April 15, 2013

What Do You Do If Caught In a Bombing?

As the attack in Boston is being addressed I’m sure many reader’s hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Tragic. I have my thoughts about the five “W’s,” but at this early juncture speculation is inappropriate. There are details coming out as I type. There will be more details and much discussion over the coming days. That said, I try to look at these events in a larger context to learn lessons and apply them to my life. The question that came to me is what to do in a bomb attack?

Bombings in military jargon are often referred to as “mechanical ambushes,” and there are basic actions to be taken if caught in one. How can we apply some of these to a potential future event? These are MY thoughts/opinions. Others may have different values or experiences which may identify issues I missed. The type of attack and whether one is alone are primary criteria.

The time to have this discussion is before an incident not after. I hope we can share and be better prepared.


After the initial sound, shock and blast invade your consciousness, get down and cover loved ones. Seek nearby cover (like steps away) and wait 30 seconds to a minute for potential secondary explosions (which might not be long enough). Secondary explosions can be part of a “daisy chain,” subsequent explosions designed to take out people moving in that direction to escape the primary or previous explosion. Use that time to assess you and your loved one’s injuries, and identify an escape route. Treat life threatening injuries (e.g. profusely bleeding, clear airways etc.), otherwise get your loved ones out of the area. Remember, it’s a common tactic to set up a secondary explosion to wound/kill first responders and those coming to assist the initial victims.

or Log In

About the Author

MAJ (Ret.) Will Rodriguez Will served over 20 years as an Infantry officer serving in Europe, the Middle East, Korea and Latin America. He has extensive experience in both light Infantry and mechanized warfare to include combat. He was selected to serve as a TAC at West Point and his final assignment was to the Infantry’s Battle Lab conducting research on tomorrow’s Infantry force. He concentrated in National Security at West Point, holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling & Leadership Development and is a graduate of the Combined Arms General Staff College. Born and raised in a tough section of New York City, Will lost his accent in the Army but kept the attitude. Read more from Will at http://gruntsandco.com/

To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • Leapgirl

    -BLACK- JHR  I've been OT so catching up.... Between Black and you _JHR) I feel I'm in dire straits on my KIT! I do have experience in first-aid, CPR, drawing blood etc... So I do have some thing's a little advanced in there, however I feel like I'm seriously lacking. Any advice would be appreciated. It may also help other civilians out there that do not have a KIT on what to put in it.. I learned years ago to always KIT-UP and would recommend anyone who does not or never has.... DO IT NOW! It could save the life of your family as well as yourself.

  • Leapgirl


  • Leapgirl


  • Leapgirl

    Majrod, Late to the show and catching up from being OT. What a Fantastic article!! Great advice for the GP, as well as all the great comments below. In my mind this is the way it should be on a sight, sharing information to save lives SOFREP just keeps getting better! I did hop on over and listen to your Interview with Andrew. Again great Job Sir and Thank You.

  • Julesy

    majrod I'm not a team room member so I guess I'll be missing this one. :)