I had planned on posting something else today but I feel the need to give some thoughts on the terrorist attack at the Boson Marathon. First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers go out the families of those murdered and those who were brutally injured and their families as well.
We can learn from evil people and the evil deeds they inflict on others. This article is not about me saying that those victims should have done something differently. Instead, it is me offering something for you to grasp on to if you ever find yourself in any related type of situation. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Avoid Brain Lock
In the book The Survivors Club, Author Ben Sherwood explores a theory developed by a man named John Leach called “The 10/80/10 rule”. In summary, the rule states that the top 10% of people in a crisis excel; they think clearly and take immediate action. The middle group comprises 80% of people; they are “quite simply stunned and bewildered”; “reasoning is significantly impaired and thinking is difficult”. The last 10% of people are the “ones you definitely want to avoid in an emergency”.
A few pages later, he explains something called ‘behavioral inaction’; “The current theory of behavioral inaction goes like this: As your frontal lobes process the site of an airplane wing on fire, they seek to match the information with memories of similar situations in the past. If you have no stored experience of a plane crash, your brain can’t find a match and gets stuck in a loop trying and failing to come up with the right response. Hence: immobility.”
One of the main reasons the following information is so important is to be able to avoid brain lock, allowing your mind to have something to pull forward. Another way to build this skill is by mentally placing yourself in situations you see in movies or in the news and then thinking about what you might have done differently.
I have covered situational awareness in the past, as well as the Cooper Color Code. Both of these are things that should be a part of your everyday life. They can be harder to practice in large crowds, but that is probably the most important time to use them. If you see someone who raises you from code yellow to orange (from the Cooper color code) try to keep tabs on them. If something really seems off, let an authority know. “If you see something, SAY something.”
If you find yourself in any type of terrorist attack, from a bombing to a mass shooting, situational awareness can save your life. By practicing situational awareness, you can keep track of the closest exit, or fastest way to safety. It can also help you avoid Mr. Dirtbag, who is committing the act of terror.
Cover and Concealment
I have explained Cover and Concealment previously but it is worth mentioning again. Concealment is something that hides you, but will not stop a round. Cover will stop a round and will usually hide you, except in the case of bullet proof glass for example. If you are caught near a terrorist attack, getting away from the primary danger should be your first goal. I suggest finding cover as a part of that goal.
Lone Wolves and Swarm Terrorist Attacks
I have written an article called Terrorism: Lone Wolf and Swarm Attacks, which goes into these types of attacks in more detail. I think these are the types of terror attacks we will see more of. Because these types of attacks consist of very few people, they are much easier to keep quiet and can be done on a very low budget. A swarm attack of 10 people killed 160 people in Mumbai, India. If there is one Mr. Dirtbag, there is always a chance he has a friend or two. For this reason, if Mr. Dirtbag does show up, keep practicing situational awareness and the Cooper Color Code.
Emergency First Aid
I read about some of the carnage that occurred yesterday. While absolutely tragic, that only three people died is a miracle. There may have been some medical personnel on site but my guess is that the average Joe and Jane stepped in and assisted those who were in need.
Would you be able to assist a stranger or a loved one who needed emergency first aid? I can’t recommend taking a first aid class strongly enough. You can find a class from the Red Cross.
There are also items you can carry that will aid in stopping blood loss; QwikClot and Israeli Battle Dressings. I will cover these items in more detail next week.
I think we need to learn from evil every chance we get. Sadly, we’re given far too many chances to do just that. By doing so, we can be more prepared to avoid brain lock and can put the above mentioned items into play.
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