PRHS and Homeland Security’s insight into preparing for the event of an active shooter
With all of the recent shooting appearing on the news including Mandalay Bay, Orlando, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and many more being prepared for an active shooting seems like a necessity. As of October 22, 2017 there has been 290 mass shootings in the year 2017. Even though the chances of dying in a mass shooting are about 1 in 100,000 and dying in a motor vehicle crash are 1 in 120 according to healthline.com, just like in any emergency, it is safe to be prepared. An active shooter is an individual who is actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area, typically through the use of firearms.
In the event of an active shooting whether it be in a workplace, public, or school setting the Department of Homeland Security says to “quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life”
The warning signs to look out for our increasingly erratic, unsafe, or aggressive behaviors, hostile feelings, drug and alcohol abuse, marginalization or distancing from friends and colleagues, changings in performance at work, sudden dramatic changes in home life or in personality, financial difficulty, pending civil or criminal litigation, and observable grievances with threats and plans of retribution.
The steps to follow are run, hide, fight.
Run: Always have an escape route and plan in mind. Be sure to leave all of your belongings behind. Nothing is more valuable than your life. Keep your hands visible at all times.
Hide: Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view. Get as small and far away as possible. Block the entry to your hiding place and lock all the doors.
Fight: As a last resort response fight when your life is imminent danger. Attempt to incapacitate the shooter. Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.
Always remember to call 911 when it is safe to do so. While speaking with an operator provide them with the location or victims and shooter, number of shooters, physical description of shooter, number and type of weapons, and number of potential victims.
In the event of the situation keep tranquility, avoid attention, and do not make any sudden movements. Remain calm once law enforcement arrives. Let them do their job. Immediately raise hands and spread fingers. After the shooter is apprehended provide law enforcement with a statement.
Recovery from this trauma can be difficult. If you or someone you know needs help reach out. Try speaking to a grief counselor, family member, or close friend.
All information from www.dhs.gov