There are basically two ways that a hostage situation can be described. During the traditional hostage situation, the hostage-taker is using the hostages to get something such as ransom money.
During the second hostage situation, the hostage-taker wants nothing but to make a statement which sadly is usually done through the murder of the hostages involved.
As the situation unfolds, the hostage needs to assess what the hostage-takers intent is and whether they are being held for negotiation or murder.
If it is believed that a hostage is being held and will be murdered, it is important that you do everything possible to disarm and disable the hostage-taker as quickly as possible and using all the force that you possibly can. This is easier if there is a group that is being held hostage as you would probably outnumber the gunmen.
Most hostages are killed during what is known as the “panic reaction” and usually happens during the first 10 to 30 minutes.
Read on for 5 Tips to Survive a Hostage Situation…
We have mentioned that if the hostage-taker has nothing but murder on his mind, you must take them down hard and fast. The tips below will assume that you have come to the conclusion that you are being held for negotiations.
1. Remain Calm
In almost any situation where your life is at risk, calmness is key. This is easier said than done but you need to remain calm so that you can think more clearly. Another reason for keeping calm is that if there is a group of hostages that are being held, calmness is contagious.
You don’t want to appear overly aggressive unless you know that your life is definitely at risk. Speak slowly, softly and clearly to the hostage-taker and don’t do anything that will make them angry when it isn’t needed.
You need to try and take in as much information as you possibly can from your surroundings, especially when it comes to things that could help with your escape.
Try to get a good mental picture of the hostage-taker and any weapons. Does the door to the room open inwards or outwards? How many of them is there? Is there anything you could use as a weapon? As a shield?
3. Speak When Spoken Too
All a hostage is to a criminal is a tool to get what he wants. A hostage means absolutely nothing to them. Some suggest trying to find common ground and speaking like a “friend” to them but that strategy just wouldn’t work. Avoid being aggressive and only give yes or no answers when questioned.
4. Don’t be a Hero
If the hostage-taker is armed with a gun of any type or calibre, that bullet is going to be able to move a heck of a lot quicker than you can. Never think that you can take him out before he pulls that trigger.
If they are holding you for negotiations then remember that they don’t want you dead. They know a dead body is worth nothing to them.
5. Hit the Ground
When the police enter the building, hit the ground straight away. Upon entry, they may not immediately know who is the hostage and who is the hostage-taker so get down and stay down.
Avoid being mistaken as the criminal by avoiding threatening posture. Do not grab and hold on to the weapon, and make sure the rescuers can see your empty hands at all times.