Message for U.S. Citizens (24 November 2015)

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and out of an abundance of caution, the U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to review the July 29, 2015 Worldwide Caution for guidance on the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas.

The U.S. Embassy presents the following courses of action if you find yourself the victim of an active shooter-style attack, as we know that such incidents can happen anywhere, whether in the U.S. or Malta.  In the event of such an attack, you must quickly determine the most reasonable course of action to protect your own life. There are three possible courses of action; doing nothing is not one of them:


  • Be aware of your surroundings.  In the event of an attack, immediately take any accessible and relatively safe escape route you see.
  • Drop anything you are carrying that may slow your escape.
  • If possible, help others escape with you.
  • Once clear of the scene, do not allow others to blindly enter the area where the active shooter is located.  Alert the authorities as soon as possible.


  • If it is absolutely impossible to run, attempt to locate a hiding place where it is less likely for an active shooter to find you.  Silence any cell phones or other devices that may make noise or light and give away your location.
  • Do your best to locate a hiding place that conceals you from view of the shooter and provides substantial protection.  If you are hiding in a room with a door that locks, lock it and barricade the door with furniture or other available objects.  The hiding place should not restrict your options for movement.
  • Minimize noise and try to remain calm if the active shooter is near your location.  If you are on the telephone with law enforcement authorities and cannot speak, leave the line open to allow those on the other end of the line to hear what is going on near you.


Fighting is an absolute last resort and should only be used as an option if you cannot run or hide and if your life is in imminent danger.  If you must resort to this course of action, be as aggressive as possible, and use whatever improvised weapons are available to incapacitate the active shooter.

For further information: