survival pak Thinking about worst case scenarios: Saving your skin if your hotel were a target

When I’m at an unfamiliar destination, I tend not to focus on the negative. Sure, I keep my eyes open, and I try to avoid getting hit by traffic, but I don’t obsess about the ways I could be hurt or killed. But the dreadful attacks on the hotels in Mumbai, on top of the bombing of the Islamabad Marriott in September, have made worst-case-scenario mindsets a little more palatable, or even appropriate.

In that vein, allow me to recommend a no-nonsense post by Jeffrey Goldberg in his blog at the Atlantic: “How to Stay Alive in a Terrorized Hotel.”

Importantly, he offers this important reminder: Much like you’re more likely to be killed or injured on the way to the airport than in a plane accident, “it’s foolish even to worry about hotel safety, because the chances of something happening on any particular night in any particular hotel are vanishingly small. The taxi ride to the hotel is invariably more dangerous than the hotel itself.”

Ok. With that caveat out of the way, how do you avoid danger, or how do you save your hide in a worst-case scenario? Goldberg offers a number of suggestions. Avoid big hotels, as they’re big targets. Stay at hotels that have been attacked before — they’re unlikely to be hit again. Order room service, to avoid being off the lobby in an easily-attackable restaurant. Get a room on floors 4, 5, or 6, from which you could potentially survive a jump (umm… this tip I’m not quite comfortable with). Keep shoes, passport, and money handy at all times, in easy reach in the dark. And much, much more. Read the whole thing.

Got any survivalist tips of your own to share? Hit the comments?


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3 Responses to “Thinking about worst case scenarios: Saving your skin if your hotel were a target”

  1. PFR Says:

    I’d only like to add that you’re massively more likely to be killed slipping in the bathtub of your hotel than you are being a victim of a terrorist attack in it.

    Honestly, I think my “worst case scenario” is of being someone who stays up at night worrying about things like this. Or blogging about them. (Uh-oh…)

    However, one safety tip a female colleague offers is: don’t take a room on ground level. Too easy for someone to come in the window. (A different and much more individual kind of terorism.)

  2. MAC Says:

    Rather than worrying about a terrorist attack prepare for the more prosaic – fire. Count the doorways to the left and to the right from your room to the fire escape. If the hallway is dark or smoke filled you can then trail a hand along the wall as you head for the escape route and quickly find the exit door.

  3. poetloverrebelspy Says:

    Learn a foreign language — if it doesn’t help your understanding of/bargaining with the enemy in question, at least you may be able to pass as not American or British, if the situation requires it.

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