“Know two ways to exit the venue and position yourself close to one of them."
10 Right Ways to React in an Active Shooter Emergency
Knowing how to respond to an active shooter situation is crucial for your personal safety and the safety of others. While it is an unfortunate reality, being prepared and knowing what to do in such a situation can save lives. Here are seven key tips to help you respond effectively in an active shooter situation
1. Assess the Environment
The first thing you should do when you enter a room or venue is scan the environment. This includes identifying potential exit points, safe areas, and any potential obstacles or hazards that may impede escape or hinder response efforts.
A few examples of environment assessment include: Choosing a seat in class that is close to an exit. You might also select a place to stand in the crowd that is next to something you can use as a barrier to hide behind.
2. Always Carry Bulletproof Protection
Bulletproof insert panels are very effective in protecting your vital organs from gun fire. These active shooter safety products come in a variety of sizes and can be moved from a purse, backpack, iPad case or laptop bag depending on the activity you are doing. Carry one in your purse to the concert or in your laptop bag at the office to ensure you have bulletproof protection with you at all times.
3. Run and Escape If Possible
The first and best option is to run and escape from the danger zone as quickly as possible. Leave your belongings behind and encourage others to do the same. Once you are in a safe location, call 911 and provide them with as much information as possible about the shooter's location and description.
4. Hide If Escape Is Not Possible
In situations where escape is not possible, it is important to locate a secure hiding spot and strive to stay composed. Lock doors, reinforce them with substantial furniture, and switch off lights to minimize visibility. Keep yourself hidden from view. If you are in a room with windows, move away from them to avoid being seen by the shooter.
5. Stay Quiet and Silence Your Phone
Maintaining silence is of utmost importance during an active shooting incident. Refrain from making any sounds that might disclose your whereabouts to the shooter. Set your phone to silent mode to prevent attracting attention.
6. Never Pull the Fire Alarm
In emergencies, it is common practice to activate the fire alarm as a means of alerting others. However, it is crucial to recognize that this should never be attempted during an active shooter situation. The rationale behind this is that when the fire alarm goes off, individuals might instinctively gather in hallways and crowded spaces, unintentionally exposing themselves to the imminent danger posed by the active shooter.
“Never pull the fire alarm in an active shooter emergency.”
7. Communicate With Others
If you are in a hiding place with others, communicate quietly and develop a plan of action. Stay together and look out for each other. Do not open the door for anyone unless you are absolutely certain it is safe to do so (such as law enforcement officers).
8. Use Your Surroundings for Cover
If you find yourself in an open area with no hiding places, use anything available as cover. This can include walls, furniture, or any objects that can provide protection from gunfire. If the room has a drop ceiling, consider hiding in the space above it. Be aware of your surroundings and use them to your advantage.
9. Stay Calm and Be Prepared to Fight
If the shooter enters your location and there are no other options, be prepared to defend yourself and others. Use pepper spray or improvise weapons or find objects that can be used to distract or incapacitate the shooter. Use anything you can to increase your chances of survival.
10. Follow Law Enforcement Instructions
When law enforcement arrives at the scene, they will likely be in a high-stress situation. Follow their instructions carefully and keep your hands visible at all times. Do not make any sudden movements or gestures that could be interpreted as a threat.
Remember, these tips are general guidelines, and every active shooter situation is different. It is important to use your judgment and make decisions based on your specific circumstances. Stay aware of your surroundings, be prepared mentally and physically, and above all, prioritize your personal safety and the safety of others.
Defense Divas® wants you to be equipped to defend yourself not only with a self-defense weapon, but also with the practical knowledge of safety awareness and prevention.
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