What to do in Case of an Explosion
Police commissioner Mathew Iteere wants Kenyans to be vigilant since the Al Shabaab retaliatory attacks are going to continue. The Kenya defense forces are hot on their heels in Somalia and they believe that harming innocent civilians in Kenya by executing cowardly attacks is retribution.
2012 is a year of noisy freaks and curious idlers who home in at political rallies everywhere for political speculation and euphoric excitement in declaring favorites of those vying. I elect that in view of sporadic terror attacks, authorities should advise politicians to advertise their candidature online and on TV and radio stations and desist from attracting crowds at rallies for safety purposes.
Among the measures that government has put in place to deter terrorists is the use of Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. There is however so much that the government can do, aside from peeping. But it is never enough. That is why you will need some tips on what to do in case of a terrorist attack:
Scamper for safety
When the Moi Avenue blast occurred, many people who were within the immediate area of Assanands house rushed to the scene to find out firsthand what had happened. This according to experts is the worst thing anyone should attempt after an explosion. Once you are sure where the explosion has occurred, run as fast as possible away from the scene. Preferably, get behind walls of far off buildings.
The reason is because explosions are usually accompanied by a shockwave which normally accounts for a large number of casualties. A shockwave is a powerful pulse of air that is generated after an explosion. This pulse is so dangerous it can cause a person’s lungs to implode leading to death or serious organ failure.
The worst case scenario with people running towards a blast immediately after an attack is that a second blast might happen. It happened at the 9/11 attacks in the US and could happen again anywhere.
Being close to the blast site could also cause injury since plumes of dust and soot from fires can be inhaled to cause damage to the lungs.
Hug the ground
Terrorists have been getting a lot of air time since they started launching attacks on innocent civilians using grenades. They have now even resorted to using the scarce fertilizer in the country to make improvised explosive devices.
You can deny them the pleasure of causing deaths and serious injury by making sure you hit the ground immediately after you hear the sound of an explosion. Since the attacks have not escalated to the point of nuclear weapons and against the odds of being victim of a close range targeted attack, the difference between life and death in an explosion is directly proportional to the lateral distance of your body to the ground.
The same principle applies in case you find yourself in a position where you are transformed into a human torch due to fires from explosions. It would be lifesaving to sprawl to the ground and roll several times, preferably towards a water source. Rolling on the ground starves the fire of oxygen which feeds it.
It is highly advisable that if you happen to be in a building close to where an explosion occurs to immediately evacuate. Peeping through windows immediately after a loud explosion goes off may well easily be the last thing you might ever do. What your instincts will most likely tell you is to respond to the fright and flight stimuli. Obey this natural counsel and rush for the nearest exit or follow the building’s evacuation procedures.
Make it a safety precaution to familiarize yourself with all the exits of buildings you normally frequent, especially those in the city.
The thing about rescuing victims in a scene of explosion is to only rush in for the rescue once you have ascertained your own safety. Many enthusiastic rescuers have ended up as victims of rescue because of the aforementioned shockwave. Others get hit by objects that ricochet from adjacent building walls or those that fall back to the ground after being tossed into the sky by the first explosion.
Join the rescue only when this does not directly put you or those in need of rescuing in harm’s way. For instance climbing through rubble in a bid to rescue trapped victims might cause the surface on which you are walking to cave in injuring victims beneath.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to make way for emergency rescue officials like fire fighters, police officers and red- cross teams. Only help under clear instructions in case an extra pair of hands is needed. If the emergency teams need everyone to evacuate off the area, follow the instructions even if you have an urge to watch. You can still reach home and switch on your TV or radio to follow the reports of the incident from reliable professional sources.
Our hearts and prayers go out to all the victims of the blast that occurred along Moi Avenue in Nairobi earlier this week.