Tuesday, July 26, 2011

76 confirmed dead in Oslo, Norway as 32 year old Andres Behring Breivik goes on a killing spree.  6 killed and 14 injured in Scottsdale, Arizona as Jared Lee Loughner opens fire on a political assembly outside a grocery store.  168 dead and more than 680 injured as Timothy McVeigh detonates a truck bomb outside a government building in downtown Oklahoma City.


If a terror attack can happen in peaceful Norway, a nation with the 12th lowest homicide rate worldwide, then a terror attack can happen anywhere!


In order to help you I’ll begin by sharing a story which hit close to home.  You may recall the Atlanta Day Trading Shootings in July of 1999 when Mark Barton took 9 lives and injured another 13.  I happened to be the ‘Best Man’ for Justin Hoehn who was the manager of the branch where Barton had last worked and was the first of the two offices Barton took fire on that deadly day.


Justin survived the attacks, and I’ve had the opportunity to speak with him on a few occasions about the horrific incident.  There were approximately 21 traders in his office that day and Barton killed 4 of them.  How, possibly, could over 80% of a room of unarmed individuals, highly focused on their work with their backs to a shooter, survive this attack?


They took action.  When the shots rang out, traders began running for both doors on opposite ends of the room.  Others barricaded themselves into a side room, while others played dead.


What can you do to protect yourself & your family when terror strikes?


  1. Move - Get Out of There!
  2. Always Know Your Exits In Advance
  3. Do NOT try to stop the attacker (unless you are willing and only if within arms reach)
  4. Visualize How You’d Act In Advance 
  5. Know What A Gunshot Sounds Like!


No matter where you are, you should always know your exits.  For example, many police officers will not sit with their backs to an entrance/exit.  They are constantly aware of their surroundings.  Visualization is also vital because it helps prevent you from freezing when a terror attack does occur.  Finally, if you don’t know what a gunshot sounds like, assume every loud bang/pop is a gunshot and move / take action immediately!


Always be the leader and call Emergency Services immediately.  Assume no one else will!


Now, what can you do to prevent these attacks from occurring?  Unfortunately, it is more challenging to profile Mass Murders than Serial Killers, and unlike Serial Killers, Mass Murders don’t pause between their killings giving authorities time to prevent future deaths.  Here are a few warning signs:


  1. Loners
  2. Extremists
  3. Personality Disorders
  4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
  5. Blame Others for Their Misfortunes
  6. Prepared to Die


Of course some of the above probably apply to people, you may know, who are completely harmless, but if you suspect someone, having some of the above characteristics, could turn violent, call your local FBI office immediately.