How to recognize the eight signs of terrorism and what to do about it
About six months before the mass shootings in Orlando, FL, 75 percent of Americans said terrorism is a critical issue. That according to a poll by Public Religion Research Institute following the massacre resulting in the deaths of the 14 victims in San Bernardino, Calif.
A lot has been said about the nightmare of terrorism and what the average person can do to brace for it.
Terrorism is one thing in the Middle East but it’s another to guard against terror in the United States. As we saw in Orlando and San Bernardino, soft-target attacks at public buildings or restaurants are the favorites of terrorists.
So a heightened awareness of five steps is important to consider:
1. See something? Say something.
Remember the neighbors of the San Bernardino terrorists who noticed unusual activity? But they were intimidated from telling authorities?
Political correctness can be fatal and is inadvisable regarding terrorism (e.g. see Terror – 2 Democrat Presidents Provide Lessons for Obama).
All of us need to be the eyes and ears for counter-terrorism. Terrorists act strangely and they make threats publicly and online.
If you see something suspicious no matter how insignificant, tell your local police. Let them investigate whether it’s relevant or not.
In the following video, NFL legend John Elway helps explain the eight signs of terrorism. (While he made it for Colorado residents, it’s applicable for all of us.)
2. Follow your instincts.
If something doesn’t look kosher to you, report it to authorities. But don’t make the mistake of hanging around just to observe it.
3. Have an exit strategy.
Wherever you are, always note the exit locations. Prepare in case you have to leave immediately. An act of terrorism only takes seconds.
Some of the survivors in San Bernardino spotted the dangerous shooters and took steps to survive.
4. Don’t panic – run, hide or fight.
Rehearse in your mind whether to run, hide or fight. Your best option is to leave right away. Running or even defending yourself is much better than giving up.
The FBI has produced the following video.
5. Don’t live in fear.
You will probably never suffer the fate of the terror victims in San Bernardino. But there are no guarantees in life.
Terrorists want you to live in fear. While they want to kill Americans, they also know that if you avoid living your life they’ve won.
So don’t change your lifestyle and live in fear. But do take note of the videos and points in the above tips, and emulate owls – swivel your head and constantly look around.
So be aware. Know what to do in case of an emergency.
From the Coach’s Corner, more tips about a myriad of threats:
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“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”