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.

Unaccompanied, still seek cover and wait for potential secondary explosions and then try to treat life threatening wounded and get them out of the area in the event of a secondary explosion. Listen to and assist first responders.

Try to be super aware (if one is not already), remember what you see and maybe even record it, but not to the point of getting in the way or becoming a casualty yourself. Share with authorities.

BTW, today’s attack was on a Massachusetts’ state holiday, Patriot Day. It’s a holiday commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord when Americans first took concrete action to defend their rights as the British attempted to confiscate weapons.

Food for thought and hope you never have to put your plan into practice.