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Would you know what to do in an active mass shooting scenario? Ok, this may not be the easiest thing to talk about but some of it really needs to be talked about. If a gunman walks into a populated place and opens fire it’s your responsibility to stay as calm as possible and focus on staying alive. Here are a few general tips to help keep you as safe as possible in an active mass shooting with the hopes that you will never have to be in that situation.
1. Before a Mass Shooting
You need to make a plan and be informed. Make a plan with your family, friends, or co-workers and make sure everyone knows what they should do if they are ever confronted with an active shooter. Any time you go somewhere, always make sure to notice two different exits so you know where you should be heading if someone were to open fire. Also, You should understand evacuation plans for individuals with disabilities or other access and functional needs.
To be the most informed, you should sign up for an active shooter training. This is the best way you can prepare yourself. These classes are offered throughout the state, and might even be available through your work. You can also sign up to receive local emergency alerts and register your work and personal contact information with any work sponsored alert system. Then of course, just be vigilant. Watch your environment for any possible dangers. And always, if you see something, say something to an authority as soon as you can.
During an active mass shooter scenario, there are 3 things you need to do depending on your circumstances.
Getting away from the shooter or shooters is your top priority, so escape if you can. And if you can, help others escape, but get out of there regardless of whether others agree to follow you. If you have valuables, leave them. Finally, call 911 when you are safe, and describe the shooter, the location, and what weapons you saw.
If escape is not an option or is not possible, hide! Get out of the shooter’s view and stay as quiet as possible. Don’t hide in groups. Spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter. Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.
If you have tried escaping or hiding already but you find yourself in a life or death situation, fight. But fight only as an absolute last resort. At this point, there is no going back. And be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.
A responding officer’s first priority is to stop the shooter by any means necessary. They will be coming on the scene with both rifles and handguns and might potentially use pepper spray to control the situation. They will likely not be tending to anyone injured as their first priority. You’ll need to follow all law enforcement instructions and evacuate in the direction they come from unless otherwise instructed. Always take care of yourself first. Once you are safe and if you are not injured, then you help the wounded with simple first aid before first responders arrive.
This is not the easiest subject to talk about. No one wants or expects to be put in this kind of scenario. But a little preparation now can lead to you being a little more prepared and ready in case the worst ever happens.
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