Consider the following common daily scenarios. You are experiencing another normal day at work. You are attending a crowded outdoor festival. You are trying to keep from falling asleep during an especially boring class at school. Those are 3 things that happen all the time, aren’t they? Unfortunately, those are 3 environments where terrorists, thrill killers and psychologically unbalanced gunmen attack.
They choose those types of situations because they know most people have their danger-radar on low, or entirely off, during those common situations. This makes you as easy a target as a fish in a barrel to someone who is trying to pile up as many random kills as possible. Should you find yourself in an active shooter situation, keep the following survival options in mind.
1 – Escape
If you can get out of the immediate area, do so. Police and security experts agree that evasion, if possible, is your best chance of survival in this type of situation. Try not to attract unnecessary attention from the shooter when doing so.
2 – Barricade and Cover
The cowardly human beings that kill at random often target areas or events in such a way where escape is not immediately possible. In this case, limit the shooter’s access to you. Place a solid barrier between you and the shooter. If barricading the entrance to your room or location is impossible, place as many physical barriers between you and the shooter as you can.
3 – Alert Authorities and Other Potential Victims
Nearly everyone carries a smartphone these days. If you are at work when an active shooter situation arises, there are probably alternate communication devices as well. By email, phone, shouting, PA system, texting or any other method, notify as many people in the immediate area of the potential danger. As soon as you have escaped danger or taken cover, alert any and all local authorities, police and security forces.
4 – Silence Mobile Electronic Devices
A ringing cell phone acts as a beacon for an active shooter looking for a human target. The same is true for a land-line phone, hand-held radio, walkie-talkie or any personal consumer electronics possession that makes noise. Silence these devices, without shutting them down, if possible.
5 – If You Are a Target, Be a Difficult One
When cornered, get moving. Yell, move erratically, throw things at the shooter, all the while creating distance and distractions. This is only recommended as a last-ditch, worst-case effort to save your life, and could include attacking the shooter if no other course of action is possible.