If you are in charge of a business, organization or household, then it is very important that you understand the basics of active shooter preparedness. Many people want to stick their heads in the proverbial sand and act as if we live in a peaceful world. However, in reality, terrorists have made our society more precarious than perhaps ever in history.
Protecting yourself and those around you requires awareness of how to handle an attack by a shooter. These villains usually act erratically and kill indiscriminately. Hopefully, you have already provided some active shooter preparedness training and have instituted an official policy to deal with such situations. Doing these things is the first step towards disaster survival. Everyone needs to be on the same page about how to react when the guns start going off.
Nevertheless, there remains an important issue that even the most prepared leaders often fail to consider. What should be done once the authorities have arrived?
In far too many cases, victims of a shooting attack get in the way of the police and other emergency personnel. Most believe they can help in some regards. These people may attempt to return into a dangerous area to find family or friends. In the worst case scenario, they are then injured by the perpetrator.
Some observers want the police to save their loved ones or colleagues immediately. Always remember that the authorities have a duty to first stop the assailant. This objective has to remain foremost in their minds because everyone is much safer once the shooting stops. The police must put the greater good of the whole before the wishes of the few in these instances.
How to Deal With the Situation Once Police Arrive
- Always remain calm.
Yelling orders to the police helps no one. The officers have years of training and have probably dealt with an active shooter before. Allow them to do their jobs and all will be well in most cases.
- Always follow the directions of the officers.
It can be a major mistake to allow emotions to overtake you during a crisis. Instead, let the police assume control. If told to vacate an area, leave belongings behind or turn off a cell phone, do it. Understand that the officers have a good reason for making their demands.
3. Always keep hands visible.
Until the shooting has been contained, the police are usually uncertain of who is involved. Just because you claim to be one of the victims does not mean they will believe you. In fact, the shooter may have changed attire and now be trying to blend in with the crowd as well. So, in the interim, keep your hands visible at all times. The police can misinterpret hidden hands as an attempt to draw a weapon.
Ready to Survive a Shooting Incident
It seems that we are always hearing about another unstable individual pulling a gun on innocent people these days. To help educate those over whom you hold responsibility, be sure to train them on what to do both before and after the police arrive. This way, we can all get out of these situations unscathed.