Once more the realm of movies and novels, it seems more and more often we’re hearing news reports about people being taken hostage for one reason or another. While thankfully the odds of it happening to you are likely fairly low, if you do find yourself in that situation there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Hostage Situation Survival Tips
First, avoid doing anything that calls attention to yourself. Stay calm, keep quiet, and do what you’re told. You want to blend into the crowd as much as possible. This may not always be possible, of course, particularly if there are only a few of you taken hostage. Avoid making eye contact with the attackers. What you want to avoid is becoming the target of the hostage taker’s anger.
If you are armed, I would caution you against taking offensive action against the attackers. Unless you are absolutely certain you know what you’re doing, such as you’ve trained in SWAT or Delta Force tactics, you will likely end up making a bad situation far worse. Forget about the Hollywood nonsense.
That said, if an opportunity to escape presents itself and you are certain you can pull it off safely, it is an option worth considering. I would caution you, though, to be aware of the possibility of danger coming not just from the attackers but the authorities outside who might not be expecting you to come running outside.
Pay attention to your surroundings and to what’s happening. Make a mental note of how many attackers there are, where they are situated, what they look like, things they say, all that good stuff. It might turn out that you’re able to escape or perhaps you end up released. In either case, the authorities will want and need as much information as you’re able to provide.
Should a team be sent in to rescue you and the other hostages, I doubt you’ll have any warning. If/when it happens, hit the floor, shut your eyes, and cover your ears. Whatever you do, don’t jump up and start hollering. That just makes you a target for the attackers as well as a potential victim of friendly fire. Get down and stay there. Soon, you’ll likely be grabbed by one of the rescuers and dragged away.
If the situation becomes prolonged, you may notice some of the hostages, perhaps even yourself, sympathizing with the attackers. This is called Stockholm Syndrome and is rather common in situations like that. Watch for it and fight against it as best you can.
Being taken hostage isn’t a very common threat, even today. But, these situations are happening more and more often. Keep the above tips in mind should you become a victim.