How to prepare in case of a terrorist attack

What to do before, during and after terror attacks

Terrorist attacks happen without warning. To stay informed, keep an eye on the government’s terrorism threat levels.

If you suspect any acts of terrorism, follow the advice of the National Police Chiefs’ Council: Run, Hide, Tell.

You should also take steps before, during and after an attack:

Before a terrorist attack

  • Be vigilant. Terrorist attacks usually happen in public places. Keep a watch for suspicious behaviour, vehicles or packages.
  • If you have any fears or suspicions, tell the police. You can call the confidential Police Anti-Terrorism Hotline on 0800 789 321.
  • When you’re in buildings and on public transport, make sure you know where the emergency exits are.

During an incident

  • Find the safest way to leave the area. Move as quickly and calmly as you can.
  • If there’s a fire, stay low to the floor and exit as quickly as possible. Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth if you can. If a door is hot to the touch, don’t open it.
  • If there’s an explosion outside a building, stay inside. Keep away from windows, lifts and outside doors in case there’s another bomb nearby.
  • If you saw the explosion or any suspicious behaviour, tell the police.

After an incident

  • Help others with first aid if it’s safe to do so.• Tell the police if you saw anything that might be useful.
  • If you’re concerned about a loved one, contact the police.
  • You could be suffering from shock but not realise it. See a doctor as soon as possible.

More help and advice

See our teaching resource on how to support children and young people who are affected by news of terror attacks.

Learn first aid so you can help to deal with emergencies such as strokes, choking and burns.

Get advice on how to provide emotional support in a crisis and help people in distress.

Our crisis resource for teachers shows how teachers can help young people in distress.