Aug 18, 2017

The gruesome attacks in Barcelona that left over 13 dead and over 100 injured was a barbaric reminder of the lengths terrorists will go to create maximum carnage. Targeting civilians, the act of terrorism utilized a van to ram into Las Ramblas, a popular tourist boulevard.

barcelona attack
Photo from CNN

Vehicular attacks aren’t new. It was the same tactic used in last year’s attack in the Berlin Christmas market and six months before that in Nice during their celebration of Bastille Day. Because the skill level to execute this type of attack is low compared to setting up explosives and the like, it is easily used to create the most havoc among the innocent.

barcelona attack
Photo from CNN

What is alarming though is that the attacks in Barcelona were not planned on a particular holiday. Vigilance is key when visiting any public place. These attacks on the popular tourist spot had us wondering ourselves what would we have done if we were caught in such a situation. So we did the research, and here’s what you can do.

1. Pre-prep your trip

Don’t be a careless tourist. Have a map at all times of the area, especially if it’s a known tourist destination. Review the map and scan the area for any possible escape routes. In the case of a stampede, you’ll know where to slither out and redirect foot traffic.

2. Hide in a nearby shop

While this may not necessarily help you survive if the vehicle does ram into a shop, it does provide a better chance than being live bait on the streets. According to reports from CNN, witnesses hid in the nearby shops as the van rammed through the pedestrian zone of Las Ramblas.

3. Look for barriers

While local governments and even private institutions should consider putting up protective barriers in public areas, you can identify a few yourself and take shelter behind them. Public spaces like Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium makes use of concrete benches as obstructions in any case of similar attacks, while fortified fences can line buildings and mask as pottery and foliage.

4. Know basic first aid

Expect injuries left and right. It’s best to be ready with your own knowledge of first aid to help stop the bleeding that can range from mild gashes to severed limbs. Take a look at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “Stop the Bleed” campaign poster below.

barcelona attack

 

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