How To Stay Safe From Attacks In Public Spaces


You see them in the news all the time — mass shootings, bombings, knife attacks, and deadly assaults using vehicles. These are just a few examples of the kinds of violence that happen in crowded and public spaces, where innocent people are going about their daily lives.

Early last September, 10 people were killed and 18 more were hurt in Canada when two men went on a stabbing spree in the James Smith Cree Nation. In 2021, a sports utility vehicle plowed through a Christmas Day parade in Waukesha, Milwaukee killing six people and injuring 62 more. Four of the victims were grandmothers from the dance Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.

On October 1, 2017, 60 people were killed and 867 injured after a gunman opened fire at an open-air concert on the Las Vegas Strip. It’s been five years since and while the survivors are still trying to heal, the nation is also still dealing with this problem.

These are only some of the recent attacks that have taken place in public spaces. With the surge in like mass shootings, hate crimes, and other attacks in public spaces in recent years, everyone is advised to be doubly careful. It’s important now more than ever to take precautions when you’re out in public. But how can you protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming victims of such senseless attacks in public spaces? How do you even prepare for such violent incidents and increase your chances of surviving them? Here are some life-saving tips:



Be Aware of Your Surroundings

It’s challenging to foresee the time and location of violent attacks in public. We’ve seen these incidents happen in schools, workplaces, cinemas, churches, spas, supermarkets, and even military bases. Trouble strikes anywhere, anytime.

Being alert to what is going on around you is the best course of action. You have to develop your situational awareness so you’ll notice if something is amiss. This way, you’ll have a better chance of detecting potential threats and acting fast to avoid them.


Observe the people around you

Practice situational awareness by always looking around and remembering what you see. When you’re out walking, for example, try not to be too focused on your phone or book. Be aware of who or what is behind you, to your sides, and in front of you. Try to make eye contact with other people but don’t make it too obvious that you’re observing them. Unscrupulous ones will likely think twice before committing any crime if they know they’ve been spotted. If you see someone who looks out of place or makes you feel uneasy, quickly walk away and go to a safe area. 

If you’re in a store, try to see who’s coming in and out. If you’re in a bank or withdrawing from an ATM, be on the lookout for anyone who’s loitering or seems to be eyeing you up.

How to Improve Situational Awareness


Memorize your surroundings

If you enter a building for the first time, look for emergency exits. Remember the paths you need to take when you have to evacuate the building. Check for obstacles along the way so you avoid them during the rush to get out.

In the event of an attack, you’ll know which direction to run in and which areas to avoid. This will help you get to safety as quickly as possible.


Trust your gut instinct

When you have a bad feeling about someone or something, it’s usually for a reason. Don’t ignore your instincts — if you feel like something is off, it probably is. Leave the area immediately and go to a safe place.


Take a Self-Defense Class

It’s always better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Take a self-defense class so you know how to defend yourself in case of an attack. Aside from self-defense classes, you can also learn martial arts or other fighting techniques.

Having such skills is not an assurance that you’ll be safe from harm, but it will give you the confidence and ability to fight back if necessary. They don’t give you the green light to go Kung Fu Panda on the attackers, however. But they will help you disable or subdue them long enough for you to escape or get help.


Learn First Aid

Your first aid training will certainly pay off if or when you get into some kind of medical emergency. It’s not enough to just use Band-aids. They’re cute and all with those nice designs but they can’t treat all kinds of wounds.

A first aid course will teach you what to do in medical emergencies. You’ll learn how to treat injuries ranging from mild ones such as bruises, wounds, sprains, and first-degree burns to severe emergencies like bee stings, broken bones, third-degree burns, poisoning, deep lacerations, stab wounds, and gunshot wounds. After your training, you should be able to do numerous first aid techniques like the Heimlich maneuver and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR on babies, children, and adults.


Pack an Everyday Carry Kit

Your chances of surviving any predicament increase drastically if you come prepared with the right gear. When you’re at home, you have your bug out bag that prepares you for when you have to evacuate due to an emergency. An everyday carry kit is similar as it prepares you for whatever emergency you encounter while you’re out.

Aside from your everyday carry kit, you should also have a car emergency kit in your vehicle and a get home bag at your place of work. All these will help you in case of violent attacks and other emergencies.

Everyday Carry: Top 10 EDC Items For The Prepper Newbie
Everyday Carry: Top 10 EDC Items For The Prepper Newbie


Tools for self-defense

When it comes to surviving attacks, some survival tools are more useful than others. Pocket knives and multi-tools with blades can be used to fight off the perpetrators if it comes to it. You can also use non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray, stun gun, and mace. Other weapons you can have in your emergency kit include a tactical flashlight, a tactical pen, and an expandable baton. Familiarize yourself with the use of these weapons so you can use them quickly and efficiently if the need arises.


First aid items

A first aid kit will come in handy in case you or someone else gets hurt. If you’ve been shot, for example, you can use a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. If you don’t have a tourniquet, you can use a belt, scarf, or any other piece of cloth to do the job. You’ll also need gauze, bandages, and antiseptic wipes to clean and dress the wound. For broken bones, you can use splints and slings. And for burns, you’ll need to have burn cream and bandages.

If you have existing illnesses or injuries, make sure to include the medications you need in your first aid kit. A stressful situation like a mass shooting can worsen your condition, so it’s important to be prepared. If you have allergies, asthma, or diabetes, for example, make sure you have your inhaler or emergency medication with you at all times.


Survival tools

A window punch or glass breaker may come in handy if you’re trying to escape an attack. You can use it to break the window of a car or building so you can get to safety. A whistle and personal alarm are useful tools as they can help you attract attention and get help. Just be sure not to get the attention of the attacker and endanger yourself even more. In situations when you have to stay still and quiet, a flashlight, mirror, or reflective blanket can help you stay hidden.

A paracord is a versatile tool that can be used for various purposes, including self-defense. You can use it to see up a tripwire, strangle an attacker, or tie the perp up in case you manage to subdue them. You can also use a paracord to secure a door or as a makeshift tourniquet. Make sure that you practice with these tools regularly so that you’re familiar with how to use them when you need them most.

Everyday Carry Essentials To Keep Your Lady Love Safe


Other everyday carry kit must-haves

Other potentially life-saving tools you need in your emergency kit include your phone, powerbank, wallet with IDs, and copies of emergency contact numbers and medical history. You’ll need your phone to call 911 during an attack. The powerbank ensures you always have fully charged batteries so you can make emergency calls. Your IDs will help emergency responders identify you in case you’re unconscious or unresponsive after the attack. You should also have a copy of phone numbers to contact in case you get into trouble and are unable to call yourself. Those responding to your emergency will need your medical history to be able to treat you properly.



Develop an Evacuation Plan

Your workplace should have an evacuation plan in place. It’s necessary for all kinds of emergencies such as fire, earthquake, and active shooter situations. Learn what you can about effective evacuation plans and talk it out with the boss. What you currently have at work may need some improvements.

If you have children going to school, have a little chitchat with the principal. Find out what measures they have in place for mass shootings and other emergencies. Makes sure they take this one seriously since the life of your kids and others’ kids are at stake here.

You should also develop an evacuation plan at home. Every member of the household should know what to do when an intruder enters your home. Aside from having an escape plan, you should also have everyone learn self-defense and martial arts so they can deal with the gunman if they have no other choice.


How to Survive an Attack As They Happen

The phrase “quick and the dead” comes from the western film genre. It means that those who are quick on their feet and act quickly will survive, while those who hesitate or are slow to react will perish. This is a useful motto to remember during attacks in public spaces, as you will need to act quickly to survive. Here are some tips that should help you be quick on your feet:


Stay Calm

When you witness or get wind of a shooting or any violent incident nearby, you should stay calm. Remaining calm during an emergency is crucial to your safety and the safety of those around you. When emergencies occur, people often panic and make poor decisions. By remaining calm, you can think more clearly and make better decisions.

You’re probably thinking, “How the hell am I going to stay calm when there’s someone shooting at us?” That’s a pretty legitimate question. You’ll only know the actual answer once you’re in that exact situation.

However, just knowing that you need to stay calm will help a lot. This little bit of knowledge will help kickstart the process of staying calm. Take deep breaths to help regulate your heart and try to relax your body. Do your best to keep a clear head amidst the chaos so you can start thinking of what to do. Stay positive by thinking that you’ll find a way to get through this and come out alive.

It may also help if you regularly practice meditation. The practice helps clear your mind through breathing exercises. Another way to help keep you from freezing during disasters and other stressful situations is to learn how to resuscitate a person. Experts believe that one can learn about remaining calm and get used to emergencies by undertaking first aid training, particularly performing CPR on a person.


Assess the situation

Once you’ve regained your composure, start surveying your situation. Quickly scan your surroundings and see if you’re safe where you are. Figure out where the threats are and if they’re nearby, try to get as far away from them as possible or find a place to hide where they’re less likely to find you.

While assessing the situation, check if you’re familiar with the area. If you are then you should have an idea of where to go to find safety and avoid the attacker. If you don’t know the area too well, just determine where the attacker is and head in the opposite direction.

If you can, try to get a headcount of the people with you. Knowing how many people you have to worry about will help you better assess the situation. If possible, see if anyone is injured and in need of immediate medical attention.

What Would I Do If I Were In An Active Shooter Situation


Run away

As mentioned, you should determine first if you’re safe where you are. If the answer is no, your first option is to get away as fast as possible. If you see people running for their lives, that’s not an invitation to go find out what they’re running from. Obviously, there’s something life-threatening back there. In order to survive attacks in public spaces, run away not towards them.

Don’t be an easy target while you’re trying to flee to safety. If you’re out in the open or in the same space as the attacker, run in a zigzag manner. If you run in a straight line, you’re basically making it easier for the attacker to target you. Try to stay low but make sure you can see where you’re going. Watch out for obstacles that can trip you. Once you’re out of the attacker’s line of sight, find a place to hide and take cover.

In the workplace, you should know the evacuation plan like the back of your hand. If there’s an active shooter or a disgruntled worker with a can of gasoline threatening the burn the place down, you need to get out as quickly as possible. Know where the exits are and how to get there quickly. Devise scenarios in your head where you have to escape from different parts of the building.

Keep your get home bag always within reach (like under your desk) so you can grab it quickly as you run for safety. However, if you’re not near your kit when the attack happens, forget about going back to your desk to get it. Head for the nearest exit immediately. If that’s not possible, try the windows.

Every second counts in these situations. The faster you can get away or hide from an attacker, the better. You shouldn’t waste time trying to grab all your things. Your laptop and all the files saved in it are the least of your worries. Your lives are always the top priority.


Take cover

If you can’t run away, the best thing to do is to find a place to hide. Look for somewhere that will protect you from the attacker’s line of sight. Your best bet is to find solid objects that can block bullets like concrete pillars, cars, or even trees. If there’s nowhere to hide, lie flat on the ground and pretend to be dead. This may sound counterintuitive but there have been reports of people surviving attacks by playing dead.

If you’re in a building and can’t get out, hide in a room that can be locked from the inside. If possible. Close and lock the doors and windows then barricade them with heavy furniture to make it harder for the attacker to get inside. It would be a good idea to invest in door security devices like pressure-mounted door jammers and reinforcement locks. Bullet-proof windows would be a major plus. Once done barricading yourselves in, stay away from the windows and door’s line of sight. Figure out the possible angles of the bullet and stay on the side where they can’t reach you.

Once you’re hidden, stay quiet and don’t move. The goal is to make it difficult for the attacker to find you. If possible, try to silence your phone and any other devices that may make noise. If you must move, do so slowly and carefully.

In case of a car speeding toward you or plowing through the crowd in your direction, try to get out of the way as fast as you can. It’s best to get off the road or even the sidewalk and hide behind something solid like a building or tree. You can also get inside a building but make sure to stay away from the front side, especially the windows and doors. Go to the second floor, get on top of a table or something sturdy, or be ready to jump if the car tries to crash through the wall. You could get crushed if you fail to avoid a direct hit.


Call for help

After making sure you’re far from danger, contact the authorities and let them know what’s happening. Try to give them as much information as possible, such as the location of the attack, the number of attackers, and their description.

If you can, stay on the line with the dispatcher until help arrives. If you have to hang up for any reason, make sure to call back so they know you’re safe.

In case you lost your phone during the chaos, ask someone else nearby to make the call. In the meantime, try to remain as calm and quiet as possible until help arrives. 


Fight back

Your last option is to fight. Avoid this one as much as possible but if you’re forced to duke it out with the attacker, you should be ready. If it all boils down to fighting, you need to commit to it. That means you can’t back off at the last second as this will only drastically lessen your chances to survive an attack in a crowded or public place.

If the perpetrator is say 20 feet from where you’re hiding and there’s no chance of moving to another location, you need to start evaluating your options and thinking about what you can use as a weapon. It could be anything from a fire extinguisher, a chair, or even a pen. If all else fails, use your bare hands and fists.

If possible, get other people to help you. Choose the ones who will not back out at the last minute and plan everything out as much as you can. Remember, the initial goal is to disarm or disable the attacker so they can no longer pose a threat.

At least one person should go for the arms while another tries to disarm the attacker. Another grabs the neck or hits the person on the head with a blunt object. Aim also for the attacker’s face, eyes, throat, groin, or knees. These are the most vulnerable parts of the body and will give you the best chance of taking them down. Attack from all angles except the perpetrator’s front to lessen the risk of getting shot or stabbed. Don’t stop once you make contact. Keep hitting until the attacker is no longer a threat.

Once the attacker is down, get away from them as fast as possible. They may pretend to be injured or unconscious in order to lure you in close so they can attack again. Be wary of other weapons he may be carrying, too.


What To Do To Be Safe Against Hate Crimes

If you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation, remember these tips and you may be able to get out alive. It’s important to always be aware of your surroundings and know what to do if something goes wrong. And don’t forget, Gentleman Pirate Club is here to help you learn survival tips and guide you through your emergency preparedness journey! Stay safe out there, everyone.


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Gentleman Pirate Club aims to share valuable knowledge and tips on how you can prepare and survive emergencies and other dire situations. We think of different scenarios and show you the many ways you can survive them. We also believe in self-sufficiency as a way to prepare for whatever lies ahead. As our ship sails in these waters, we look for valuable treasures. When we spot one, we tell you where it is.

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