Hostage Situation

If you see or hear a hostage situation:

  • Immediately remove yourself from any danger.

  • Immediately call 911.

  • Be prepared to give the dispatcher the following information:

  • Location and room number of the incident

  • Number of possible hostage takers

  • Physical description of hostage takers (if possible)

  • Number of possible hostages

  • Any weapons the hostage takers may have

  • Your name

  • Your location and phone number


If you are taken hostage:

  • Remain calm, be polite, and cooperate with your captors.

  • Do not attempt escape unless there is an extremely good chance of survival. It is safer to be submissive and obey your captors.

  • Speak normally. Do not complain, avoid being belligerent, and comply with all orders and instructions.

  • Observe the captors and try to memorize their physical traits, voice patterns, clothing, or other details that can help provide a description later.

  • Avoid getting into political or ideological discussions with the captors.

  • Try to establish a relationship with your captors and get to know them. Captors are less likely to harm you if they respect you.

  • If forced to present captor’s demands to authorities, either in writing or on tape, state clearly that the demands are from your captors. Avoid making a plea on your own behalf.

  • Try to stay low to the ground or behind cover from windows or doors if possible.


In a rescue situation:

  • Do not run. Drop to the floor and remain still. If that is not possible, cross your arms, bow your head, and stand still. Make no sudden moves that a rescuer may interpret as hostile or threatening.

  • Wait for instructions and obey all instructions you are given.

  • Do not be upset, resist, or argue if a rescuer isn’t sure whether you are a captor or hostage.

  • Even if you are handcuffed and searched, do not resist. Just wait for the confusion to clear.

  • You will be taken to a safe area, where proper identification and status will be determined.