What Would You Do If the Unthinkable Happened In Your City?
Most of you are aware of the attacks in Paris, and the ongoing state of emergency there and in other parts of Europe. In some cases, public transportation was, and may still be halted in some areas, public events were cancelled, schools closed, and people were essentially told to shelter in place.
Immediately after the attack in Paris people that were not injured had a difficult time getting clear of the area. People in some cases, could not reach their vehicle, and if they could find their vehicle, they could not leave in it, or hail a taxi, buses were halted, trains stopped and airports were closed temporarily. The city, in a matter of minutes, was shut down leaving people to mill about confused and scared with no way to get home or even get to a hotel.
The local authorities can in some cases, jam cell phone traffic, and the reason they might do this, is to prevent a terrorist or some other maniac from detonating a bomb via cell phones. Terrorists, often times detonate one bomb, and then wait for first responders to show up before detonating another bomb remotely using a cell phone.
Given all this, you may not be able to make cell phone calls immediately after an attack. Be aware of this. Your loved ones may not be able to contact you, and of course, you cannot call out from your present location.
If they had been plotting the attack for any period, the terrorists may have timed police responses to other emergencies, and thus a bomb could be on a timer, set to go off when they believe the first responders would arrive. The attackers may also wait for panicked citizens to group up at exits and other areas before setting off the second one or before opening fire.
This is something you need to be aware of when there is a bomb attack or any type of attack in your city. Follow up detonations may very well happen, so get clear as fast as possible.
This Could Happen Anywhere and It Could Even Happen In Your City
What would you do what could you do, if you were at a sports event, a concert or just out enjoying the city when a bomb goes off, when shots ring out? You are not injured, but you are dealing with a surging crowd in a blind panic, and every backpack and bulky overcoat are suspect. Is there a bomb in the pack, does the bulky coat hide a suicide vest?
As an unarmed, untrained civilian you want to move away from the sound of gunfire or bomb blasts. First responders move toward the sounds to help the injured and those in law enforcement move toward the sound to neutralize the shooters.
You move away to protect yourself and to keep out of the way of those called to help and to stay away from police whose nerves will be frayed. Forget about trying to record the scene with your cell phone, or in some cases trying to take a selfie, this is a ridiculous move, but some have done so while the horror unfolds and they have consequently put themselves in jeopardy.
Get clear of the area, and then do a zone analysis of your person and surroundings. What do you have on you that can be used to survive for hours on the street if you cannot get home, because the trains are halted, the taxis have stopped running, and your vehicle is within the attack zone?
Police will check every vehicle within a certain radius of the attack and all vehicular movement away from the attack might be halted, or at the very least each vehicle and its occupants will be carefully scrutinized. The police will be looking for the attackers and would assume they are fleeing the area. Trains, subways, and all public transportation may be halted to prevent the terrorist from getting away.
You may be stopped and questioned, and if you have a backpack, briefcase, purse, or satchel it may be seized, searched, or even securely contained and later destroyed in some cases, for fear there is a bomb inside.
If you are close to the attack and are evacuating a building you may be told to keep your hands on your head and to leave all possessions behind as you leave the venue. The police would be looking for the attackers to try and blend in with the panicked people fleeing the building.
If your vehicle is parked far enough away you may be able to get to it and shelter in it for a few hours or possibly all night. The streets will be jammed with others fleeing, with emergency vehicles, or the roads and streets leading away may be blocked, so you cannot leave in your vehicle. A survival bag inside your vehicle would be handy about now.
You may not have a vehicle, but an emergency pre-paid debit or credit card or emergency cash would come in handy, so you can get a taxi if they are running, buy a train ticket if the trains are operating, or get a room for the night or at the very least get a meal.
Some venues away from the scene may be serving up food and coffee. You may or may not be able to get a room for the night, but the faster you move the greater likelihood you will.
Previous articles have stressed the need for survival bags in your car and survival items on your person. However, if you are stopped and searched anything considered a weapon or outright illegal would be taken, and you may be in legal trouble.
If carrying a firearm immediately let the police know if you are stopped. Never brandish a firearm unless you are directly engaging an active shooter. A firearm in your hands or even showing holstered may get you shot for your troubles, so pay attention to what you are doing, and always ensure you have the proper documentation when carrying in public.
You cannot barricade yourself inside your home, and become so paralyzed by fear that you cannot function, but you can reduce your risks, by limiting your exposure to certain events. You have to go to the store, to work, to banks and to other places, so life has to go on, and you have to make decisions on a daily or even hourly basis that may affect the rest of your life.