OSEA Safety Blog

Tips to Surviving an Active Shooter

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 John Coniglio

In an increasingly uncertain world, knowing how to respond during an active shooter incident can mean the difference between life and death. While it's impossible to predict when or where such a situation may occur, being prepared and having a plan can greatly increase your chances of survival. Here are some crucial steps to help you survive an active shooter scenario.

1. Stay Informed and Aware of Surroundings:

Develop a habit of being observant in public spaces. Know the locations of exit routes, emergency exits, and potential hiding spots. This heightened awareness serves as your first line of defense.

2. Run, Hide, Fight Strategy:

Embrace the "Run, Hide, Fight" strategy. If you can safely escape the danger zone, do so immediately. If escaping isn't an option, find a secure location to hide. As a last resort, be mentally prepared to fight for your life.

3. Quick and Effective Communication:

In the chaos of an active shooter situation, communication is key. Once in a safe location, promptly call 911. Provide the dispatcher with detailed information about the shooter's location and appearance. Clear and timely communication aids law enforcement in responding swiftly.

4. Silence Your Phone:

If hiding, silence your phone to prevent any noise that could reveal your location. Utilize text messages or apps for communication, as calls may compromise your safety.

5. Barricade and Secure Your Hiding Place:

If hiding, barricade the entry points with heavy objects or furniture. Turn off lights, stay silent, and minimize any signs of your presence to avoid detection.

6. Stay Low and Use Cover:

Minimize exposure by staying low to the ground. Bullets are more likely to hit higher up in a room. Move cautiously and use available cover to shield yourself from harm.

7. Use Available Resources:

If you must move, use available cover and concealment to protect yourself. Keep walls and solid objects between you and the potential threat. Think strategically about how to navigate your environment.

8. Maintain Calmness under Pressure:

The ability to stay calm under pressure is critical. Focus on controlled breathing and clear thinking. Panic can impair judgment and hinder your ability to make rational decisions.

9. Be Prepared to Defend:

As a last resort, be mentally and physically prepared to defend yourself and those around you. Utilize improvised weapons if necessary and work together with others to overpower the shooter.

10. Follow Law Enforcement Instructions:

When law enforcement arrives, follow their instructions carefully. Keep your hands visible, avoid sudden movements, and provide any relevant information that can assist them in managing the situation.

Surviving an active shooter situation is terrifying and challenging . By being prepared, staying alert, and knowing how to react, you can improve your chances of staying safe. While these guidelines can provide some direction, it's essential to seek professional training and stay informed about the latest safety recommendations from law enforcement agencies. Your safety and well-being should always be the top priority.

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