In light of recent events across the country, we want to remind you to have an emergency action plan in your office as well as with your family. A well-practiced drill of what to do in the event of an active shooter can save lives.
Many active shooter situations are over in less than 15 minutes, meaning law enforcement may not arrive on the scene until the event is over. You have to know what you will do to protect yourself, and the first step is being aware of your surroundings. Whether it’s a concert, your home, or your office building, always be mindful of your two nearest exits and stay alert for possible dangers.
The best course of action, whenever possible, is to remove yourself from the situation. Run as far away as you can and call for help. Make sure you keep your hands visible and help others leave with you. Don’t move wounded people as you could accidentally injure them further.
If you can’t escape, find a place to hide. Make sure you are not within the attacker’s line of sight and get behind something that will protect you. Blockade yourself in, lock doors and windows, and turn off your cell phone or anything else that might make noise and attract attention to you. Call 911 and leave the line open so the dispatcher can hear what is going on.
You should only fight as a last resort if your life is in imminent danger. Act as aggressively as possible to intimidate the attacker and try to disrupt their mental state. Stay as far away as you can. Throw things at them and improvise a weapon out of anything you can find. Get loud and yell.
When the situation is over, you will likely be held and interviewed by law enforcement until they can understand what happened and identify witnesses.
We Hope It Never Happens
We desperately hope that you are never involved in an event as traumatic as this, but we want you to have an emergency action plan in place. Talk to your employees, family, and friends about what you would do in an active shooter event. Practice evacuating your home or office and talk about where you would meet up after if you got separated. Talk to your kids using age-appropriate examples and encourage them to ask questions and voice their fears.