Staying Safe in a Crisis Situation
Staying safe in a crisis is once again front and center. As the events of Las Vegas unfolded, many conversations turned to how to stay safe in an outdoor environment. It’s great that we have this conversation, but it shouldn’t take a catastrophe of epic proportions to do it. We are responsible for our own safety. I had the opportunity to discuss some tips for people when they are out in public on the Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.
We all know we’re supposed to identify emergency exits at a location, but how many of us do it? Unfortunately, this is the position we are in right now. It doesn’t matter how big or small your city is, this type of violence can happen anywhere. Since many incidents happened in the workplace, law enforcement and private security did a great job with the Run, Hide, Fight campaign. However, the attack in Las Vegas brought a new dimension to security – the open air forum. I’m sure in the coming days, weeks or months, a new program will be devised to cover what to do when outdoors. In the meantime, be aware of your surroundings, look for exits as well as any places which provide cover or concealment.
I know to tell someone not panic is easier said than done in a crisis situation. Like Yoda said in Star Wars, “Do or do not, there is no try.” Don’t panic, your lives and the lives of the people you are with depend upon I t. If you have mentally prepared yourself to ensure your safety, there may be less of a chance of panic. That’s what preparation is all about.
Cover and Concealment
There is a difference between cover and concealment. Either one may help you survive an attack in an outdoor venue. Concealment, is anything that you can hide behind. It could be anything from a park bench to wooden fence. It won’t stop a bullet, but the idea is to be out of sight and out of mind. Cover is any object that could stop a bullet. For instance, a cement wall, a building or the engine block of a vehicle. If you have the choice between the two, always choose cover.
If you are prepared and know where to find cover and/or concealment, you’ll increase the likelihood that you will act. Watching in disbelief or trying to film the incident with your cellphone is not the way to go. Listen to directions given by security staff and first responders. When they say run, do it.
Las Vegas has opened up a new chapter in horror. Law enforcement can’t stop every person hell bent on wreaking havoc, especially in an outdoor venue. This is the second time we have seen a perpetrator target concert goers from outside of the venue. It’s up to each and everyone of us to take our safety seriously and be prepared both mentally and physically.