More than 100 innocent people were murdered this year in Europe by terrorists wielding an old-new weapon of mass disruption – a truck. It’s a weapon that requires no training bases , no careful handling lest it is activated before its intended time, and no extensive scouting and targeting – you simply rent a truck, choose a major center-city artery, drive onto the sidewalk or boulevard and aim for as many people as you can.
No wonder people feel vulnerable, tourists are afraid to frequent popular venues and locals see their economy suffer – exactly what the terrorists want.
By following a rather simple set of rules, it is possible to minimize your chance of becoming a victim of a terror truck attack.
Here’s what you can do:
- Always walk very close to where the sidewalk meets the walls of the buildings that bound it. Terror trucks are unlikely to risk bumping into storefronts or building entrances; they tend to choose the road-sidewalk edge or the center of the sidewalk, which is why you’d want to avoid these areas as much as possible.
- When planning to cross a road, stand back from the sidewalk’s edge, away from the road, if possible in the shade of a power pole or another barrier. When it’s time to cross, don’t saunter across with your head inside your Facebook life, cross briskly, and upon reaching the opposite sidewalk, move away from the edge toward the far side of the sidewalk, near the storefronts.
- If you notice an evolving terror event near you, duck into the first available opening you can find, don’t hesitate to force open a door (assuming you judge you can do it with one kick).
- Once you’re out of the street, move away from the front of your shelter. There’s no need to provide scouting services. Move back as deep as possible, up to higher floors if there are any available and towards the kitchen of a restaurant if you found yourself in an eating establishment.
- Once you’ve found a shelter, make it as substantial as possible. Lower curtains, turn off much of the lights, gather as many defensive weapons as you can (e.g., fire extinguishers, knives, sturdy poles). Make sure they’re within reach and behind shelter – and join them.
- Stay out of any possible fire-line as long as it takes; don’t abandon your shelter until you’re certain the emergency has passed.
- Use messaging apps in place of voice calls, to avoid attracting the attention of bad guys without getting disconnected and dispirited.
- When cleared to depart, move fast, respond to law enforcement instructions and get out of the area fast – don’t hang around in search of vicarious excitement.
There is no need to walk around scared all the time, but it is high time for all of us to realize that there’s a chance – even if a very small one – that we will be targets of a terrorist attack; if/when the time comes, stay alert, aware and open-minded to act in a way that will minimize your vulnerability and maximize your survivability.