Luckily for most of us, being a UK civilian means the chances of ever having to dodge bullets are very slim. However, with the growing threat of domestic terrorism as seen in recent months, there is a very real benefit to knowing the basics about how to dodge bullets. We hope you never have to, but in case you are ever caught in the crossfire, here is some top survival advice.
Know your terrain
Whether you are watching the latest blockbuster in your local cinema or dining out on a candle-lit veranda, always take a moment to familiarise yourself with the layout of your immediate surroundings. Make a mental note of escape routes to ensure you can get out of the quickly area if need be. Be sure too to make a note of what cover is available should you need to hide – for example, if fleeing simply isn’t an option.
Cover vs Concealment
In the unlikely but nonetheless possible scenario that bullets start flying, it is essential to understand the difference between cover and concealment. Concealment refers to objects or surfaces that will allow you to hide – but will not necessarily protect you from bullets. Examples are soft furnishings, dry walls, display panels and, very often, internal doors which are typically made from little more than plywood sheets over a frame. If an attacker can’t see you, they are less likely to fire in your direction, but thin, lightweight materials will not protect you from bullets whether stray or intentional.
Cover, on the other hand, refers to materials and objects which will actually withstand bullets, ultimately helping to save lives. The most common examples are dense wood, steel, concrete and stone. Granite, popular as a material for table tops in many higher class eateries is a great example.
As an example of cover versus concealment in a real life situation, a member of the public might think that they are better off protected behind the top of an overturned wooden table where they can’t be physically seen, when in fact they might just be better off behind a concrete pillar even though it does not give total cover.
Hiding behind cars
If you happen to be caught by surprise in a street setting, cars often offer the best form of cover. However, it is worth noting that most of the car will function as concealment rather than cover due to the lack of density of the materials used today. Because of this, always hide behind the front wheels and engine block if possible, as this will offer the best possible cover. Avoid hiding behind the boot wherever possible.
Want to learn more? citizenAID™ is a UK based initiative designed to improve public resilience in the event of a deliberate multiple casualty incident.
Established by some of the UK’s most senior medical and military professionals, citizenAID trains members of the public in the Run, Hide, Tell, Treat procedure, teaching vital skills on how to react and how best to help each other in the event of a shooting, stabbing or bomb attack. To find out more about booking a course, click here.