The recent tragic events in Tunisia and all too regular mass shootings in the United States provide a stark reminder that we live in an increasingly volatile world. A world where at those times when one should feel most safe and secure, it’s all too easy to be suddenly amidst a dangerous and life threatening series of events.It’s crucial to understand that sometimes despite best planning, one must always remain alert to the fact that a potentially lethal incident can rapidly – and indeed randomly emerge. Each and every situation is unique both in terms of the potential threat but also of the opportunities to escape and extract oneself from danger.Whether as part of a group who are deliberately targeted, a potential victim of a random act of violence or getting caught in the middle of a criminal act there are measures and swift actions you can take to keep yourself safe should you find yourself caught in a mass shooting incident – with an active shooter or shooters attempting to do harm to you and those around you.
Learn the Run – Hide – Fight principal:1. If gunshots are heard react immediately – Look to Escape. Pay attention to where the gunshots sound like they are coming from and move in the opposite direction if possible. Consider that there may be more than one shooter. Move fast, stay low, but do not run. Constantly seek cover and concealment. Do not panic and move with purpose. Always look for alternate emergency route should the shooter/s appear.2. If escape is not an option then take shelter – HIDE. Find the nearest office, room, closet or hiding place. Try to stay low to the ground and out of sight. Lock and barricade the door with anything available in the room. Look for alternate escape routes (windows, additional doors, etc.). Call the emergency services and provide detailed information. Do not open the door for anyone. Remember most doors and walls will not stop bullets, try to hide behind as many items as possible and stay low.3. If it’s not possible to hide or the shooter is focused on you be prepared to fight for your life. There are numerous items that can be improvised as weapons (chairs, fire extinguishers, etc.) Be prepared to utilize anything close at hand and prepare for the physical encounter.4. Stay Safe – Stay Alivea. Do not run around corners or through doors blindly, try to move deliberately, peeking around corners and making sure the route is clear ahead before progressing. Always be aware of secondary shooters.b. If hiding try to find a position which will allow for the element of surprise if the shooter enters. Find anything that can be used as a weapon and imagine using it, picture the attack.c. Turn phones to vibrate or silent immediately.d. Prepare yourself if possible – discard bags and excessive items, wear footwear, drink water and above all remain determined to survive. Try to establish what is happening – but do not create added risk in order to do so, instead utilizing local news, announcements or social media.
e. If you find yourself in the open run in a zig – zag pattern and try to use cover and concealment. Hide behind objects or structures that will best protect you from gunshots. Use the best available means to conceal yourself from the assailants and give you the best chance of escape.If a shooting is occurring the first option should always be to escape entirely from the impending danger. Try to get away. If it’s not possible to immediately leave, then seek cover and concealment until the situation is resolved and threat removed.If abroad – always think safety and security. Know where safe areas are, how to contact the emergency services and keep other people informed on location and activities. Consider taking more detailed training and preparation – especially if in areas of heightened risk.