Is this how you manage disaster?

The National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU) released ten safety and security tips. Now I’m not sure if this is something they did a long time ago and it was being publicized on social media or it was hastily written by a very uninformed person in the wake of the Garissa tragedy that we are still trying to come to terms with.

The two tips that had me seething were number nine and ten.

9.) If you are in the hands of terrorists, free yourselves as soon as possible (fight out)

10.) Terrorists are criminals who are ready to die, before they die their aim is to destroy as many lives as possible; so, when held captive, think about fighting your way out using the available means.

I want to slap the person who thought this nonsense up.  I believe that I can get on to this self-righteous tirade because I am a terrorism survivor. I have been at the hands of terrorists,as have my children. Fight out? Are you stupid? These intimidating people with sophisticated weaponry are standing above you, mocking you and firing with abandon and your advice is to free ourselves as soon as possible by fighting out?

Then you go on to tell us to think about fighting our way out using the available means. Now let me think back to 21st September 2013. I had with me my bag in which I had my phone, a battery pack to keep the phone charged all day, my National Identity card, a pen, the Westgate KAPS parking ticket, my wallet, my business cards and the car key. I also had a cloththat I had knotted to my bag because I had intended to use that to wipe the counters down while the cooking competition was going on. I have spent a whole week thinking what available means would I have dared use to fight my way out of that hostage situation we were in. I could have gouged his eyes out with my car key and pen and then maybe strangled him with the wire attached to the battery pack. Why, oh why didn’t I have these great tips on disaster management to get out of that situation back then?

You, the one who has decided to write this utter rubbish and pass it off as disaster management tips, come sit with me and talk to me because clearly you have no idea of what happens during a terrorism attack. You are making a mockery of all this and I am not amused. I’m always the first to appreciate everything that is done in a positive light to help us Kenyans, no matter how small or big it is but this is downright stupidity.  Besides, it’s insensitive as well. You are lying amidst people who have been shot at, blown with grenades, bleeding to death, your vision is blurred because you have been lying face down in their blood, not daring to move around to attract attention to where you’re lying on the floor with other people and you expect us to THINK of these nonsensical ways to fight terrorists?

Pull up your socks and provide us Kenyans with the security that we deserve, that is our right, and not resort to these idiotic utterances you make to placate us. Had security been a priority, these disaster management ‘tips’ wouldn’t have been necessary in the first place. Someone is clearly not doing their job.

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