A bomber (or bombers) are terrorizing the city of Austin, Texas. There have been four bombings this month, including three package bombs, and now a new device triggered by a tripwire.
Paul Weber and Will Weissert report in the Denver Post that:
Austin was rocked by the fourth bombing this month, which injured two people and which the police chief says was caused by a tripwire and showed “a different level of skill” than the package bombs used in the three prior attacks.
Police Chief Brian Manley also told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday that both men who were injured in Sunday night’s explosion in the southwestern Austin neighborhood of Travis Country are white, unlike the victims in the three earlier attacks, who were black or Hispanic.
Authorities on Monday were canvasing the area in search of anything suspicious, and residents were warned to remain indoors and to call 911 if they needed to leave their homes before 10 a.m. After sunrise, officers were canvasing the area for anything suspicious.
Travis Country is far from the sites of the earlier bombings, which occurred over two-plus weeks in residential neighborhoods east of Interstate 35, which divides the city.
At a news conference hours after Sunday’s blast, which happened around 8:30 p.m., Manley repeated his public warning for people to not pick up or approach suspicious packages.
“We want to put out the message that we’ve been putting out and that is, not only do not touch any packages or anything that looks like a package, do not even go near it at this time,” Manley said. Because “we have not had an opportunity to look at this blast site to really determine what has happened.”
Obviously that type of warning can bring a city to a standstill, or hysteria. Don’t touch any package? Hard to imagine in this e-commerce driven era where packages arrive at most homes almost daily.
To avoid such dangers, you must maintain Situational Awareness.
The US Coast Guard defines Situational Awareness as “the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to the team with regards to the mission. More simply, it’s knowing what is going on around you.” (Team Coordination Training Student Guide (8/98))
That’s straightforward enough. Knowing what is going on around you is very important.
Most people live a daily routine. They do the same things, in the same order, over and over as the days pass. It’s easy to get tunnel vision. Moving from one step to the next in your routine can become your focus, and what’s going on around you can be neglected.
French surrealist André Breton wrote “To see, to hear, means nothing. To recognize (or not to recognize) means everything.” Look for changes around you and try to interpret them. If you see an odd package on your doorstep, evaluate it before making the decision to pick it up. If there are unfamiliar people or objects around your home or place of business, safely attempt to understand what their purpose may be and act accordingly.
Don’t allow your routine to blind you to the changes and risks around you.
Maintain Situational Awareness.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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