Run, Hide, Tell? London attack response likely saved lives

In the latest terror attack, the above-titled strategy is credited with keeping the body count down during Saturday’s barrage near London Bridge. It is similar to the recommendation in the United States to “Run, hide, fight,” during such incidents.

The stance appears to have merit. In a study to be released later this month, 73 percent of those who survived deadly assaults in public places did so by running, and they had no injuries or moderate injuries; twenty percent hid, but about a third of these were injured.

Is the advice enough to keep the public safe? After all, people tend to freeze during stressful events, wasting precious seconds that can diminish their chance of survival. Hiding, too, can result in harm; the Pulse Nightclub attack resulted in 50 deaths, some of which were club goers who hid in bathrooms. And there are occasions when running does not offer protection either, as the victims of last year’s attacks in Nice discovered. For those who are out enjoying life, running or hiding might be easier said than done.

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