Various things depict an impending terrorist attack, and everyone must become equipped in matters terrorism to avoid being caught unaware. Violent extremist acts plunge people into anxiety, fear, and a dilemma on how to react. Living in this era of countless evil that human beings have turned against each other, it is inevitable to be vigilant and prepared for the worst.
RUN, HIDE, FIGHT are three keywords in the event one finds himself in an active shooter scenario.
2016 is a year personally I will never forget. Being fresh in the job industry with no idea of what an emergency drill entails, I reported in the office one morning as usual not knowing the unexpected drill that was to happen. At around midday, we heard a loud blast which was followed by several gunshots. Peeping out through the windows, the atmosphere outside revealed utter confusion as everyone was running helter-skelter for safety not knowing what was going on.
Every individual in the office was terrified waiting for any eventuality, others whispering their last prayers, jumping through the windows, while others hid under tables and in the washrooms. A few minutes later amid screams and tension, we heard the sound of an alarm calling out on everyone to get out through the emergency exit to the assembly point and that’s when we learned it was a drill. However, this was late as some had broken their legs, hands, others fainting and sustaining serious injuries.
Judging through this experience and many others its clear people do not know how to react in the event of danger and its better to die on your feet than on your knees.
RUN, HIDE, FIGHT are three keywords in the event one finds himself in an active shooter scenario. With the presence of an alternative route away from the attack, one should leave everything behind and run. In the event RUN cannot be achieved, one should find a safe place to HIDE making sure the door is locked and barricaded while the phone is silent. FIGHT is the last option when the other two become impossible. Try to incapacitate the shooter, by acting with aggression and improvising weapons while committing to your actions without delay.
It is also vital to report suspicious activity or items to the proper local law enforcement authorities by embracing the norm “If You See Something, Say Something.” Just like other criminals, terrorists take time to plan their attacks, being vigilant will help citizens pass the information to the security services creating opportunities to thwart their mission.
Some of the red flags of suspicious activities or items citizens ought to be wary of include:
· An unattended luggage
· Strangers who are; observing, taking pictures, measurements, and looking for CCTV installations on buildings.
· People purchasing incendiary devices.
· Curiosity of strangers to know about the security procedures of a place.
The use of the Internet and social media to recruit and radicalize individuals to violence shows conventional approaches are unlikely to detect and disrupt all terrorist plots. It is therefore important to create awareness on terrorism and its effects on society through any available platform by encouraging every citizen whether young or old to take part in the fight against terrorism.
Anyone who comes across any suspicious activity should pass the information to the relevant authorities as matters security needs our concerted efforts. No matter the sacrifice made by our men in uniform, they cannot win the fight alone.