While no one ever wants to find themselves in an active shooter situation, with the way the world currently is, this is a harsh reality that it’s best to prepare for and never actually be in than to not think about and find yourself caught completely off guard. Luckily, the ways you should respond in an active shooter situation are relatively straightforward. So to help you internalize this advice so you can actually use it if need be, here are three things to do when in an active shooter situation.
If At All Possible, Leave The Area
The best thing you can do regarding an active shooter situation is to not be in one. So if something starts to happen around you, Ready.gov recommends that you do your best to run away from the situation and seek safety.
If you are able to run, don’t worry about taking anything with you. Just drop whatever it is you’re doing or holding and get out of there as fast as you can. And then, when you’re able to be a safe distance away and aren’t in immediate danger anymore, call the police so that anyone who was left in the area can start to get the help they need.
Learn How To Safely Hide
For those that aren’t able to escape that area where the shooting is taking place, the next best thing is to get as far away from the shooter as possible. If you’re able to hide in a safe place, that’s what you should look to do next.
According to FEMA, the ideal hiding place is one where the shooter can’t see you and where you have something you can use as protection, like a locked door. While you want to make it hard for the shooter to get to you, you also don’t want to corner yourself into an area if you can help it. And once you’re hiding, make sure you silence your cell phone so that no calls or text alert the shooter of where you are.
Make A Plan For Defending Yourself
For some people, protecting themselves and others in an active shooter situation comes second-nature. If you’re something like this, you should try to think about a plan for defending yourself if you ever find yourself in this scenario.
To stop situations like this, many people choose to carry their own handguns in order to protect themselves and others. However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises that you only try to take down the shooter if they are close to you and you or others don’t have the option to run for your safety.
If you unfortunately ever find yourself in an active shooter situation, consider using the tips mentioned above to help increase your chances of making it through this traumatic experience.