In a time when mass shootings are becoming more and more frequent, terrorism and security training expert Chris Periatt of Forever Vigilant shares three everyday habits we need to develop that could make a life or death difference.
Habits as ingrained in us as looking both ways to cross the street.
HABIT # 1
Be aware of your surroundings starting in the parking lot as you walk towards the door. Don’t text and walk. As for what to look for, Periatt says trust your instincts.
“(If) something in the back of your mind tells you, that’s out of place or that’s wrong, it looks suspicious, it’s not normal behavior,” Periatt says you can make a decision. “Realizing that, that may be a problem and not walking into it. And that’s where we talk about staying off your cellphone,”
HABIT # 2
Know where the exits are. As soon as you enter a building or store or a mall, find out where other exits are located.
“Knowing where your exits are and knowing if something happened how would you get out, how would you escape,” Periatt said. “Your best option is escape. Getting as far away from that individual or the situation as you can.”
You may not always be able to run.
HABIT # 3
Every time you enter a public place, keep an eye out for objects you could hide behind or use as a shield if needed.
“Something that would stop bullets if the individual were shooting at you,” he said.
Many people freeze in the face of terror, but if these habits are practiced regularly, Periatt says you’ll be able to take action much more quickly and those seconds could be life saving.
We can’t stop grocery shopping or running errands, but we can develop new habits and after that – “Pray that it’s not my time yet,” says shopper Bruce Biggs. “Count your blessings, you don’t know if you will make it home.”
The Red Cross provides a free course on using tourniquets and dealing with severe bleeding wounds here .