Nowadays, attacks like the Florida School Shooting are unfortunately on the rise. It is apparent that learning what to do and how to survive an active shooter event, not just in schools, but just about anywhere is absolutely crucial. With the recent increase in the number of shootings, it’s natural to be concerned and wonder whether any of us are truly prepared for such an event.
Understanding Who An Active Shooter Is
Active Shooters are individuals who actively engage in killing or attempting to kill people within confined and populated areas. Active shooters mostly use firearms, but may also be in possession of crude weapons like knives. There is no immediate recognizable pattern or method to their selection of victims. An active shooter situation is highly unpredictable and evolves very quickly.
Stopping the attack and mitigating harm to victims almost always requires the immediate deployment of local law enforcement teams. Most active shooter situations do not last long… typically between 10 to 15 minutes. This doesn’t leave the victims much time to wait for help to arrive at the scene. As a result, it is very important that individuals be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with such situations.Always stay alert at all times. Alertness is the first and best defense. Click To Tweet
Quick Survival Tips (Run, Hide or Fight!):
- Stay calm: Yes, this is obviously a very difficult thing to do when your life is in danger, but you need to stay as calm as you possibly can in order to think rationally and make the right decisions when decisions need to be made.
- Stay alert: Always stay alert at all times. Pay attention to your environment and any possible dangers.
- Take note of the closest exits: Look around and note where all possible exits are. These will come in handy when you get a chance to escape.
- Escape: If the nearest exit is safe and accessible, take it. However, always remain careful and alert while doing so. Escape whether your fellow victims are willing to do so themselves or not. If you can, help others escape as well, and once you are outside the danger zone, prevent anyone else from getting into the area.
- Call for help: Call 911 for help when it is safe to do so to alert police to the active shooter’s location. If you are not in a position to speak, leave the line open to allow the person on the other end to listen.
- Find a hideout: If you happen to be in a hallway or an overly exposed area, look for a room to hide in. Try to look for the safest hideout you can. If possible, the hideout should be out of the active shooter’s view and provide you with as much protection as possible if shots are fired in your direction.
- Secure all entrances: If you happen to be in a room, close all the doors, and secure them as much as you can to prevent the shooter from coming in. You can do this by blockading the door with heavy furniture or equipment. Once this is done, find a place to hide within the room. Turn off any source of noise and put your mobile phone on silent to avoid drawing attention to yourself.
- Take down the shooter: This is really the very last resort and should only be done if your life is in imminent danger, the shooter is at close range, and you have no means of escape. Survival at this point is much greater if you try to incapacitate and disarm him/her. Think through your attack strategy as best you can before actually attacking. Improvise weapons. Commit to your actions. Act fast and aggressively but carefully.
In response to several active shooter incidents across the country, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advises people to Run, Hide, or Fight! This is really the best you can do if you find yourself in this dangerous situation. However, you can also take an Active Shooter Survival Training Course to learn more and help increase your chances of survival.
After all is said and done, the absolute best way to avoid involvement in an active shooter event is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. This means as a community, we should stay diligent and report individuals displaying any sort of suspicious or unusual behavior. Let us learn to create a culture that accepts people for who they are but at the same time, condemns threatening behavior and immediately prompts attention and investigation into the origin and severity of the behavior.
“You Cannot Always Stop Bad Things From Happening, But You Can Be Prepared When They Do!” Michael Julian
Stay safe everyone!