During the recent internationally broadcasted terrorist attacks, which were more akin to hostage situations, many people’s lives were put on the line simply for being born into Western culture.
This makes today a good time to discuss several important tips to remember, incase you find yourself in a similar situation.
Find a Hiding Place
Finding a place to hide is crucially important. Finding a hiding place that provides cover from bullets or an explosion is even better. Try to locate a support beam or other dense structure that can offer protection.
Appear Non-Threatening to Your Captor
It’s a good idea to be non-threatening and show sympathy with your captor, but not to the point that it could be viewed as manipulation. If your hostage-taker is under a paranoid delusion, they might think that you are conspiring against them and then escalate the situation. Don’t try to convince them that their delusion is illogical or unfounded. Their delusion makes perfect sense to them and appears, to them, to be true.
Don’t Speak Unless You’ve Been Spoken To
If you are spoken to, treat the hostage taker with care. Prevent yourself from becoming aggressive with them. If you speak to police over the phone, only provide yes and no answers.
If Possible, Escape
According to Sanford Strong, a SWAT team instructor and author of “Strong on Defense,” any hostage escaping is a powerful deterrent to the crime scene getting worse. If the hostage-taker reacts by killing any of the hostages, then he is likely to kill all of the hostages. Remember: Running away is not abandoning the other captives. It is arguably the best survival option to save their lives.
Stay Calm When a Rescue Team Arrives
When the rescuers arrive, they won’t initially know who is a friend or foe. Remain calm and if asked, let troops see your hands and even restrain you until they can verify that you are not a threat. Remember to stay down until directed otherwise. Abruptly standing up has caused hostage situations to escalate before they ended.
Look for Items That You Can Use as Weapons
Try avoiding confrontation at all costs. If fighting is your only means of escaping, then ensure you’re adequately armed with sharp objects such as keys or pens. A leather belt wrapped around your arm will help you avoid being cut by a knife and can be used to tie up an unconscious captor.
Be Ready to Take the Lead
Awareness of your surroundings is key. You might be most prepared person in the room for such a situation. If you are a manager, or uniformed official, customers are likely to follow your lead. Just remember to stay calm, and that panic is always your enemy.