Active Shooter : Tips To Keep You Safe
During the past several years, there have been many active shooter incidents, where we shop, where we learn, where we work and more. Most active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Because most incidents are over within minutes, we must be prepared to deal with the situation until law enforcement personnel arrive. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. In an active shooter situation, all involved persons should quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect their own lives.
Recommended actions are:
• Run: If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.
• Hide: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.
• Fight: As a last resort, and if your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter.
When running, have an escape route and plan in mind, leave your belongings, help others if possible, evacuate regardless if someone disagrees to follow, warn others in the area, do not move people who are hurt, keep your hands visible and call 911. If you cannot run your next recommended action is to hide. Ensure you are out of the shooter’s sights, protect yourself by hiding in a location with limited access such as a room with a closed and locked door. Block the door with heavy furniture. Stay away from windows and if possible close or cover any visible windows. While hiding ensure the door is locked, hide behind a large item, silence any phone or electronic you may have, and remain quiet. Lastly, if you cannot hide or run your best chance for survival is to fight. Act as aggressively as possible, throw items and use improvised weapons, work together with other individuals to incapacitate the shooter, and commit to your actions.
Once you have reached a safe location it is important to follow the directions of law enforcement. No one should leave the safe location until law enforcement indicate it is safe and their questioning has been completed. There are steps that you can take to prepare or possibly prevent a potential active shooter incident.
These steps include:
• developing an emergency action plan
• conducting training
• recognizing indicators of potential workplace violence.
The emergency action plan should include input from several people including human resources, training department, facility owners or operators, property managers, and local law enforcement and emergency responders. Drills and exercises should be done annually to ensure that your safety plan can run efficiently. When creating your emergency plan ensure that there are accommodations made for those with disabilities, and those with English as a second language. Ensure that your employees are trained in identifying gun shots, reacting quickly, calling 911 and how to engage with law enforcement.
Though we hope for situations to not occur, there may be a time when you are faced with challenging decisions. By creating a successful training program, it helps eliminate doubt on how to handle active shooter situations. For more information on how to create or enroll into an active shooter training course click here. For additional information on active shooters visit Federal Bureau of Investigation active shooter resources.