Tips to avoid being a crime victim
How to Avoid Being a Victim of Terrorism
It’s unlikely that you or anyone you know will be a victim of a terrorist attack. However, if you are traveling to a conflict zone, doing some research beforehand can help you avoid being a victim of terrorism. Other strategies can help you both abroad and in your own country. For example, avoid public events and areas that are popular with tourists, and exercise extra caution during religious holidays. Always keep your phone handy and identify nearby safe havens like hospitals, hotels, and police stations. Remember, the likelihood of being a victim of a terror attack is vanishingly small.
Ensuring Personal Safety
Check the terror warnings before traveling.Your national government’s department of state should provide a list of locations that are dangerous for traveling due to a high risk of terror incidents. Consult the appropriate department’s site before making travel arrangements.
- If you do not have internet access, ask your local embassy or police station to provide a list of terror warnings.
- You can also learn about terror threats by watching the news. Follow media reports about the country or countries you’ll be traveling to.
Dress so as not to attract attention to yourself.If you have lots of tattoos, dress so as to cover them, especially if you’re in a relatively conservative nation. Avoid wearing bright colors or flashy clothing. If you’re traveling, adopt the normal dress of the place you’re traveling to. Try to blend into the general population.
- In most areas of the world, you can get away with wearing t-shirts and jeans. In many other areas, however, the local standards of dress are quite unique. Wherever you are, try to be as uninteresting in your dress as possible.
Avoid anything that could indicate your country of origin.Do not wear shirts or hats emblazoned with your national flag. Terrorists could use that to identify and target you as someone belonging to a particular nation. Additionally, do not attach keychains, buttons, stickers, or patches bearing your national flag to your clothing, backpack, or suitcase.
Don’t wear religious clothing.If you encounter terrorists who target people of a particular religion, you could become a victim of terrorism. Wearing crucifixes, yarmulkes, or other religious garb could cause terrorists to target you.
Identify safe havens you can retreat to in the event of a terror attack.Obtain a map of your local area. Mark all the police stations, hotels, and hospitals on the map. Circle the ones that are closest to you or to the locations you know you will be visiting regularly or in the near future. Carry this map with you and head to the safe havens you marked out in the event of a terrorist incident.
- Before traveling, obtain a map of the area you’ll be traveling to and identify safe havens in the same way you did with the map of your local area.
Schedule the most direct flight path to your destination.Some of history's largest terror attacks have taken place on airplanes or at airports. While security and screening for terrorist might be good in your nation, it might be weaker in other nations. Fly directly from your nation to your destination to stay safe.
- If you can't go to your destination directly, schedule a flight that lands only at airports with the lowest risk of being targeted by terrorists.
Go to the most secure area of the airport.There are two parts of the airport, the secured area beyond the security checkpoint and metal detectors, and the area before the security checkpoint. When you arrive at the airport, you will be in the unsecured area. Do not linger there. Instead, check your luggage and pass through airport security as quickly as possible.
Choose your own taxi.Don’t allow hotel staff or anyone else to select a taxi for you. If you do, it’s possible that you won’t actually be getting in a taxi, but a car driven by a terrorist. Vary the taxi stand you use to get around town. Only get into cabs that are clearly marked as such. Ensure the photo in the front and/or rear ID panel matches the face of the cab driver.When entering a cab look for a:
- Certificate license with expiration date displayed
- Cab number
- Cab company name and information
- Valid plates and registration sticker
Avoid tourist hotspots and busy areas.Large public events and gatherings are common sites for terror incidents. For instance, concerts and nightclubs are often targeted by terrorists because of their high civilian populations. Areas that are quiet and rural are unlikely to be targeted by terrorists.
- Other areas to avoid include government buildings and locations that are symbolic of a nation’s economic or political might.
- Keep your wits about you when in public, and if you get a bad feeling about someone or something you see, don’t hesitate to report it.
Use caution around religious holidays.Many religiously-motivated terrorists schedule large attacks to coincide with their religious holidays. Exercise extra vigilance during these times and avoid public areas.
Keep your phone handy.Charge your phone regularly. Program the number for local emergency services into your phone. If you see or notice anything suspicious, or if you witness a terror attack, use your phone to contact the authorities.
Recognizing and Reporting Suspicious Activity
Keep an eye out for suspicious items.Abandoned backpacks, briefcases, or other bags could harbor bombs. Report any such items to airport security immediately and leave the area.
Be on the lookout for people using surveillance.Anyone who uses video recording, audio recording, or anyone who seems to be monitoring you (or others) might be a terrorist or colluding with terrorists. For the same reason, anyone taking notes and/or taking pictures of public spaces or strangers should be reported to the authorities.
Report anyone who is heavily armed.If you see anyone planting explosives, they could be a terrorist. Additionally, anyone walking around openly with guns, knives, or other weapons, might be a terrorist. Should you see anyone who is heavily armed, contact the authorities.
Contact the authorities if someone is attempting to illegally access utility locations.Infrastructure locations like nuclear, electrical, telecommunications, water, or petroleum plants could be targeted by terrorists. If you see suspicious activity in or around these areas (for instance, someone loitering about outside who is waiting to gain access when others exit), let the authorities know.
Look out for shifty people.Terrorists engaged in a terror plot might act nervously. They might, for instance, speak too quickly, be sweating even in mild weather, and look out of place or nervous in a busy public space.
Pay attention to how people are dressed.Terrorists might conceal weapons or bombs beneath bulky clothing. If someone is wearing clothing that is obviously inappropriate relative to the season (for instance, someone wearing a bulky sweater in summer), they might be a terrorist. Report them immediately.
Report potential terrorists to the authorities.If you notice any signs of suspicious activity, contact the authorities. Typically, this will mean contacting the police, though if you live in an occupied area or warzone, it might be soldiers or peacekeepers. If the authorities seem unable or unwilling to help and you are traveling abroad, contact your nearest national embassy or consulate.
Escape if possible.If a bomb explodes nearby and you are uninjured, head away from the site of the explosion. If a terrorist or group of terrorists is shooting into a crowd, look for an exit. If you can get to the exit without exposing yourself to greater danger, do so and keep running until you are far from the site of the terror incident.
Hide if you cannot run.If you don’t believe it is possible to escape from the terrorists, hide behind a large counter or beneath a table. Alternately, seek shelter in a secure room and lock the door. Look for areas that are reinforced with brick or other sturdy materials.
- Turn your phone off or on vibrate.
Lie flat on the floor.If you can neither escape nor hide without exposing yourself to danger, rest on your stomach and play dead. Be very still and do not move. Do not attempt to help rescuers and do not pick up any weapons.
- If an opportunity presents itself, escape or hide.
QuestionIn London, Paris, and Rome what are the chances of a terrorist attack occurring in the summer?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBecause of the attacks in London and Paris over the last few years, there is a slight chance. It may be calm and quiet there, but stay vigilant if you consider going to any of these cities, as terrorists strike when we least expect them to do so.Thanks!
QuestionI have to go on a trip that requires flying. I am a little scared. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStatistically, the chances of anything happening to you are extremely slim. The best you can do is to be alert to your surroundings and to report anything suspicious i.e. unattended baggage.Thanks!
QuestionIf I have a weapon, should I counter-attack?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends. You may put yourself and others at greater risk.Thanks!
QuestionDo you have a speaker or demo that could come and teach on this kind of thing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis is clearly going to depend on where you are. I would start by doing some online searches for speakers in your area. Your local police department may be a good source of information, as well.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I prepare for terrorist attacks?Sami97Community AnswerSimple answer - you can't. It is completely normal to be afraid, but don't let it control your life. You could try to avoid popular places with large crowds, but keep in mind that the rate of terrorist attacks has drastically decreased over the last decades. We just hear more about them because of the global news network. Try avoiding the news.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I'm a kid and someone I trust kills my parents?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFirst of all, this is extremely unlikely to happen. But if someone were to kill your parents, the police would find who did it and punish them severely, and they would help you find a place to live, either with other relatives, or with a nice family.Thanks!
QuestionAre there terrorists in Japan?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSince the gas attack on the Tokyo Metro in 1995, Japan has a low threat from terrorism. However, it is important to stay vigilant in popular areas.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if another country attacks my country?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFirst, don't panic. If you are eligible, you may be conscripted into your country's armed forces, depending on existing legislation or potential emergency legislation that may be passed. If you are not conscripted, civil liberties will likely be curtailed which may include freedom of movement and freedom of speech. If your town/area is at risk, your government will likely evacuate you to a safer area. If you should encounter enemy forces as a civilian, follow all orders that are given and do not make any sudden movements. Luckily, direct combat between two or more nation states is unlikely with most conflict being internal civil conflicts.Thanks!
QuestionShould I think twice before getting involved in a large crowd, if terrorist attacks occur in large gatherings of people?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. Why would you live your life in fear? There are endless amounts of large crowds around the planet, most of which are under surveillance and security. It doesn't matter where you are -- a terrorist could strike at any moment, so why worry about something you have no control over? Odds are, you will never be a victim of terrorism.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I know where to hide if a sniper may be aiming a gun at my head?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are rarely snipers involved in acts of terrorism. Terrorists are more interested in disposing of as many people as possible in a short amount of time. They want to maximize damage, not pick people off one by one, so they typically use bombs, planes, etc. If you find yourself in a situation where there is a sniper, try to hide beneath a piece of furniture, car, etc., whatever provides the most coverage.Thanks!
What is the protective factor of terrorism?
- From 1975 to 2015, the annual chance that an American would die in a terrorist attack by a foreign-born terrorist was 1 in 3,609,709.
- The odds of dying from a terror attack in France is less than two ten-thousandths of one percent.
- Beyond being aware of your surroundings, there’s really not much else you can do to avoid being a victim of terrorism. Live your life, try not to alter your lifestyle, and talk to the local authorities if you are worried.
Video: How I stopped being a ‘victim’ and restarted my life | Arman Abrahimzadeh | TEDxAdelaide
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