Tips on how to avoid injury during terror attacks
In the wake of twin terror attacks on buses along Thika Superhighway on Sunday, security experts are now warning city residents to be vigilant on their safety when in public places.
The experts say knowledge on how to reduce personal injury, loss of property and trauma during the brief but crucial moments after a terror attack is important.
Fred Majiwa from St. Johns Ambulance says adherence to certain procedures could make the difference between life and death during terror attacks.
The first rule is simple. Do not run. Lie down on your side for at least ten seconds facing the side of the explosion. Bend your knees to cover your stomach and lungs. And use your fingers to cover your ears and other parts of your face.
“In case of an explosive, it should be your natural instinct to lie down. Lying down minimizes the body surface exposed. Let your legs face the explosion because they are not as fatal like other parts of the body,” he said.
“Do not expose your back facing the explosive, as it could cause serious harm to the spine that could be fatal,” explained Mr Majiwa.
The biggest mistake that most people make during an explosion, he says, is to try to run away from the scene.
“Do not run; you won’t run faster than the fragments. And the impact of the explosion will blow you off your feet and throw you to a wall maybe. And you also expose yourself to be hit by the fragments,” Mr Majiwa explained.
Mr Majiwa however cautions that people should not lie on the ground for too long. They may become vulnerable to secondary attacks.
“We saw a lot of this during the Westgate attack. People lied on the floor for too long and were easily attacked by the terrorists,” said Mr Majiwa.
Simiyu Werunga, a national security consultant, said the security threats in the city cannot be dealt with through an individual approach.
“The situation now is very difficult because we are under attack and there is nothing an individual can do, it is beyond them.”
Mr Werunga added that it is impossible for an individual to take precaution without knowledge of when and where the attack will staged.
“You cannot take precaution if you do not know where attack is taking place. The owners of the public utilities have the responsibility of ensuring security at their places,” Mr. Werunga.