What if terror struck your city?

If you watched yesterday’s piece on CTV, you caught some tips on safety in public spaces in the event of terror-motivated attacks such as we’ve seen in Barcelona, Nice and London.

If not, check it out here!

http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1191487

 Here is a more detailed version of that information for your reference. Remember to stay aware and stay vigilant! Safety demands attention.

What to look for

1) Exercise awareness at all times. In large public gatherings, knowing that there is a possibility for violence, use all of your senses. Leave the iPhone alone. Look around frequently ("check your six").

Listen to the sounds of the crowd. If you hear screaming, commotion, loud noises that sound like bangs, vehicles, crashes, etc., assess visually (quickly). If a panic appears to be developing. Move rapidly to an indoor space and well into the building. Call 911.

2) Changes in foot traffic flow are a giveaway. If people are wandering through a tourist space, and suddenly start looking around frantically, running, pushing, then something is developing. It is already too late.

Where to stand and walk

3) Terror attacks target person-dense areas for maximum damage. So stay AWAY from the crowds. A truck will aim for a group of 30 people close to each other, not a single couple off to the fringes.

4) Try to stay close to the edges, sidewalks, borders of a street or thoroughfare. You can duck inside buildings, over guardrails, or if necessary, over the side of bridge. Better an unexpected swim than the alternative.

How to manage your children

5) Keep them close, arm's length and on the inside of the walking track. Example: if walking down a road, you should be between your child and the road. A child can be pushed aside or thrown to the side of the road more easily than pulled away from a roadway with other people charging, trampling and swarming.

Where to go and not go if a truck starts mowing people down

6) Head for the sidelines - better still, try to stay close to them. If you have to enter a central space, once done your tourist activities, return to a sidelong walking track. Prefer the darkened side of the road or the side that doesn't get sunlight. This is a less natural place for an attacker to look for targets as the lower light makes visibility harder.

Exception - sidewalk cafes, etc. Try to stay away from walking in front of these. They have been targeted in past.

7) Run toward the dead space created by the vehicle. You cannot run away from a truck and win. You may not be able to cross in front in time, and there's no guarantee it won't swerve. Like an active shooter situation, run toward the direction of the threat, but into the space beside it, so that you are passed by.