On Saturday night, just after 10pm London time, a terror attack was launched on England’s capital.
Seven people were murdered, and three terrorists were killed by police. A further 48 civilians were injured.
The attacks took place on London Bridge and Borough Markets, less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killer 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
LISTEN: Mia Freedman, Monique Bowley, Holly Wainwright and I discussed the Manchester terror attack in a bonus episode of Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below.
The current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is ‘severe’ or ‘highly likely’, the second highest warning possible.
In the wake of the London terror attack, the British Government has issued a set of instructions people should follow if they find themselves in the midst of a terror incident.
Even though it might be your first instinct, according to the UK National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (Nactso), you should not play dead.
“If you can see the attacker, they may be able to see you,” Natsco says, and instead you should make it your priority to run.
The new 'run, tell, hide,' warning system, in the face of a firearms or weapon attack, offers the following advice.
The first thing you should do, is look to escape and find a safe place.
Insist that those around you also leave, and abandon your personal belongings.
If running risks greater danger, stay where you are. But if not, determine the fastest and safest escape route.
If it is not possible to run, then hide as best you can. Make sure you cannot see the attacker.
Find cover from gunfire behind "substantial brickwork or heavy reinforced walls," and be mindful that gunshots can penetrate glass, wood and even metal.
Turn your phone to silent and ensure vibration is turned off.
Once you feel it is safe, call 000, or in England 999. If you're not sure what the emergency number is where you are, then call 112.
If you're in a position where you can't speak, just cough. If you can't make any noise whatsoever, then you will be put through to an automated system, where you'll be prompted to press '55'.
This will indicate to emergency services that you are in danger, and the police will be dispatched to your current address.
When police arrive, do not make any sudden movements and always have your hands in view. It can be difficult for officers to distinguish between attackers and civilians.
How to help
In times of crisis or danger, we often see cases of the 'bystander effect', defined by Joe Mulligan, the head of First Aid education at the British Red Cross, as a "well known phenomenon... where everyone does nothing because they assume someone else knows what to do."
"Don't fall for that," he says. "Call the emergency services and do something to help."
In addition, the first people on the scene are absolutely crucial to saving the lives of victims. The Hippocratic Post has outlined exactly what we need to know in a piece titled "First aid in a terrorist age." The main points include, concentrate on the quiet ones, don't be afraid to show compassion, focus on small children first and details about how to treat burns, spinal injuries, and shrapnel wounds.
It's important to note that a terror attack, particularly in Australia, remains extremely unlikely.
The incidents that we are exposed to in the media make it feel as though the risk is enormous, but in reality, acts of terror effect a tiny proportion of the population. In the last two decades, terrorist attacks in Australia have claimed the lives of only three victims.
As horrific as the news is, we should not be afraid.
But there is certainly a place for vigilance.