At D5 Consulting Group, we encourage organizations small and large to have a comprehensive plan in place for an active shooter situation. An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing, or attempting to kill, people in a confined and populated area. In most instances, there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims, and their goal is simply to cause as much carnage as possible.
The data shows that active shooter situations are rapid events, typically ending even before law enforcement arrives on scene. Because of this, it is critical that individuals are aware of their surroundings, and both mentally and physically prepared to respond to any threat. In these terrifying situations, you must very quickly make the most reasonable choice to protect your own life, and three options to consider.
If there is an accessible escape path and considerable distance between you and the gunfire/armed person, move as quickly as possible away from the sound of the gunfire/armed person. If the gunfire/armed person is in your building but it is safe to evacuate, quickly exit the building and move as far away as possible until you are in a secure place to hide. Leave your belongings behind and keep your hands visible to law enforcement at all times. Take others with you, but do not stay behind because others will not go. Call 911 as soon as you reach safety.
If the shooter is in close proximity and evacuating is not possible, assume the safest possible place, and hide silently. Silence your cell phone, and choose a hiding place outside of the shooter’s view – ideally, somewhere with thicker walls and away from windows. Turn off the lights and close the windows, shades and blinds to avoid being seen. Lock the doors, and barricade them with furniture if you are able to do so. If you are outdoors and cannot run safely, take cover in a place that will provide protection from gunfire, such as a brick wall, large trees or buildings.
Fightin is a last resort, a measure that should only be taken when running or hiding are not possible, and your life is in immediate danger. Act as aggressively as possible in order to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter by yelling, throwing items, and improvising weapons.
In the era of active shooters, “run, hide and fight” is every bit as important as the "stop, drop and roll" instructions that firefighters have taught for decades.
As much as we hope you’ll never find yourself in such a situation, we urge you to prepare for the worst. Protect yourself, and your people. Contact D5 Consulting Group today for information on our active shooter training and preparedness programs.