Active shooter incidents are a tragic and terrifying reality in our society. The likelihood of being caught in such an event may be small, but it is crucial to be prepared in case the worst should happen. As a civilian, knowing how to react in an active shooter incident could save your life. Here are some tips to help you stay safe.
- Run: If there is an escape path, your first instinct should be to run. Leave the premises as quickly as possible and get away from the shooter. Don’t wait for others or try to gather up belongings. Leave them behind and focus on getting to safety. Be sure to plan an escape route in advance, so you know where the exits are and how to get to them quickly.
- Hide: If you can’t escape, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Look for rooms or areas that can be locked or blocked, and make sure you are out of the shooter’s line of sight. Turn off lights and silence your phone so you don’t draw attention to yourself. Once you are in a secure location, stay quiet and don’t move around.
- Fight: Try to disrupt or incapacitate the active shooter as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger. Use whatever means are available to you, such as chairs, fire extinguishers, or other objects, to distract or incapacitate the shooter. Be prepared to use whatever force is necessary to protect yourself, but remember that the goal is to survive and escape, not to engage in a physical altercation with the shooter.
- Call 911: When safe and away from the scene, call 911 to report the incident and provide information to responding law enforcement. Be prepared to give your location, the number of shooters, and any other details that may be helpful to the authorities.
- Follow Instructions: Follow the instructions of the emergency services and any other official messages during the incident. Pay attention to any instructions or updates provided by the authorities, such as the shooter’s location or when it is safe to leave the building.
It’s important to remember that an active shooter incident can happen anywhere, at any time, and that being prepared is the best way to stay safe. By knowing what to do, you can increase your chances of survival in the event of an active shooter incident. It is also essential to practice good situational awareness and be aware of your surroundings at all times, as this will give you a better chance of identifying a potential threat early on.
It is important to note that emotions can run high during an active shooter situation, and people may act irrationally. It is essential to stay calm and think rationally. Also, a pre-planned strategy can help stay focused and make quick decisions to ensure survival.
In conclusion, active shooter incidents are a tragic and terrifying reality in our society, but knowing how to react in an emergency can save your life. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of survival and get to safety. Remember to stay calm, think rationally, and always have an escape plan.