The recent spate of gun violence – including the most recent deaths of two Fort Lauderdale police officers on Monday and the Tucson massacre two weeks ago which left 6 dead and 12 wounded – including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – has had the country on edge.
While we may never know the true motives behind these disturbed individuals, we wanted to offer some advice for surviving an active shooter situation.
Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.
- You can’t help anyone else or alert the police if you are not watching out for your own survival.
- Have an escape route and plan in mind
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
- Leave your belongings behind
- Keep your hands visible
If You Can’t Evacuate, Hide Out.
- Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view
- Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors
- Do not trap yourself or restrict your options for movement, if possible
- Silence your cell phone and / or pager
- As a last resort, when you cannot flee and only when in imminent danger, attempt to incapacitate the shooter
- Act with physical aggression. Throw items at the shooter to attempt to disarm and/or incapacitate him/her – if only for a moment to allow yourself to get out to safety
Call 911 When It Is Safe To Do So.
- If you cannot speak and must remain quiet, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen
- Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions
While this is something no one wants to think about, the more mentally prepared you are, the more likely you are to survive the situation.