Although they seem random, the victims and locations of terrorist attacks are often carefully selected for their shock value. Schools, shopping centers, bus and train stations, and restaurants and nightclubs have been targeted both because they attract large crowds and because they are places where members of the civilian population are familiar and they feel at ease.
There are different types of terrorist attacks, such as the use of IED’s (improvised explosive device), VBIED’s (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device), the bombing of buildings and most commonly, the use of active shooters.
In the case of active shooters where individuals walk around shooting civilians indiscriminately, there is a strategy that can help save lives. The RUN, HIDE, FIGHT plan is a tactic that can assist anyone who finds himself in such a situation
Three ways to survive:
Leave the location if there is a safe route, if possible. Insist others go with you but don’t let them slow you down. Leave your belongings behind as they are not important.
If you can’t leave the location, find a place you deem to be safe and which provides protection. Lock the door and barricade yourself in. Pay attention to what you see and hear. Be very quiet and silence your phone making sure not to make any unnecessary calls.
If you can’t run or hide attempt to incapacitate the shooter, act with aggression and improvise weapons. Commit to your actions and do not hesitate as victims are selected randomly.
Always remember to call emergency numbers once you are in a safe place. The emergency numbers are 112, 999 and 911.
You can help reduce the chance of a terrorist attack by keeping an eye out for suspicious situations, such as an unattended suitcase or someone with a conspicuous level of interest in the security of a building.
Whether or not a situation is suspicious depends very much on the context. For example, an unattended suitcase on a train platform does not necessarily mean anything sinister. Still, the best course of action is to notify a member of staff straight away. Or call the police.