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Terrorist/scumbag attacks - list of practical things to do(16 Posts)
After the horrific attack in Manchester last night and the threat level being raised to critical today, I've seen a lot of comments on threads today from posters asking what they can do to protect their families and to prevent an atrocity like this occurring again. I thought it might be helpful to brainstorm ideas on what individual MNers can actually do to:
- practice personal safety when out and about;
- know what to do if they are caught up in an attack;
- teach their children what to do in an emergency situation;
- help make the overall environment safer.
And various other bits, which I'm sure I've forgotten. Of course, nothing anyone can do is going to help if someone blows themselves up next to you and my sympathies tonight are very much with the innocent people killed, injured or traumatised, their loved ones, the people still searching, those helping directly and the people working around the clock to prevent attacks occurring in the first place.
To start off, these are some useful links:
- MI5 have a whole section of their website with advice on what you can do, which includes everything from reporting suspicious online material, to safety abroad, to joining MI5.
- The Government has a website section on preparing for emergencies, with ideas and resources for individuals, families, workplaces and communities. Unfortunately some of the links are out of date but it's still useful.
- The Red Cross also has a section on its website called 'Be Red Cross Ready', with resources for individuals and families to be prepared in case of an emergency.
- The Metropolitan Police have an excellent guide on how to report concerns about possible terrorist activity.
- After the Bataclan attack in Paris, the UK's National Counter Terrorism Security Office published advice for the public on what to do in the event of being caught up in a gunman attack. Details available here.
- You can download the free, ad-free, UK-centric CitizenAID app to any smartphone or tablet, which gives immediate advice on what to do in the event of being caught up in a terror attack, with advice specific to the individual situation that the user is facing.
One genuinely useful thing you can do is give blood. A small act that can literally save a life.
exLtEveDallas wrote this post a couple of years ago, with some excellent advice:
For the OP and from my own experiences, just some tips from my previous life:
When going into a building always check for exits and emergency exits.
Look for security personnel and where they are positioned.
Look for possible choke points and avoid them if you can.
If it is crowded agree a checkpoint/recovery point for your party.
Check what each member of your party is wearing and remember it.
If an attack happens:
No heroics. Unless you are trained you will probably get it wrong.
Eyes down, do as you are told. Get on the floor, calm children, calm yourself.
Get away from choke points and Windows
Cover your head/face/eyes.
Don't stand out.
But try to remember what is going on - use your ears more than your eyes.
If you get hurt:
Pack wounds - don't worry about what you use, get something inside and against it. Don't use tourniquets unless you are trained and unless you can carry the person afterwards. Direct pressure - even if it hurts.
If one of your party is killed - there is nothing you can do. If you can get out you still have to get out. Don't risk your life for someone who is already gone. They will be recovered, it doesn't have to be by you.
If you get out:
Get away, stay away. Get to a cordon/security services, give your details. Check everyone in your party is with you and unhurt.
Try to remember as much as you can about the perpetrators: height, weight, colour, build, accent/dialect, what they said and why they said it. What you did, why you did it.
If you get home:
Get warm. Get fed. Hot sweet tea (it really does work), talk about it, see what you all remember, see if you have anything that could help the security services, remind each other you are alive, count your blessings. Be positive. Soothe each other. Don't be afraid to cry, to rant, to grieve.
Give as much assistance as you can to the security services - any information you have can help. They'd rather wade through a pile of junk for that one important tip than try to piece everything together blind.
Great point about giving blood. It's 4 times a year in the UK and will save lives.
To sum up the official advice:
- have a plan on where to meet your group if you get separated.
- know where the emergency exits are and how to get to them.
- report anything/anyone suspicious to the police.
- if you are caught up in an attack with active terrorists you have three options: Run, Hide, Play dead. Follow in that order.
Dd2 and her friend are going to London for a post exam treat in a few weeks. I will be making sure she is briefed to avoid tube and bus if anything happens. Walk as far away as they can if it's something going on in the area, hide and stay hidden if it's close. Mobile network will be down if anything is going off so you'd need to use a landline.
I think talking to children about what to do in an age-appropriate way is really important. My kids are small so my main concern is them knowing what to do if they get lost. They both know that if they get lost they find a member of staff or a woman with children and tell them that they can't find their mummy. I also usually write my phone number on their arm if we're going to a big event where it would be easy to lose track of them in the crowds. This works for general small child getting lost situations but can also be applied in any scenario where we get separated. In a terror attack, getting separated from my children would be horrendous
This guide walks through how to set up an 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) screen on an iPhone, which is accessible even when the phone is locked.
I always look for two exits. Firefighters I know say that's the first thing they do.
I wondered about safety labels. You can get wristbands with name and contact details on them. So if you're going to a big event like Manchester you could put them in. But just on the tube/bus? I wouldn't bother.
Somewhere to meet is a good idea.
Decades ago we had some 'hostage' training. I worked with offenders. The problem with this is that it was assuming something like a robbery or riot. Not this kind of attack.
£1 coin and phone number written inside a shoe, hand bag and pocket. Many phone boxes also have text capabilities.
Walk, walk, walk.
Useful to have in your bag that aren't too bulky for EDC:
Tiny torch on keys (mine is smaller than a £1 coin)
Asprin and paracetamol
Blister plasters for long walk
Something sugary like polos
Printed phone numbers
Small scarf (I carry an old pashmina at the bottom of my bag for keeping kids warm in general if the weather changes but is very useful for a million other things - I even created a sling with it in an emergency a few weeks back when I just couldn't keep my eye on everyone)
Can I add, go and do a first aid course, it can, and does save lives.
Some good advice. It's terrible that it's a good idea people should be prepared for such an attack.
I try and talk to my teens but they're not at all concerned. I just need to get the best two or three bits of advice through to them because they tune out after that!
ThroughThickAndThin, what do you try to make stick?
Another thing I do with my small DC on a big day out (festivals, theme park, zoo, fireworks etc.) is take a photo of them early in the day. This came in useful a month ago when DS zoomed off on his scooter in a large park and I couldn't find him. I ended up calling the police, who arrived in force within minutes and circulated a photo of him to every on-duty officer in the county.
The Run, Hide, Tell advice seems to be most recommended now.
a simple thing if you are travelling on the London underground - a key ring torch. Don't rely on your mobile phone as your only source of light. Your batter may be low, you may want to save it for making calls.
Some great advice here. I will add put something between you and the attackers. A tree, a post box, a pillar etc. This can protect you from vehicles, shrapnel, bullets.
We got told to run. After the bataclan attack authorities suggested hiding was a bad idea incase you ended up trapped
Some advice from military experience. If you are running from a shooter zig zag never run in a straight line. Repeat in your head "he can see me" and change direction, duck whatever.
The time it Takes to say "he can see me" is about the time it takes for a shooter to notice your movements and take aim at you