Chances are, if you live in a major metropolis and work for a fairly large company or organization, your Monday morning was all about security briefings as a result of what happened in Paris over the weekend.

A friend of mine (more like a brother from another mother to be precise) who works for the United Nations in Rome, wrote a letter to his three children back in the US about this, and I wanted to share it because it’s the best advice I’ve seen. I hope you never have to use it.

Stay safe, and after reading this, never again make fun of a red neck! I mean it.

From: “◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙”
Subject: the rules
Date: November 16, 2015 at 10:03:19 AM GMT+1
To: ◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙, ◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙, ◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙

Dear Kids,

I am being bombarded with warnings from the US Embassy in Rome, the United Nations security office, and the Italian government. There was a mile long queue to get inside the office today. It almost felt like I worked for a top secret military installation.

As your dad, I can’t help but take note of the news: a night club fire in Romania, the Paris shootings, explosions in Lebanon. And of course, there are shootings in the US every day.

So let’s go over the rules. You know them, but it’s time to refresh your memories.

All of you:

– Live in the United States
– Are international travelers
– Go to schools, attend concerts, and sporting events

So in theory, that puts you at the highest risk level. But there is nothing you can do to predict or avoid these situations.

Your best defense is to be ready and prepared if you find yourselves in the midst of a dangerous situation like a shootout, a fire, a bomb threat—any craziness really. Kids, remember that you come from good redneck stock, y’all know how to react, you’ve been around guns and know the rules.

So, if you find yourselves in a bad situation, here are your four rules.

Rule 1 – Get down on the floor, don’t run
– People who run are targets
– People who run risk getting trampled to death at the exit
– Cover yourself if you can, and play dead

Rule 2- Calm down and assess the situation
– Where is the shooter or shooters?
– Where is the nearest exit?
– Where is the fire?
– What exactly is going on?

Take a deep breath and think for a second, this will save your life. It could be over quickly, and staying put for one minute is the best thing you can do. Even if it is a fire, be smart and try to tamper your your survival instinct to bolt away.

Rule 3 – Make a plan
– Think of an exit strategy
– What are the others doing, what’s working and what’s not?
– What is really going on?
– If it is fire, cover your mouth and nose with a wet cloth if possible

Whatever you decide to do, do it calmly and when you act, don’t hesitate.

Rule 4 – Help those around you, if you can

You guys are all athletes, all of you. You know pain is weakness leaving your
body and it goes away. Stay calm, take the pain, and act with your brain and your
inner redneck and you will live a long life and be happy.

I love you all.

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