Attacks in Crowded and Public Spaces

Many of the same basic skills to take care of people in any emergency also apply to attacks in crowded or public spaces.  Being aware of your surroundings and having a plan in place help to prepare and protect yourself and help others in the event of a mass attack.

Types of Mass Attacks

  • People using firearms to cause injury and hurt many people (active shooter)
  • People using a vehicle to cause injury and hurt many people
  • People using homemade bombs to cause injury and hurt many people
  • Other methods used in mass attacks may include knives, fires, or other weapons
  • Stay alert. Always be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
  • If you see something, say something (c) to local authorities.  That includes suspicious packages or people behaving strangely. Learn more about Crime Prevention programs such as Neighborhood Watch and Business Watch programs offered through the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office.
  • Observe warning signs. Signs might include unusual threats or violent communications, extreme anger or statement of hurting people or a specific group of people, or changes in behavior. Listen to your gut - if something doesn't feel right, it might not be.
  • Have an exit plan. Be aware of exits and areas to hide wherever you go, including work, school, and special events.
  • Learn lifesaving skills. Take training such as You Are the Help Until Help Arrives and first aid to assist the wounded before help arrives.

Info on Attacks in Crowded and Public Spaces from FEMA's website in:

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