How You Should Respond to an 'Active Shooter'
You’re in the Mall, or your insurance office, or your stock brokers and suddenly you hear gunshots, The shots are close! What do you do? Where do I go? How do I get to Safety? Here are Homeland Security Guidelines on how to respond to an active shooter situation. The key element is to make an immediate assessment and follow a plan. In these times of terrorism, disgruntled employees, and sick individuals, along with plain old criminals it is wise to take a moment, read this article, and then as you travel and do chores, go to the mall, enter any confined space, take a couple seconds to make a quick plan for emergency exits. If you practice this it soon becomes routine and you will find that you always have a plan at hand.
Folks in Europe Africa and the Middle East have been dealing with this for even longer than we have here with the IRA in the 70’s and 80’s, the Bader Meinhoff Gang in the 80’s, and the Arab Israeli conflict since 1947 . The actions listed below have worked and saved lives, The key is have a plan, stay as calm as you can, and if you are in immanent danger, then fight like your life depends on it because it does.
HOW TO RESPOND
QUICKLY DETERMINE THE MOST REASONABLE WAY TO PROTECT YOUR OWN LIFE.
CUSTOMERS AND CLIENTS ARE LIKELY TO FOLLOW THE LEAD OF EMPLOYEES AND MANAGERS DURING AN ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION.
Contact your building management or human resources department
for more information and training on active shooter response in your workplace.
WHEN AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IS IN YOUR VICINITY
HOW TO RESPOND
• Have an escape route and plan in
• Leave your belongings behind
• Keep your hands visible
2. HIDE OUT
• Hide in an area out of the active
• Block entry to your hiding place
and lock the doors
3. TAKE ACTION
• As a last resort and only when
your life is in imminent danger.
• Attempt to incapacitate the active
• Act with physical aggression and
throw items at the active shooter
WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT ARRIVES ON THE SCENE
1. HOW YOU SHOULD REACT WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT ARRIVES:
• Remain calm, and follow officers’ instructions
• Immediately raise hands and spread fingers
• Keep hands visible at all times
• Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as
attempting to hold on to them for safety
• Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling
• Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when
evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which
officers are entering the premises
CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO
2. INFORMATION YOU SHOULD PROVIDE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OR 911 OPERATOR:
• Location of the active shooter
• Number of shooters, if more than one
• Physical description of shooter/s
• Number and type of weapons held
by the shooter/s
• Number of potential victims at the location
OF POTENTIAL WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
AN ACTIVE SHOOTER MAY BE A CURRENT OR FORMER EMPLOYEE. ALERT YOUR HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT IF YOU BELIEVE AN EMPLOYEE EXHIBITS POTENTIALLY VIOLENT BEHAVIOR. INDICATORS OF
POTENTIALLY VIOLENT BEHAVIOR MAY INCLUDE ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING:
• Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
• Unexplained increase in absenteeism, and/or vague physical complaints
• Increased severe mood swings, and noticeably unstable or emotional responses
• Increasingly talks of problems at home
• Increase in unsolicited comments about violence, firearms, and other dangerous weapons and violent crimes
In the Military we always said “Failure to plan is planning to fail”. The above actions do work, they soon become second nature if you practice developing the plan everywhere you go and reconfirming it every time you go back.
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