Terrorist attack, how will you react?

People who mentally run through scenarios, prepare and train themselves for incidents are far more likely to survive than those who don’t. When panic sets into an individual it quickly becomes infectious and what does panic do?

It causes the brain to close down  One of the most disastrous forms of collective human behaviour is the kind of crowd stampede induced by panic, often leading to fatalities as people are crushed or trampled. Sometimes this behaviour is triggered in life-threatening situations such as a terrorist attack.

None of us know how we will react in a situation but as a former Royal Marine who could be presented with a life and death scenario at any time when on operations, our training kicked in.

Here are three simple rules to follow:

You will be able to think more clearly and do the right thing if you keep your emotions in check and the best way to do this is to have thought through possible courses of action previously and prepared yourself for the situation. Terrorism is all about inducing mass hysteria and panic therefore panicking is playing into a terrorists hands.

Thinking clearly allows an individual to quickly assess the situation and to make the right call. Look around you and see and recognise what is happening. What have you heard gun, bomb or grenade? Which direction are people running in? Is the attack continuing? What are the officials who are present saying?

If you are thinking clearly you can help others to do the same you can lead them in such a situation. Very often those who are involved in shocking incidents wait for leadership and if everyone is waiting for leadership nothing happens and inertia sets in.

People who stick together generally escape as a group, blind individual panic does not help anyone. Mutual support helps in terms of medical first aid, it helps in terms of all round vision and understanding it helps in terms of capability whether that is in escaping or protecting those with you.  Remember two brains are better that one, four eyes better than two and four arms better than two.

Work as a team to achieve what you need to whether that be survival, escape or attack.

Survival stories often include a clear thinking leader and a group  working together whether it was the Island of Utoya, the Bataclan theatre, the Kosher supermarket at the Port de Vincennes, the attack at the seafront in Nice or the attack in the train running from Amsterdam to Paris.

At Sampson Hall we work with businesses and individuals that are considering how they may be better prepared. This may be in the case of an individual who travels regularly to areas that are currently experiencing high levels of terrorist activity but we also consult and train staff that are employed in businesses that need to be aware of their duty and obligation to protect their employees and customers.

If you would like more information please get in touch on 0844 848 9594

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