A burst sound from a tipper truck which had parked to off-load goods at the West Hills Mall on the Kasoa-Cape Coast Highway sent shoppers, shop owners and management of the mall running outside for their lives yesterday. In case you are caught in mall during an attack, these are the measures to ensure your survival.
First of all, try as much as possible to do your shopping outside the mall. If you truly have to go to the mall, then choose days and times that a terror attack is least likely to occur — such as working days and hours. I would guess that a terrorist would pick a day and time that the most shoppers are likely to be at the mall. He or she most likely picks a time when the market or restaurant / night club has the biggest crowds.
However, if you are unfortunate to be at the mall during at attack, take note of the following an act accordingly:
Make Use of Open Spaces
The good thing about yesterday’s incident was that everyone aimed for the open space in front of the mall. Open spaces ensure that falling objects do not hit you. If you are ever caught in a mall attack, find an open area to avoid entrapment. Sometimes the first effect of the bomb may not be all; other places may fall off later on. Staying in an open space gives you a better chance to survive.
Don’t Be Caught In A Stampede
Yesterday at West Hills, there was almost a stampede because everyone started running towards the main gates. During the Westgates mall attack in Kenya, many people lost their lives in a stampede. Try as much as possible to get a hold of a fixed object like a pillar to avoid people running over you
Make use of emergency exit doors at the mall. If you are new to the mall, look out for an employee like a manager, orderly or security. Chances are that they may be well aware of emergency evacuation procedures. He may know of emergency exits that you don’t know about. If he runs for the back room or side-door, follow him! Ask him if he knows how to get out; hopefully, his store has a plan for evacuating shoppers. So if for example you are caught inside the Accra Mall, you probably would not know that there is an emergency exit that leads to the Spintex road. An orderly there, however, is more than likely to know this information.