Experts have warned us, "it's not a matter of if another major terror attack will happen, but when." Yeah, we got that, but what should we do about it?
Since 9/11, the government has been scaring or confusing us with color codes, knee-jerk reactionary policies, and catch phrases like, "if you see something, say something."
I don't have a problem with putting people on alert, but telling people to be vigilant doesn't educate on how to be safe.
To be fair, it's not just the government that's to blame, the media has been out to lunch on this too. Every time there's an attack, the 24 hour news cycle becomes filled with experts and commentators who offer "perspective" on the attacks. They will usually try to calm the public's fears by saying something like:
"This attack was serious, but keep in mind you're more likely to get struck by lightning or die of lung cancer than to fall victim to a major terrorist attack."
"Because lone wolf attackers act alone, they're less likely to inflict mass casualties like those of more conventional terror groups."
I don't doubt the veracity of either statement, but these kinds of assurances don't mean much. Do you think any of the survivors of the Sydney, Paris, New York, Ottawa, London, or Madrid attacks were comforted by the fact that they were a statistical anomaly?
It's pretty simple: if I see lightning outside, I stay in my house until the storm passes. I don't smoke, I eat healthy, and I avoid bad parts of town. The point is, I know what type of lifestyle choices to make to lower my risk factor to certain dangers. But what about terrorism? This has become the new war tactic of the 21st century. What choices can I make today to help protect myself and my family? Should I get a gun? Train in a martial art? Move to the moon?
Let's first start by understanding what occurs during a major attack, then take steps to prepare ourselves for it.
The Environment: In the immediate aftermath of a major attack, there will be mass panic, chaos, and pandemonium. More than likely, the attack will occur on a weekday when you are away from home and separated from family. Visualize this and prepare yourself mentally for it.
Communication: If an attack causes damage to the infrastructure, communications may go down. Even parts of the network not directly damaged by the attack, such as phone lines could still go down if a sudden surge in use exceeds the capability of that system. So, have a designated rally point where all the family members know to meet in the event of an attack. Have a primary meeting point and a backup just in case. If you have children in school, coordinate with the administration. The school may become the defacto rally point.
Supply: I'm not a prepper, but I believe in contingency planning. Have a small emergency kit in your car, office, and home. The kit should have basic items like water, snacks, first aid supplies, and a flashlight. Again, it's just a small kit with the bare essentials, not a suitcase to live out of. Keep it small and handy.
So, if your concerned about the future (and everyone in their right mind is concerned) take these simple first steps to prepare. Think of the big picture items like communication, linking up, and supplies first. Then you can address protection items like personal defense. It's not an either or thing. It's about acting with perspective.
Got a comment, complaint, or interesting story? Leave it below.