For the past few years, security experts have been saying that it has not been a question of "if", but "when" the next terrorist attack would hit us. We have had a lot of close calls including the Christmas Underwear Bomber and the New York Times Square bombing attempt. It is a credit to our law enforcement and intelligence operatives that we dodged bullets this long. Unfortunately, we were unable to dodge this one. I hope it does not develop into the new normal.
With all of the repeated coverage of the facts thus far in the roughly past 36 hours since the attack there are a few lessons that we as individuals can take to heart and possibly put into practice:
- Medical Training and Equipment/Supplies: Basic knowledge in First Aid, CPR and/or AED devices can go a long way in an event such as this. Basic First Aid includes knowing how to immobilize a person with broken bones, treatment for shock and how to slow down or stop blood loss. An equipment option is to carry a small first aid kit. I personally carry an Adventure Medical Trauma Kit if my clothes or pack space allows along with a CAT-T tourniquet. Overkill, you say? Perhaps, but I have heard of folks using them to save lives in bad car accidents where an artery has been nicked. Also, accidents happen at home, at the firing range and everywhere in between. The old Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared" applies.
- Situational Awareness: I hate to be a wet blanket, but unfortunately, in this day and age, it is good practice to be aware of what is going on around you and to not be oblivious even at fun events. Make a habit of actually seeing what is going on around you. We do not know how the terrorist(s) planted their bombs without being detected. Hopefully, people may have noticed these folks dropping off backpacks/duffels by or near the locations where the bombs went off.
- Get off the X: In military parlance, the X is the target. You do not want to be on the X! If bad stuff starts to happen, then get the heck out of there! Of course, if you think you can help, then only you can make that judgement call. In Boston, obviously, some were in shock and some were aiding the wounded. If you are not injured and cannot render aid to the fallen, then get out of there. Security experts agree that some bombers detonate a second round of explosives in order to catch first responders so keep that in mind if you decide to stick around for whatever reason.
I hope and pray that this is resolved quickly and that our future security is tightened. Evil does exist in this world. How we as good people respond to evil determines the impact it will do to our society. Stay safe out there.
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