag.
You want to look out for abnormal behaviour. Does someone look nervous or uncomfortable? Do they keep fiddling with something under their coat or concealed in a bag? Concerned about something that you have seen?
Don’t wait, report it immediately. It is probably nothing, but it is better to air on the side of caution and report anything unusual that you notice.
How Can You Make Survival More Likely During a Terror Incident?
If you end up in a terror situation, it is vital that you and your loved ones are prepared. So it is worth taking the time to put a plan in place beforehand, so that should you need it, it is there.
The government has issued simple advice for dealing with a terror incident which recommends that you ‘run, hide and tell’. If it is safe to run, it is recommended that you run, leaving your belongings behind and insisting others go with you.
If you can’t run, it is recommended that you hide and barricade yourself and others in a safe place until help can arrive.
The next step is to contact the local authorities to tell them what has happened, but only when it is safe to do so.
One thing that you can do is choose a code word to shout out in a terror incident to locate your loved ones. Everyone will be screaming names and ‘mum’ and ‘dad’, instead, you want to have something different to yell, as it will make locating your loved ones easier. Choose a term – something no one else will shout – and agree to yell that in a terror situation to pinpoint your loved one’s locations.
Always wear shoes that you can move fast in. You might like how you look in heels or smart shoes, but if you cannot run in them, there is a problem. Whenever possible, whether you are shopping, watching a concert, or on the way to work, wear comfortable and easy to move in shoes, so that if you need to run, you can do. If you are wearing shoes that are hard to run in and a terror attack occurs, take them off and run.
Whenever you enter anywhere, whether it is a shopping mall or a music venue, agree on a meeting place with your family in case you can’t hear each other screaming. That way you won’t have to wonder aimlessly around trying to find them, you will know where to head to. Obviously, only move if it is safe to do so, never put yourself at risk.
There are also some useful items that you can carry in your bag that could save your life in the event of a terror attack. A door wedge, for placing under a door and barricading it with, can be lifesaving. Carry a whistle – a whistle will attract more attention than screaming – or a rape alarm. These are incredibly loud and are guaranteed to cause a scene, getting you the attention and help that you need.
The fact is that terror attacks are becoming more and more likely, which is why knowing how to stay safe in the event of one is so important. The tips and advice above should help you to stay safe in the unlikely event that you are caught up in a terrorist attack.