If something does break off and you’ve been aware of what’s going on around you, you’ll be able to make a run to the nearest exit, find something to hide behind or some other way to get yourself out of harm’s way. When you sit down in a movie theater or get on a plane, you’re asked to make note of the nearest exit and how to get there if there’s an emergency. You should note exits any time you enter any store or
Run, Hide, Fight
If you’re in a dangerous situation, particularly one where the real threat might not be clear and there are panic and fear around you, the golden rule to remember and follow is run, hide, then fight. Your objectives must be to get away from the danger first. If that’s not feasible, it must be to get yourself to a spot where you’ll be safe until the danger is over.
If you have a clear exit, this is the ideal choice. Don’t worry about any of your personal belongings, just drop it and run. Try to get other folks to leave with you if they will do so ASAP. If you can see a shooter, he can see you, so try to crouch and run as rapidly as you can so that you aren’t an easy target. Keep running until you get to a place of safety. Keep running as long as you can.
If there’s no way out, hiding is the next option, which means getting behind a car, tree or another big solid object that gets you both out of sight and protected. Most of these kinds of incidents only last for a couple of minutes. If possible, do what US elementary school students are trained to do and hide in a locked room – a dark, quiet and secure one.
For that reason, it’s conceivable that if you’re ever in a life-or-death situation, you might just do what your natural instincts press you to do: get away as fast as possible and seek protection in authority figures trained to handle the situation. Luckily, experts state that’s exactly what you should do.
Though instincts aren’t always correct and the best way to make the call in an emergency is to have the know-how ahead of time necessary to act without thinking. It’s a tall order to overcome the natural state of fear and panic that comes with violence. Though, being able to make a quick decision to trust your instincts or to change course might be what saves your life.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Your safety begins with being keenly aware of your surroundings. You may think this goes without saying, but considering folks fall down over themselves looking at their phones or texting while they walk, it’s surprising how few folks truly pay attention to what’s going on around them.
We’re not saying you have to be paranoid, just observant. Take a look around, see how many folks are close to you, and what they’re doing. Take a mental note of anything that looks out of place. Obviously if you see something that must be reported to authorities, you should, but for lots of us, this is a matter of checking out how crowded an area is before we enter, taking a peek around at the folks inside and how they react when we walk in and paying attention if there’s a situation developing.
If you do see a disturbance, such as a hostile customer shouting at a cashier, an arguing couple, or police activity, look around for exits to get to if things get out of control.
In a perfect world, no one doesn’t have to worry about the threat of violence when they go to school, to the mall, to work, take public transit, or just about anywhere else. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world. The least we can do, among providing tips to help you make the most of your life, is to help you sustain it in an emergency.
While we’re referring specifically to mass shootings, like the ones that happen practically every week in America, there’s no reason that you can’t apply this sort of information to any other violent disturbance. In China, for instance, over 25 individuals died and over 100 were injured in a gruesome and coordinated knife attack in Kunming.
Mass violence can take place anywhere, and the weapons of choice can be any form. The aim here isn’t to discuss a certain type of attack necessarily, but to give you practical tools you can use to keep your loved ones and yourself safe just in case violence breaks out anywhere near you.
This is practical guidance any ordinary citizen can keep in the back of their head if something does go wrong and you’re caught in the middle of a mass shooting or other violent situation. Below is what you need to know.
Psychology Is a Formidable Foe
In any emergency situation, particularly if your life is at risk, a calm head is your best asset. That can be tricky since our instincts have been honed over tens of hundreds of years to warn us of danger and get us out of life-threatening scenarios. When you sense danger, your fight-or-flight response goes into high gear, and the parts of your brain responsible for logic and higher thinking starts to go on standby.
Regardless if you’re the victim of a kidnapping or just the subject of a prank gone very wrong, getting locked in the trunk of a car is a severe situation. Most new vehicles have escape systems in place such as glow-in-the-dark handles that you can pull to release the latch from inside the trunk.
Though there are still numerous cars on the road today that have an anti-kidnapping feature. If you find yourself in a car trunk, know that there are a few ways to get out.
Pull the Trunk Release If you’re not lucky enough to see that glowing T-handle trunk release, you still can be able to find the trunk release cable coming from the driver’s compartment. Try pulling it toward the front of the car, either with pliers you find in the trunk or bare-handed. This cable is typically along the floor on the driver’s side in most makes and models of vehicles. It can also be on the passenger side.
Use Some Tools Feel around for a tire iron or screwdriver you can use to pry the trunk latch open. If that isn’t a choice or doesn’t work, use the tire jack and some sort of block to push on the center of the trunk near the latch, attempting to break it. You could also pry up a corner of the trunk lid, then signal other motorists for help.
Kick Your Way Out If the car is empty and parked, kick through the backseat and crawl out through the passenger compartment. If you can’t do that type of escape, you may be able to kick out a taillight from inside the trunk. Once the light is out, stick your hand out through the hole and wave to get help.