Monday, June 20, 2016

Surviving a Terrorist

What happened in Orlando is another reminder that all of us are at risk of becoming targets in this war against radical Islam. The odds are low that you, I, or family members will find themselves in the middle of an Orlando type attack.  But it could happen just as you could be a storm or earthquake victim, so you need to be prepared to take action to survive. Action is the key. Those who act in the first seconds are the survivors. Try to be aware of your surroundings. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable, get out. If you see something suspicious tell — call 911 or the authorities.  Enter the FBI as a contact in your phone. You can contact your nearest field office or use the national tip line, 202-324-3000.   It is a good idea to have the fire and local police numbers in your phone as well.

If you are in a public location, know where the exits, restrooms, stairs, and fire extinguishers are located. 

Most people will mentally try to rationalize a threat away—shots are probably just fireworks, screams are just teenagers acting up, etc.  Survivors think threat first. They quickly assess to grasp the situation and they act.  They run, hide, or fight.

Get out of harm’s way if you possibly can. Once out, contact the
authorities and give them as much information as you can. The best way you can help others is too first save yourself. Only if you are alive can you help save other lives by assisting authorities and later helping those hurt or wounded. 

If you cannot run, hide. Make yourself disappear or as small a target as possible. Put a barrier between you and the terrorist. Preferably one that both hides you as well as stops bullets or debris from an explosion—a closed off room, a concrete wall, behind equipment, furniture, etc.

Finally, if you can’t run and you can’t hide—try to find a way to fight back.  If it is a terrorist attack, they intend to kill you. At least fighting back provides some possibility of survival. Be ready for an opportunity – an opening such as a jammed gun, an empty ammunition clip, or a distraction. Recruit others if possible. Get a weapon if you can—a sharp object like a broken stick, glass or knife, a hard object like a beer or coke bottle. But your body may be the best weapon—your full weight and fury thrown at the terrorist with blood curling screams, hands ripping hair, knee slamming private parts, teeth tearing ears away, fingers gouging eyes. Separate the terrorist from his weapon.  Hopefully, others will join you and together you can take the terrorist down. 

Fighting is, however, the last option. Terrorists may be working as a team. Yours may be wearing an explosive vest. Your fight may save others but not you. 

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
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