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1. How to Survive a Terrorist Attack
Following the Paris attacks of November 2015, the BBC surveyed survival experts and came away with confidence-building advice.
- Get in the habit of casing the room: In the attack on the Bataclan concert hall, a security guard led a group of people to safety through a fire exit left of the stage. But there won’t always be a guard to help. Make a point of identifying emergency exits for yourself.
- Make yourself smaller: “Where there’s cover from sight, there’s cover from gunfire,” advises Ian Reed, a British military instructor and chief executive of the Formative Group security firm. Hard cover such as a concrete wall is the best option. If there’s no cover available, play dead.
- “Run, hide, tell”: In its report on “dynamic lockdowns,” the U.K. government’s advice is to run if there is a safe route out. If you can’t run, hide. If you escape, immediately tell an official what’s happening. Separate from gathering crowds; always assume there’s going to be a secondary action.
- Be a team player: It’s the most efficient way for a group to evacuate and avoid jams. Social psychologist Chris Cocking says most people are likely to try to help one another even in extreme situations—like the group of people who cooperated to escape the Bataclan via skylight.