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Should Americans Get Terrorist Survival Training?

by Bruce Haring

The threat of terrorism is very real, not just in our own country, but all over the world. From lone shooters to organized attacks on busy streets, you never know where the next danger might come from, or if you might get caught up in the middle of it. What can you do to protect yourself? You might take a cue from the people of Australia. There, many are choosing to take terrorist survival training classes.

Zero Risk International

The man in charge of these classes is Tony Loughran, an international security expert and former commando from the UK. He has thirty years of practical experience keeping himself and others safe from threats all over the world, and that background forms the basis for Zero Risk International, his terrorist survival training course.

The course provides advice for ordinary people on how to survive in extraordinary and dangerous situations. Tips include hiding behind concrete to shield yourself from gunfire, or simply talking with your attacker to try to keep them calm and make them less likely to do anything drastic. Those who have taken the class agree that the situations presented are horrific, but that the training they received is incredibly useful.

Will Terrorist Survival Classes Help You?

Unless you’re planning a trip to Australia in the near future, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to take Tony Loughran’s course any time soon. However, there are similarly-themed classes offered all over the United States. Is it worthwhile to seek one out and get training you could use to survive a terrorist attack?

Many would argue that the average person’s chances of being involved in a terrorist attack in any way are extremely low. This is technically true. However, look at the shooting in the Orlando nightclub in June, or last year’s attack in San Bernardino. Those people’s chances of becoming the victims of terrorism were just as low. But statistics didn’t matter when the shooting began. That’s the thing to remember: everyone thinks it can’t happen to them—until it does.

Even if you aren’t ever caught in the crossfire of a terrorist attack, the things you learn in training could help you in other, slightly more likely situations as well, from a home invasion to a mugging, and more. It’s always important to be prepared. Better to have the training and never need it than to get caught unawares and wish you had it.

Deciding on a Terrorist Survival Class

If you do decide to take a terrorist survival training course, be sure to vet it thoroughly first. Zero Risk International is headed by a former commando who has decades of real life experience. Other trainers might not be up to that level.

Look at their qualifications and only sign up if the course is taught by someone with demonstrable credentials and experience in the field of counterterrorism. Training with someone unqualified could ultimately end up doing you more harm than good.

Cost is also a consideration. A legitimate course in terrorist survival taught by a highly qualified professional is likely to be a bit pricey. It might be more than you can easily spare; then again, many of us might deem such an opportunity priceless.  It’s up to you.

There are cheaper options as well, such as guidebooks and terrorist survival kits. These can provide you with helpful advice in a pinch, but would be on a par with practical, hands-on training. The worst mistake you can make is to think you know how to handle a real life situation because you read about it in a book.

There are pros and cons to taking a terrorist survival training course. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. If you really feel that you would benefit from hands-on crisis experience, then by all means, find a reputable class near you and take it. But if you can’t afford it or aren’t sure it would be helpful to you, don’t worry too much. Your chances of being caught in a terrorist attack are still extremely low.

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