How to Survive Attack in a Crowded Public Place

  • Most Kenyans are on high alert following an imminent terror attack alert issued by the French and German governments on Thursday, January 27.

    The two governments warned their citizens and other Western citizens of possible terror attacks in parts of Nairobi. In their precautionary measures to the citizens, the two nations warned their citizens to avoid crowded places including restaurants, bars, entertainment joints, and other commercial places.

    But what should one do in case they are caught up in an active attack? has compiled some safety measures on how one can take cover and escape unhurt.

    Former British SAS member Christian Craighead at Dusit D2 in January 2019.

    Former British SAS member Christian Craighead at Dusit D2 in January 2019.

    Daily Nation

    Mass attacks may be executed through the use of various weapons such as knives, fires, drones, or other sophisticated weapons.

    According to US’s Homeland Security, you are advised to always be aware of your environment and any possible dangers while in public places.

    In case you notice something that seems unlikely, it is advised to report to local authorities immediately. That includes people who are behaving strangely or someone who is using strange communications.

    Observe warning signs especially of unusual or violent communications, expressed anger with the intent to cause harm, and even substance abuse.

    In case of an attack, establish an exit plan. Identify exits and areas to hide in all places you go including workplaces, school, and even during special events.

    Seek safety first that includes getting away from the attacker once you notice one. Always leave your belongings behind while you scamper for safety.

    In case the exit plan is not clear, cover and hide. In the hiding place, put a solid barrier between yourself and the threat. In case the hiding place is in a room, ensure the doors are locked, the blinds are closed, and if possible turn off the light while maintaining your silence.

    One is expected to fight back as the very last option where you cannot run or take cover. But while fighting try as much as possible to disarm the attacker.

    Be aggressive while executing the attack and commit to your actions. Do not do it alone, rather recruit others to ambush the attacker with makeshift weapons such as chairs, fire extinguishers, books, and even others.

    In case any of those around you are wounded, try to help them get to safety and provide immediate care. 

    When law enforcement arrives, remain calm and follow instructions, Keep hands visible and empty, report to designated areas to provide information, and get help.

    Follow instructions as issued by the law enforcement officers. Share updates with family and friends.

    After successfully escaping from the possible threat consider seeking medical help. If needed, seek help for you and your family to cope with the trauma.

    In case of an emergency in Kenya, call National Police Service on their hotline numbers: 999 , 112 or 911.

    Also one can call the Kenya Red Cross through their toll free hotline number: 1999 or 0703 037 000.

    British SAS soldier Chris Craighead (right) holding a rescue operation at Dusit D2 in January 2019.

    British SAS soldier Chris Craighead (right) holding a rescue operation at Dusit D2 in January 2019.


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