Surviving Hostage Takings

In our town there was a string of robberies during the last a number of weeks. The dangerous guys were protecting up pharmacies for medicine (Oxycontin) and cash. The staff at those shops are scared; and apprehensive that finally they are going to be faced with violence or taken hostage when a theft is going dangerous. I feel it is time to speak about what to do if we ever in finding ourselves choosing up a couple of issues within the pharmacy and this happens. Let’s read about the dynamics of hostage eventualities.

During hostage eventualities, the sentiments of each events (the hostage and hostage taker) will run the gamut between melancholy and euphoria. Understanding the delicate emotional dynamics that happen in those eventualities can building up your probabilities of survival. There are 4 levels in each hostage taking without reference to period or result, alarm, disaster, lodging and backbone. Each impacts the way in which wherein hostage takers and hostages have interaction. Knowing which level you’re in could make the variation between existence and loss of life.


The alarm level is probably the most stressful and probably bad time in any hostage scenario. It is usually quick lived (about an hour in period) and the possibility of violence is prime. Everyone’s feelings are working prime and the hostages and hostage takers are most probably within the grip of the adrenaline reaction. This level within the disaster is frequently chaotic. Hostage takers are hyper-vigilant and might react aggressively against any perceived danger.

This is a vital time for hostages. It is all over this level of the disaster that captors are in all probability to bother, abuse or kill hostages with a view to consolidate their place and exhibit their regulate of the placement. At this level of the disaster hostages must attempt to stay calm and now not antagonize their captors.


This level within the scenario frequently marks the start of the hostage takers makes an attempt to consolidate their positions. It may be usually the place to begin for the negotiators that might be introduced in to try to unravel the placement peacefully. It is a prime power time emotionally and occasionally bodily. Hostages could also be separated and moved to other places. Hostage takers could also be scared of attack via police/army tactical groups.

This is the purpose within the disaster (frequently popularized within the media) that hostage takers will frequently make calls for and/or give impassioned speeches. For hostages that is probably the most vital level of the development and can set the tone for all long term interactions with their captors. Like it or now not hostage/captor interactions at this juncture can both strengthen or scale back the hostage’s possibilities for survival. Hostages must take the chance to relaxation and devour if meals is obtainable. They must suppose a place of calm compliance and certainly not problem their captor’s authority or regulate of the placement.


Generally that is the longest level in a hostage disaster. It may also be marked with the sense that point is dragging on, punctuated with moments of sheer terror. It is all over the lodging section that Stockholm syndrome turns into manifest. Hostages start to really feel forgotten, or that the hostage takers would go away if the police would simply close up and pass house.

During this level, negotiators are onerous at paintings looking to convey the disaster to a calm answer. Meanwhile tactical gadgets plan and deploy within the tournament they wish to attack the development. Emotionally and psychologically that is probably the most tricky time for hostages. The lack of freedom of motion and verbal exchange coupled with the worry and pressure of the placement can take an enormous emotional toll on hostages. They must attempt to preserve as a lot power as conceivable and do the whole lot they may be able to to practice their captor’s directions.


In the top each hostages and their captors could also be emotionally and bodily exhausted because the hours or days/months pass via and start to take their toll. This is the second one most threatening time in any hostage scenario. Hostage takers notice that they have got misplaced maximum in their bargaining chips and might transform determined. How issues play out from this level on is in large part made up our minds via the facility of the negotiator to convey the disaster to a peaceful conclusion.

How to continue to exist if you happen to transform a hostage

* Don’t be a hero. Resign your self to the placement and wait patiently. Under no instances must you try to bodily regulate an armed hostage taker. Life isn’t a film. Underestimating the bodily abilities of the hostage taker (particularly if armed) can be a deadly mistake. You don’t seem to be all the time the one particular person there. Your movements can affect others.

* Follow Instruction. Regardless of who you had been earlier than this all started you currently have 0 authority or regulate of the placement. Listen to what you’re informed to do after which comply. Don’t give your captors a reason why to wish to hurt certainly one of their hostages as a method to exhibit their regulate of the placement. Remember the hostage takers are beneath an excessive amount of pressure and might not be pondering rationally.

* Speak when spoken to. This is a case of S2 (take a seat down, close up). Any try to start up dialog could also be interpreted as checking out the hostage takers regulate of the placement. Unless it’s an emergency, it’s best to mention not anything in any respect. It will steer clear of drawing consideration to you.

* Don’t be offering ideas. Attempting to be useful will usually simplest antagonize your captors and make issues worse for everybody. Leave the negotiations to the pros and let the police do their jobs.

* Stay Calm. I understand it can be extremely tricky to do beneath the tension of being held hostage nevertheless it will have to be finished. There is admittedly not anything to be won via panic. Hostages must relaxation and devour if conceivable. You do not know how lengthy the placement will take to unravel itself and the emotional united states of americaand downs may also be debilitating.

* Evaluate whether or not you’ll be able to safely get away. The alternative for get away will have to be moderately weighed in opposition to the probabilities of luck vs. the danger of being stuck or that hurt could also be finished to the rest hostages in retaliation. As I stated previous, existence isn’t a film and you can simplest get one likelihood to do it proper.

* Ask for assist when you wish to have it. After the disaster level it can be suitable to request assist corresponding to drugs if you happen to require it. Your existence is a bargaining chip to the hostage takers and there’s no share in them permitting you to transform unwell or die.

Never argue hostage takers. Arguing along with your captors will simplest make you stand out of their minds and focal point their consideration on you. If you’re perceived as a danger you must be harmed as a message to the opposite hostages.

* Avoid drawing consideration to your self. Try to mix in and be as unobtrusive as conceivable. You completely don’t wish to stand out for your captor’s reminiscence.

* Treat your captors with admire. This together with now not difficult their authority or making an attempt to embarrass them will pass far against making sure that hostages don’t seem to be mistreated. Don’t downplay the seriousness of the placement.

* Never try to trick your captors. Attempting to govern the placement in your merit is a deadly sport. If you’re discovered to be mendacity, the hostage takers might make an instance of some of the hostages to exhibit their regulate.

* Be affected person. Hostage eventualities are frequently lengthy, drawn out occasions. Police are onerous at paintings looking to convey the placement to a calm answer. The longer the placement is going on, the upper your chances are high that for survival.

* Be a excellent witness. Pay consideration (Situational Awareness) to the hostage takers. Who is in price? How lots of them are there? What more or less guns do they’ve? What is the disposition of the hostages? Have they been harmed? If you’re launched earlier than the opposite hostages those and plenty of extra questions might be necessary for the police tactical gadgets and hostage negotiators to grasp.

Kerry Sauve

Tags :