# 165 Respect the trajectory
Should you find yourself and family in a place where imminent violence may occur, have a "no-questions-asked" code word for "we are leaving right now. This may happen when young men, perhaps similarly dressed or having gang colors, seem to be either moving or milling purposely towards you or another objective. Backpacks and inappropriate clothing are particularly of concern.
As with X-Rays and other ionizing radiation, your protective modalities are Time, Distance, and Shielding. If you are about to be "in the wrong place at the wrong time," rapidly put Distance/Time and Shielding between you and the threat. You may not see the person who launches a projectile towards you, nor will you be able to "dance" around it, as in a John Wu movie. Bullets will hit whatever is in their path regardless of your good character and intentions. Don't ask "Why?" Just leave. Do not spectate at a riot.
The best shielding, if you are within range, is "Cover." Cover is an intervening object of substantial mass that will protect you from most missiles fired at it. "Concealment" merely obscures you from view of your assailant, but will not withstand fire against it; bullets or explosives penetrating through it and wounding you without the direct vision of your assailant. Think of a cardboard box versus a reinforced concrete wall. Behind which, should you hide?
Having cover, do not forsake leaving - as soon as possible, - as quickly as is safe. Do not linger, or retrieve personal items. If there may be explosives, do not slow down until you have ~400 meters or more behind you; unlike the movies, you cannot outrun an explosive. Within 15-20 meters, death is virtually certain; beyond that your chances of survival increase with every additional meter. If an explosion occurs, drop to the ground facing away and cover your head; shelter behind sturdy cover helps if available; but some cover will be blown over by the pressure wave.
You, and the people that you care about, should have codewords; communications (although cell phones may be jammed by either terrorists or authorities); and a plan for reunion if separated. Beware of potential accomplices and possible secondary explosions or targeting.
You are on your own. The perpetrators will not likely attack when police are present, or they will immediately kill police or security first, so as to have a free hand and maximum body count for their propaganda. They probably do not care about surviving. You must be your own First Responder. "Help" is later than you can afford. Be able to give trauma care to yourself or your loved ones.
When in public places, always be aware of activities around you; the nearest exits (including the less obvious one through the kitchen or the back); sit near a wall near that exit with each adult taking a field of view to "keep watch." When you must fight back, do so with "no holds barred" vigorously with all your strength so as to immobilize the assailant and break free to better safety; this is no time to be nice, or to prevent injury. It's not a patient; it's a terrorist or violent criminal actor.
CDC. Explosions and Blast Injuries A Primer for Clinicians.
American Red Cross. Terrorism Preparedness.
Blast Injuries: Practice Essentials, Background, Pathophysiology. Medscape.
Ellifritz, Greg. Articles tagged "terrorism." Active Response Training.
All Tips: 2013 2014 2015 2016