We are all saddened once again to hear of another public massacre, and they are happening all too frequently. No one can predict when and where another may take place, but there are steps that you can take to make your chances of survival better.
I am sure that you don't want to stop taking your family out to public events as they add richness and interest to your life. But you do want to attend events without fear and dread and the way to do this is to be prepared and aware.
Be sensitive at all times to what is going on. Take time to scan your immediate area for anything suspicious or unusual. Being aware can save your life.
Be Near an Exit
Choose a Place to stand or sit near an escape route. Not only will this give you a quick means of escape but also allow you to see an attacker coming in through an exit door. If you can't escape, find a place to hide and keep as quiet as possible.
Have some form of protection with you, such as a pepper spray or holding your keys protruding from your fingers. Don't carry a gun or knife as these can be used against you. Carry two cell phones so that you can call or text for help if one of the phones is taken from you.
It pays to dress in dark clothes but not clothes that might be mistaken for a uniform. It is natural for the attacker to be attracted to bright colours or designs and wearing something that can be mistaken for a uniform makes you a prime target. Don't look at the attacker but keep quiet and keep your head down making you less noticeable. When walking away to escape, go slowly and with the flow of the crowd until you can slip into an exit, so that you won't be noticed. Stay calm and focused at all times.
Be Physically Prepared
Take a self-defence course as it will give confidence and equip you to protect yourself from a personal attack. Restrict the amount of alcohol and don't take party drugs as both leave you vulnerable, and unable to think clearly just when you need to. Carry high-calorie snacks with you to give you energy in a long-running hostage situation.
Being Robbed at a Venue
If you are the victim of a robbery immediately give up your property and stay calm. The robber will probably be satisfied with his haul and go away. Your life is always worth more than a cell phone or leather jacket.
It is becoming more common for attackers to use tear gas or other chemical agents to incapacitate you. To protect yourself in these situations wear clothes that cover your arms and legs and avoid wearing contact lenses. You can also carry a wet cloth in a waterproof bag and use this to place over your nose and mouth. Try not to rub your eyes or mouth in the case of tear gas release.
Trust your instincts at all times. If you feel uneasy, leave as soon as possible.
You and I can't stop living our lives because fear of being attacked. Even though we watch nightly on the news of yet another attack at a concert, school or cinema, they are still few and far between. It is unlikely that you will be a victim of public crime, but it is nice to know that you have gone prepared and done all you can to protect you and your family.