We’re all too aware of the increase in attacks closer to home, but we feel we must reiterate that we don’t believe staying home is the answer.
Terrorists want us to be afraid, and we have no intention of complying. We will make sure we’re prepared though, and make ourselves, and our friends and family as safe as possible, wherever we go.
We have shared emergency guidelines before, but there is some new information here, plus it’s always good to remind ourselves of the basics!
Run, Hide, Tell
This is the advice given by the Met Police as soon as they were made aware of the attack on London Bridge and in Borough Market on Saturday night.
According to The Guardian, the alert was sent out via social media and warned people in the area to, “Run away from any threat, rather than surrender or attempt to negotiate. If that wasn’t possible, they should instead hide, turn their phone to silent and barricade themselves in before calling police.”
Run means just that – get as far away as you can, as quickly as you can, as long as it is safe to do so. Don’t stop to take photos or videos…
If you can’t run away, hide somewhere safe. Ideally, this should be a lockable room with thick walls that you can barricade yourself into. Make sure your phone is on silent, and take care of any injuries if it is safe to do so.
“Tell” means calling for help – call 999 or the local equivalent if you’re travelling. (Always save local emergency numbers onto your phone before you travel!)
Getting help when silence is important
Many people have asked how they can “tell” (i.e. contact police) if they are hiding and must remain silent. Fortunately, there is an answer:
Dial 999 – if you don’t speak, the operator will connect you to an automated system. When you hear that, dial 55
The Independent reported on this option earlier in 2017 and noted that 999 operators won’t be able to send help to every “silent” call as many are not legitimate, but that by pressing 55, you can indicate that there is a real emergency and the call is not a hoax. Operators may also ask you to cough or make another sound to confirm that you need help, but if you’re hiding from potential attackers, pressing 55 is a completely silent option.
In the first few minutes
Even when response times are extremely fast, it may take 5-10 minutes before emergency personnel arrive at the scene, and it could be longer before medical care is available.
A first aid course is a good idea for absolutely everyone to take, but in an emergency even a few basics can make a difference. There are now apps such as citizenAID which are free to the public and can help you with critical care such as making a tourniquet if someone is injured.
Listen to the authorities
If police or security personnel tell you to get down on the floor, run, or anything else, it’s essential that you listen to them without delay.
They have been trained to deal with these situations, and even if the instructions don’t seem to make sense at the time, it’s fair to assume that they have more information than you do, and their instructions will keep you safer.
We hope you’ll never find yourself in a situation like this, but if you do, remember to “Run, Hide, Tell”.
Take care, wherever you go.