In light of the active shooter situation at Ohio State University earlier today, one of my professors asked how many of those in the class have gone through an active shooter situation training of some sort. Less than five of us raised our hands.
We live in a twisted world, and if a shooting can take place at Ohio State, the school that has provided active shooter training materials and information to the rest of the country, it can definitely happen anywhere else. Be prepared, and memorize these three steps for if you ever find yourself in an active shooter situation.
If you hear gunshots, check carefully to make sure that the area around you is clear and that the shooter is not nearby. If the shooter is not nearby and you are able to escape, run to a secure location and dial 911. Keep your hands visible and make it apparent that you are not the shooter so that arriving authorities don’t waste time or mistake you as the imminent threat.
If the shooter is too close to run and escape to a safe place, your next option is to hide. In whatever room you’re in, close the door and lock it. Even if it doesn’t lock, close it, and make sure to barricade it with desks, chairs, or whatever else you can find in the room-having one or two of the heavier people in the room sit against the door below line of sight works also.
Turn the lights off, and sit somewhere out of sight of windows. Typically, against the same wall as the door is your safest bet. Silence phones, stop talking, and make sure to sit still.
If you can’t run or hide from the shooter, your last option is to fight. Remember-this is the last resort, so put everything you can into it. Try to incapacitate the shooter in any way possible, whether that means several people rushing and trying to take them out, or using objects in the room as weapons. If it comes down to this, your main tasks are to stay alive and to take the shooter out.
We never expect to find ourselves in the middle of an active shooter situation, but in our society, it is becoming more and more likely. Keep your eyes open as you go about your day, and have escape and hiding plans for the places you find yourself in consistently. Preparedness could make all the difference if you find yourself in this situation.