Terrorism drills: What are they and what do professionals think about them?

What is a terrorism drill?

Typically, an acting organisation recreate a terrorist attack to help people prepare for terrorism and their response to it.

Role-play companies such as Crisis Cast work in schools, universities and other places of work all in the aid of bringing disasters to life in a realistic and informative way.

Crisis Cast pride themselves in being equipped to recreate stunts, medical simulations and hyper real battlefield effects, using a state of the art UK and Australian film craft.

What do the professionals think?

John Cameron OBE, head of helplines at the NSPCC, a helpline for children, has a bit of anxiety about the concept.

“Whilst it’s always good to make sure that schools have competencies if they are attacked, whether or not you want to rehearse it with a child I’m not certain is a good idea, simply because I think it would raise anxieties.

“I think it would be very problematic and I actually think that we probably under-estimate teachers authority with younger children, when they want to move them from one place to another” he said.

Mr Cameron OBE explained how at his place of work they do not carry out this type of drill, only the standard fire drill procedure.

“I think the staff need to think about it, what would you do in these circumstances. I’m not so cert for children.

“But I think a message particularly for slightly older children not younger children, is to be ‘if you are worried about this in secondary schools for instance, we’re not going to rehearse this but remember we know what to do, should we have anybody approach us” Mr Cameron OBE added.

The NSPCC head also told The Guardian that he wouldn’t even label ‘anybody’ as a ‘terrorism thing’ he would talk about it in regards to anyone intruding the school building who has not been invited.

Terry O’hara, Manager of Survivors Assistance Network, a charity which provides free emotional support to victims of terrorism is more in favour of the idea.


Mr O’hara believes that when speaking to children or doing the drills, you need to balance the fact that terrorism does happen, but also that it’s still very rare and very unlikely to be caught up in.

Watch a mothers response to terrorism drills in another post here.


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