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How to survive hotel terror attacks

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  December 4, 2008 11:50 AM

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I'm not a paranoid person, have never even fantasized about building a panic room -- although under the right circumstances spending a night in one might be fun -- and tend to be pretty adventurous while on the road.
But given recent events in Mumbai and elsewhere it makes sense to me that others who travel in the Third World more than I do might have given it some thought.
Atlantic.com's Jeffrey Goldberg, who says he's recently stayed in four hotels that have been blown up, offers these survival tips:
1) Avoid big hotels because terrorists want maximum exposure.
2) If you do get stuck in a big hotel, order room service and avoid big restaurants off the lobby, which for obvious reasons is the most dangerous part of the hotel.
3) Try to get a room on the 4th or 5th floor, low enough so firefighters could get to you with ladders, but high enough so you have a chance of ducking marauding gunmen.
4) Work out detailed plans in advance either for how you could escape -- locations of exits, stairwells etc. -- or how to survive a siege (barracade the door, set aside water and energy bars, pack flashflight and utility knife).
5) Stay in hotels that have already been attacked.
Travelers, what do you think? Do you worry about terrorism more now? Got any tips of your own?


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