In light of all the Active Shooter attacks in the news this past week, it is important for everyone to have some type of plan or action they can take if faced with an Active Shooter situation. According to the Center for Personal Protection and Safety, lives can be saved by following these easy to remember and effective guidelines:
If you remember ONE WORD, it should be OUT!
GET OUT: Run!!
The Best option is ALWAYS to run, GET OUT, and get away. Think in advance about how you would get out, including the possibility of jumping from the windows.
CALL OUT: Call 911
If possible, take care of your safety first. Run first, hide first, barricade or lock the door first, then call 911. If it’s safe, stay on the line and give the police the best information you can.
HIDE OUT: Or play Dead
If you are not able to get out, find a safe place to hide. If there’s no way to get out or hide, playing dead could save your life. If you are hiding when the police come, realize they will not know if you’re a victim or a shooter. Follow their instructions.
KEEP OUT: Keep the Shooter out
If you can’t get out, lock or barricade the door. Make sure the barricade stays in place, holding it from a safe position if necessary--Many at Virginia Tech survived by barricading doors, keeping the shooter out.
TAKE OUT: Fight the Shooter
Fight or Flight? Flight, running, getting out is always the best option. But if flight is removed as an option, your only choice may be to fight, try to take the shooter out.
Before something happens be sure to study your surroundings. Observe where the exits are. Look to see if the door can be locked-think about what would work as a barricade. Check to see if/how the windows open. Have a plan of action, where would you run? How would you hold a barricade? How far is it to the ground if you had to jump out the window? Would you survive the fall? Share this information with your fellow students; discuss what you would do in an emergency.
Bottom line: Remember the word OUT
Taking the time to be prepared, thinking ahead in the event of serious situations allows you to live confidently and empowered. The threat of “school shootings” can be avoided if everyone works together to identify people in crisis and notify the proper authorities so that an intervention can take place before the escalation to violence. Share the OUT strategy with all of your friends and classmates. Knowledge is power and the more people who know how to deal in a crisis, the more the crisis can be avoided. For more information on Active Shooter defense information refer to the Center for personal protection and safety website www.cpps.com