‘Flee, Hide, Alert’: France issues poster on surviving terror attack

© Christian Hartmann
A poster with guidelines on how to survive a terror attack has been issued by French authorities. The move comes three weeks after Islamist militants killed 130 people in different parts of Paris on November 13.

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The “S’échapper, se cacher, alerter” campaign was launched by the authorities on its website on Thursday. The posters are expected to appear in public places, like stores, museums, and stadiums and have already been making the rounds on social media.

“Given that the times are changing and that we are going to have to learn to live with this lasting threat, we have to develop a culture of life-saving techniques and solidarity,” the office of French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, told AFP.

The poster, which the government described as a “survival triptych,” was designed in the cartoon-strip style used on aircraft safety cards that is well-known to all plane passengers.

Many situations described in the poster were inspired by actual experiences of the survivors of the attack on the Bataclan theater, where three gunmen opened fire at a crowd of concert-goers, killing 89 people. 


The first section of the poster, entitled “Flee,” advises people under terror attack to locate the source of danger and escape from the hazardous area.  The guidelines also urge citizens to help those around them to flee as well – if possible, of course.

© gouvernement.fr

The advice was illustrated by a picture resembling one of the most striking images from the Bataclan attack – a man helping a pregnant woman dangling from a window.

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The citizenry is warned against exposing themselves to danger as they escape. After leaving the scene of attack, French nationals are called upon to warn others of the threat and to dissuade them from approaching the dangerous area.


If fleeing is not an option, then the second part of the “triptych” advices people to lock the door and/or barricade it with furniture so that the terrorists can’t get in. 

Some Bataclan survivors reportedly managed to save themselves by hiding in offices and bathrooms during the attack.

© gouvernement.fr

The authors of the campaign also suggest switching off all the lights, as well as any electric devices capable of making noise, including phones and computers.

People should also stay on the floor and avoid windows or openings while hiding from an attack.


If you are out of danger, call a police emergency hotline.

The third poster also stresses the importance of obeying commands from law enforcement officials. It advises approaching security forces slowly, without making any sudden movements, and raising your hands so as not to be mistaken for a terrorist.  

Citizens are also warned against releasing any information that might disclose the whereabouts of security forces to the attackers. They are also discouraged from spreading unconfirmed information via social media.

© gouvernement.fr

The French government stressed that following the rules outlined in the poster will allow security forces to be more efficient in responding to a terror attack. A video and a “good practice guide” on how to survive a terror attack are also to be released in the coming months.

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