How to Prepare for an Active-Shooter Scenario
With an uprise of active shooters preying on college campuses, high schools, social gatherings and places of work, it has never been a better time to address the topic of active shooter preparedness. Many of these incidents are committed in broad daylight by individuals that we often see and communicate with regularly. A disgruntled employee, a hard-at-work student, a lonely child, a misunderstood member of the community — no one sees it coming. For readers that want to prepare themselves for a potential active shooter incident, this is how to stay frosty.
As brave Americans, our first inclination during an active shooter incident may be to find the culprit and neutralize the threat. Although this may seem like a heroic gesture at the time, it’s not the most logical choice to make. Instead, we must first become aware of the surroundings. We must understand that the killer is not in a rational state of mind and may have formed a strategy to kill targets with utmost precision. Knowing this, we need to remain calm and — as the military refers to it — stay frosty. This quote is used within dangerous situations as a reminder to take note of your area, find the exits, keep your wits about you and pay attention to small details.
Your first duty is to locate ways in which to exit the area that the shooter is attacking. Ask those around you where the nearest exit is, where side doors may be located or other pertinent locations for escaping. Following this procedure will minimize casualties and allow civilians to get away safely. However, many of us are not that lucky. If we know exit locations have been barricaded or blocked off by the shooter, our next plan is to find a place to hide from the individual. Instead of congregating together in a central location, it’s best to split up into smaller groups and find cover. From here, we must immediately turn off all light sources, lock the doors, barricade the entrance and silence our smart devices.
For optimal active shooter preparedness, we must express the importance of communication during the incident. Before a scenario like this unfolds, we must discuss how we will alert the authorities without drawing attention to ourselves. After we’ve found an adequate hiding spot, we must use our cellular device to text our police department. These individuals are trained and are quick to respond to such incidents. Refrain from making voice calls or carrying on conversations during this time. Silence is the key to survival in an active shooter situation.
Should all of these strategies fail, as a last resort during the shooting, it’s time to take the shooter down. If the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her. In a violent confrontation, speed and force are paramount. Instead of attacking the shooter head-on, devise a way to ambush and surprise the shooter. If you have multiple members within your party, use the numbers to your advantage. The main goal is to never hesitate and use the necessary force to render the target immobile. Before engaging the target, scan your immediate surroundings for instruments and tools that can act as weapons. Using these objects will increase your odds of survival.
Once the shooter has been eliminated, make sure that you approach the police with caution. Make clear communication with law enforcement and keep your hands visible at all times so they don’t mistake you for an attacker. Listen to commands and obey all orders, as unimportant as they may seem, to ensure your safety moving forward.
In summary, always be on your toes and develop a strategy for an upcoming attack. Whether you work in a cubicle environment or you’re teaching young minds, you can never be too cautious. Although it may seem unnecessary to strategize for this type of scenario, it can save the lives of many innocent civilians.