We can all agree that mass shootings are something that can happen unexpected, and in most cases, it does. You will not be able to avoid it when it happens, which means that you should learn how to assess the situation.
Even though this tends to be a grim topic for an article, and the general odds that you will be a victim are low, still they are becoming more and more frequent, which means that you should prepare for the potential situation.
The idea is to know how to respond properly, which is why you should check here, to understand everything about training that will help you along the way.
What Should You Do?
It is important to follow these three tips when it happens: run, hide, fight. Of course, everything depends on the location and specific situation, so we cannot talk generally and provide you with a general rule that will help you along the way.
Most pieces of advice and training are created based on the previous actual cases, so it is important to understand how to prepare you and learn how to survive in case it happens.
The massive shooting thrives on chaos, which means that you should implement protocols that will help you minimize the damage. Therefore, the first thing you should do is search for exits and be aware of your current location.
As soon as you hear gunfire, the first response is to run as far away as you can. However, if you do not know where to go, running will be just like placing yourself in front of the shooter. It is important to get familiar with quick exits and routes of your workplace.
At the same time, as soon as you find yourself in a new location, you should scan for exits while entering inside. It seems like you should always be prepared and in some form of paranoia, but that is not the case, because you should only be one step ahead so that you can thrive.
By noting all exits, you should be aware of your location as well as gunman location, so that you can run to the one that goes on the opposite side. In case you cannot get away from gunman’s location, you should go in the opposite direction.
If you are on a higher floor, avoid using elevators, and take stairs. Remember that windows are options in case you are on the lower floor, but even in higher ones, it is much better to go through it and have a minor accident, than to end up shot.
In case you think you are in gunman’s line of sight, we recommend you to run from cover to cover, in a zigzag formation. Even though it sounds like something you should do, avoid pulling a fire alarm.
That may create confusion that the situation is not realistic but a form of drill, especially after a situation in which gunman pulled the alarm himself to drive victims towards him. Pulling a fire alarm can send people into large hallways and rooms, where they will be easier targets.
Instead of an alarm, you should yell gunman or gun, because most workplaces use drills to prepare employees what to do in case of evacuations and lockdowns. However, if you are in place such as theater, the best thing you should do is to look for an exit by yourself.
Most public services and offices feature pinpointed exits, however, only people that pay attention will be able to follow them. Check out this site: https://www.ready.gov/active-shooter to learn everything about active shooting in general.
Where Should You Hide?
If you have analyzed a situation and you think that escape is not an option, then the best thing that you can do is hide. However, we are not talking about hiding and hoping that the shooter will not find you, but use a more active approach in which you will deny access to him instead.
Therefore, you should enter a closet or a room, or anywhere where you can lock the door, or use items inside to create a barricade.
You can choose a room next to the elevator because in most cases they feature reinforced construction, which is much better than thin drywalls in office areas.
Hide under a desk only if you cannot find an alternative, but remember, that it is not the safest choice. Of course, removing yourself from the line of fire and sight is better than nothing is, but uses it as last resort.
After hiding, avoid thinking about your belongings, because you are saving yourself. In case you have a cell phone, you should call 911, but try to be quiet, and by using brief and direct sentences explain what is going on and where you are.
It is vital to silence the phone afterward because a ringtone can mean life and death in case of an active shooting. Turn off lights, and avoid talking with anyone in case you hear gunman nearby.
Also avoid using social media, because shooter may also be your follower and find you through it. Stay in your hiding place, and be as lowest as possible, because most shooters tend to open fire at the torso or head levels.
If lock or barricade is not an option, avoid lying on the floor, because that will prevent you from being aware of what is going on around you.
Finally, if nothing will work, you should turn to the last resort: fight. You can use whatever you have at hand as a weapon to disable the gunman including bookends, chairs, scissors, kettlebells, a hammer and many more.
This is not the best thing you can do, but in some situations, it will help you. In case you are strong enough, you can jump or wrestle a gunman when you hear reloading, but doing that means that you will risk your life along the way.