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Southern Oregon University

What to do if taken hostage

  • Be patient. Time is on your side. Avoid drastic action.
  • The first 45 minutes are the most dangerous. Be alert and follow instructions.
  • Don’t speak unless spoken to and then only when necessary.
  • Avoid arguments or appearing hostile. Treat the captor with respect. If you can, establish rapport with the captor. It is probable that the captor(s) do not want to hurt anyone. If medications, first aid, or restroom privileges are needed by anyone, say so.
  • Try to rest. Avoid speculating. Expect the unexpected.
  • Be observant, you may be released or escape. You can help others with your observations.
  • Be prepared to speak with law enforcement personnel on the phone.