With the threat of a nuclear attack seemingly looming and mass shootings like the horrific scene that's still unfolding in Las Vegas becoming more and more frequent, national security and personal safety concerns have everyone on edge.
While it's good to have a set place to meet up with family and friends in the event of a crisis, it's also crucial to prepare yourself with the knowledge of how to handle a situation properly in the moment. Whether you're at the office or at the club, it's important to always be prepared and have a plan of action for times when first response is not a viable option. Here are a few military and FBI approved tips to bear in mind if you are caught in a mass shooting or instance of terrorism.
Creating a Safe Zone and Preparing for Crisis
1) Adopt a "war gaming" mindset. US Air Force Lieutenant, Xavier Jones, advises, "Drop the belief that terrorism and shootings only happen in certain areas, and adopt the mentality that a threat is always present, you just aren't fully aware of the details." He recommends that people follow a practice that the Dallas SWAT team implements called "war gaming," which is more of a lifestyle than a habit. War Gaming involves remaining alert at all times and not becoming complacent or lax in any location or situation; remaining ever aware that crisis can occur at any time. Awareness and mental preparation are crucial, and the first steps toward security.
2) Have a plan. Keep it simple. The plan doesn't have to be complex; it just has to be effective. It is wise to devise a plan for all areas where you spend a great deal of time i.e., your home, place of work, gym, etc. You should also share these plans with your family so they are equally prepared in case of emergency.
3) Know your exits. In order to draft an escape plan, you need to be aware of all possible escape routes. Take some time to scope out every space that you enter to formulate the best plan(s) of action.
4) Be mindful of your surroundings at all times. If you are waiting until an emergency to assess your environment, then you're already behind.
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